Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Barbacoa are tender, succulent, spicy and delicious! Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice is the perfect accompaniment!
The inspiration behind this recipe:
It’s mid-April so I thought I was done with my slow cooker and slow braising for the year. However, the weather here made me think otherwise. Last Sunday was ridiculously cold and windy! Winter was having its last hurrah so I took the opportunity to make one of my all-time favorite things in life… Beef short ribs!
What are beef short ribs?
Each cow has five “short” ribs in the chuck section near the ribs. The cow uses that section frequently when moving so the meat from that area will be tougher but is more flavorful. There are two main ways short ribs are cut: English and flanken-style. For this recipe, we’re using English-cut.
Beef short ribs may look hunky and clunky, however, with a little low-and-slow cooking, they are transformed into something buttery and meltingly tender.
How to cook beef short ribs:
The best way to cook any type of short rib is a slow-braise. Why not a pressure cooker so they’re done in 30 minutes?
Use an electric pressure cooker for these Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Barbacoa if you’d like. However, I think meat done in a pressure cooker tastes “forced.” The flavor is developed over time and the connective tissue in cuts like beef short ribs needs time to break down.
How to make Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Barbacoa:
- Start by preheating your slow cooker. Turn it to the temperature you’ll be cooking the ribs at.
- Get all the liquid ingredients, herbs and spices into the slow cooker:
- Beef broth
- Tomato puree
- Chipotle chiles with some of the adobo sauce
- Generously season the short ribs with salt and black pepper and brown on all sides.
- When you’re ready to place the lid on the slow cooker, then reset the timer to four or eight hours if using one that’s digital.
- Let it all cook away in your slow cooker while you do other things! Just look at these beauties from the slow-cooker!
Mwwaaaahhh! Serve them whole with the Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice or….
…remove it from the bones and shred the meat.
Tips for making cauliflower rice:
I don’t do cauliflower rice on the stovetop anymore because it’s difficult to cook evenly and then it overcooks quickly. Roasting it in the oven is a perfect way! Place the cauliflower in the oven when the beef short ribs are finished.
Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Barbacoa are perfect for tacos, too!
Want more amazing beef short rib recipes? Try my:
- Cabernet Braised Beef Short Ribs with Cauliflower Leek Puree
- Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs
- Stout Braised Beef Short Ribs and Colcannon
Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Barbacoa with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 can (10-ounce) tomato puree
- 4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce - from a can, chopped plus as much adobo sauce as you can get from the can (a 7-ounce can)
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons canola oil - or olive oil
- 6 beef short ribs - 4-5 pounds, long cut
- 1 large onion - chopped
- 12 cloves garlic - sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Chopped fresh cilantro and sprigs for garnish
- 2 (1-pound) bags cauliflower pearls
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large lime - juiced (2 tablespoons)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Combine first 9 ingredients in a slow cooker. Set slow cooker on High (4 hours) or Low (8 hours), depending upon your preferred cooking time to preheat.
- Heat oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Season short ribs generously with salt and black pepper. Brown well on all sides. Place in slow cooker.
- Place onion in the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook the onion for 3 to 4 minutes to soften and get the browned bits off the pan. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds or just until fragrant. Transfer to slow cooker. Cover and cook 4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low.
- Remove 1 cup of the liquid and let cool slightly. Add the cornstarch and stir until smooth. Add it back to the slow cooker and let slow cooker continue cooking on High for several minutes to thicken. (Sauce will thicken more upon standing.)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cauliflower on a large baking sheet. Stir in garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes or to desired doneness. Stir in cilantro.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.