East Meets West Crockpot Short Ribs

When I was in San Diego last week, I had the most amazing short ribs at the restaurant, Urban Bar and Grill. I’m not usually a big short rib type person, but these looked great and I was not disappointed. They fell right off the bone and were covered in the most delicious sauce. Ever since I had those short ribs, I have been thinking about how to recreate the recipe at home.

Now, I’ve never cooked short ribs before, but I do have a love for my crockpot. I figured they would be a match made in heaven and did some research to see what others have learned. I found that searing the meat first is essential, a bed of veggies on the bottom adds flavor, and some sort of liquid helps keep the meat nice and tender. These are all things that are pretty commonsense to anyone that has ever cooked with a crockpot. From there, I let my imagination run wild and used some of my favorite flavor combinations. The result? What I think is a perfect balance of Eastern and Western flavors.

These ribs are super tender, fall right off the bone, and will leave you wanting seconds. The sauce, that is a combination of the veggies and liquid that cook in the crockpot, completes the ribs. Pull out your crockpot, go buy some grass-fed short ribs, and get cooking. The best part? On a busy work day, you can make this in the morning and the short ribs will do their thing all day long and be waiting to eat when you come home.

IMG_9967East Meets West Crockpot Short Ribs


  • 1 1/2 – 3 pounds grass-fed bone on short ribs (about 1/2 – 3/4 pound per person)
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease or coconut oil for searing
  • Salt
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 celery stocks with tops on, cut into chunks
  • 3 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup Annie’s dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar


  1. Start by pulling out your crockpot. Place the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and ginger in the bottom of the crockpot. Turn on low.
  2. Grab a cast iron or enameled cast iron pan (something heavy for even heating) and melt the bacon grease or coconut oil over medium-high heat. (Note: I think some fancy crockpots these days have a searing setting. If yours does, you can sear your meat in the crockpot first, remove, add the veggies, and then add the meat back in. My crockpot is treasured hand-me-down from my grandparents circa 1970, so I don’t have that option..)
  3. While the fat is melting, liberally salt the short ribs on all sides. This is your best chance to season the meat directly. Don’t skimp on salt! Place the short ribs in the heated pan and sear on each side until golden brown. You aren’t trying to cook the short ribs at this point. You just want to create a nice sear which will add flavor and seal in the juices.
  4. Once your meat is done searing, place it on top of the vegetable bed in your crockpot.
  5. Combine the beef broth, dijon, coconut aminos, and balsamic in a bowl and pour over your short ribs.
  6. Cover the crockpot and walk away. You want it to cook on low for 8 hours.
  7. When you come back after 8 hours, remove the short ribs and set on a plate.
  8. Remove the veggies from the crockpot and transfer to a blender with about 1/2 cup liquid. Discard the ginger. Blend the veggies with the liquid until smooth and then return to the crockpot. Mix with the remaining liquid in your crockpot to create the sauce.
  9. At this point, you can dig in if you are impatient like me. If you have a little more patience, add the short ribs back into the crockpot with the sauce and let simmer for a little while longer.

What are some of your favorite things to cook in a crockpot? Leave a comment and share!

Searing the short ribs creates a bit of smoke. Make sure to turn your hood fan on or get smoked out!

Searing the short ribs creates a bit of smoke. Make sure to turn your hood fan on or get smoked out!

Ribs hanging out on their bed of veg.

Ribs hanging out on their bed of veg.

Fall-off-the bone delicious.

Fall-off-the bone delicious.

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