Slow Cooker Beef Back Ribs

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These slow cooker beef back ribs are cooked in a delicious red wine sauce with just a hint of spice from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. By the end of the cooking time the rib meat slides off the bones and is full of flavor.

slow cooker beef back ribs

This post was originally published on March 14, 2016.

How to make slow cooker beef back ribs:

You start by cutting the rack of ribs into individual ribs and season them with a bit of salt and pepper.

how to make slow cooker beef back ribs step by step

Next, grab a large cast iron pan and heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil until shimmering. Sear the ribs in the hot oil until they are browned on all sides.

how to make slow cooker beef back ribs step by step

Transfer the ribs to your slow cooker.

how to make slow cooker beef back ribs step by step

In the same pan you browned the ribs in, add 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut into large chunks1 carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks and 2 celery ribs, cut into large chunks. (There will be enough fat in the pan from the ribs so you don’t need to add any). Cook the vegetables until they are starting to brown (about 10 minutes), then add 2 minced or pressed garlic cloves and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).

how to make slow cooker beef back ribs step by step

Add 1.5 cups dry red wine3 cups chicken broth and 1 cup water into the pan. Bring the mix to a boil, then transfer to the slow cooker.

how to make slow cooker beef back ribs step by step

Add 2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and 1 teaspoon dried thyme to the slow cooker, then put on the lid and cook on low for six hours.

how to make slow cooker beef back ribs step by step

After the six hours, open the lid and pour or ladle the liquid out of the slow cooker into a fat separator. (See the recipe tip below on what to do if you don’t have a fat separator). Let the liquid sit for a minute to allow it to separate, then drain the bottom layer into a saucepan and discard the top (fat) layer.

how to make slow cooker beef back ribs step by step

Cook the sauce uncovered on medium heat until it is reduced to a syrupy consistency.

how to make slow cooker beef back ribs step by step

While the sauce is on the stovetop, transfer the ribs out of the slow cooker, discard the bones and shred the meat off the skin that was on the back of the ribs. Discard the skin, then add the meat to the sauce and make sure to remove any bone fragments there might be.

how to make slow cooker beef back ribs step by step

Serve the meat with egg noddles and a dollop of sour cream (optional).

Recipe tip:

If you don’t have a fat separator, simply pour the liquid into a bowl, let it sit for a minute to allow the fat to rise to the top, then skim the fat off the surface using a large spoon.

More delicious hearty soups and stews:

slow cooker beef back ribs
Print Recipe
5 from 7 votes

Slow Cooker Beef Back Ribs

These slow cooker beef back ribs are cooked in a delicious red wine sauce with just a hint of spice from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. By the end of the cooking time the rib meat slides off the bones and is full of flavor.
Cook Time7 hrs
Total Time7 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef back ribs, slow cooker beef back ribs, slow cooker ribs
Servings: 2
Calories: 1310kcal

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds beef back ribs, bone in
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 large carrot, cut into chunks
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups dry red wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • cooked egg noodles
  • sour cream, optional

Instructions:

  • Cut the rib rack into individual ribs, season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a cast iron pan until shimmering.
  • Sear the ribs on all sides until browned, then transfer to a slow cooker.
  • Add onion, carrot and celery to the pan you seared the meat in and cook for about 10 minutes until starting to brown. Be careful not to burn the browned bits from the ribs that are in the pan, turn the heat down if you need to.
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Stir in wine, chicken broth and water, bring to a boil, then transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Add the chipotle peppers and the thyme to the slow cooker, then cook on low for six hours.
  • Transfer the liquid out of the slow cooker into a fat separator.*
  • Let the liquid sit for a minute until separated, then pour the bottom layer into a pot and discard the top (fat) layer.
  • Cook the sauce uncovered on medium heat until reduced to a syrupy consistency.
  • Transfer the meat out of the slow cooker, discard the bones and shred the meat with two forks off the skin that was on the back of the ribs. Discard the skin.
  • Add the meat to the sauce and make sure that you removed all bone fragments. 
  • Serve on egg noodles with a dollop of sour cream (optional).

Notes:

*If you don't have a fat separator, pour the liquid into a bowl, let it sit for a minute to let the fat rise to the top, then skim off the fat layer using a large spoon.

Nutrition

Calories: 1310kcal | Carbohydrates: 61.3g | Protein: 154.5g | Fat: 40.7g | Saturated Fat: 13.3g | Cholesterol: 452mg | Fiber: 5.4g | Sugar: 9.8g | Calcium: 90mg

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slow cooker beef back ribs

15 comments

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thanks so much, Christy! I know, it’s so easy to forget about the slow cooker once it’s out of sight in the cabinet but I’m getting it out more and more now. :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      I’ve had one for a long time but have only recently started to use it! It is awesome though, you should get one! Thanks for the lovely comment, as always! :)

  1. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says:

    With your photos you make browns irresistible!! Wow!! I love what is going on with the meat and spices — sound so incredible. The way you have the dish staged it looks like it’s waiting for me to dig right in — and if I were there I would!! This could almost be in a very romantic restaurant — cozy table for two, a carafe of red wine — hmmmmmmm!! I think this would be a perfect coming home present to ourselves. Great recipe and shot Nicole (as always)!!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Aw, thank you, Lori, that is very nice of you to say! For some reason I really like to photograph brown food, but I have lots of trouble with green… :)

  2. Sheena @ Noshtastic says:

    Hey Nicole,

    I just saw your post pop up in my email! your photo looks lovely as usual, and I just had an idea for a fake wine bottle when I saw your image! I have a small bottle of red wine vinegar that is very similar dimensions that would work, so thank you for the idea :) I may need to hunt around for a small enough wine glass to match though.

    • Nicole B. says:

      Hey Sheena! That’s exactly what I thought this bottle looked like, similar to a vinegar bottle! The bottle in this photo is actually one of those small fiascos and I ripped away the basket thingy that was around it.

  3. Nagi@RecipeTinEats says:

    Love your new profile photo Nic!!! And glad you are discovering the wonders of slow cookers :) I am wondering if beef back ribs are what we know as beef short ribs. Are they quite large with loads of meet on them?? Almost a square shape? The sauce for this is a ripper!

    • Nicole B. says:

      Hey there! So glad you like the pic, what can I say, I love to drink! ;) Short ribs actually come from a different section of the animal than back ribs do but they are similar in taste, in my opinion. And yes, large, almost scarily so! :)

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