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Slow Cooker Beer Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta

Short Rib Ravioli with Brussels SproutsNeed a date-night-in recipe idea for Valentine’s Day? Slow Cooker Beer Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta are are delicious and super easy!
Slow Cooker Beer Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta

When I was in grad school, I spent a semester living in Seattle for a clinical rotation.  I had never really lived in a city with amazing restaurants (sorry Iowa and Nebraska), and so Seattle felt like a whole new world of food was in front of me.  Not only were there great restaurants, but also amazing markets with the most beautiful produce, flowers, and meats.  I was in food heaven!  

One weekend during my time there, my aunt came to visit me.  We had a whole list of things we wanted to do, including visit wineries, go out to eat, go hiking, and (her personal addition to the list) have me cook dinner for her.  You see, I lived with her for another clinical rotation and loved cooking her family dinner, and she was missing my cooking.  

Slow Cooker Beer Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta

I’m not sure why I chose to make short ribs for us, as I’d never had them before, but a recipe for wine braised short ribs with gorgonzola polenta caught my eye.  It ended up being an amazing meal, and since then short ribs have been on my “short list” of favorite foods.  

Short Ribs in the Slow Cooker

While I typically make them in my dutch oven, braising them in the oven for a few hours, I tried them in a slow cooker a few months ago and loved the results.  They were just as tender as making them in the oven and so much easier!  

How to Make Beer Braised Short Ribs

This time, instead of making them with wine, I switched it up with beer.  I used a dark porter, and loved how they turned out!  Along with the beer, the short ribs are cooked in a mixture of onions, celery, thyme, tomato paste, brown sugar, and dijon mustard.  So much flavor!

Since the short ribs have quite a bit of flavor, I kept the polenta pretty simple with just some chicken broth, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.  With a splash of heavy cream at the end, the polenta is rich, creamy, and smooth!

These Slow Cooker Beer Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta are so easy that it could really be a weeknight meal, but is fancy enough for a date-night in (Valentine’s Day, anyone?) or a small dinner party!  

Like this recipe?  Check these out, too!

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Instant Pot hort Rib Chili

Braised Pork Ragu

Pomegranate Braised Short Ribs from How Sweet Eats

Short Rib Ravioli with Brussels Sprouts from Molly’s Home Cooking

Slow Cooker Beer Braised Short Ribs

Print Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 3-4 lbs short ribs
  • 2 yellow onions diced
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 12 ounce bottle beer (I used a Porter)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • Parmesan Polenta:
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Additional Parmesan cheese for topping
  • Rosemary sprigs for garnish


  • Sprinkle short ribs with salt and pepper on all sides and place into slow cooker.
  • Top with onions, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaves.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together beer, beef broth, tomato paste, brown sugar, and dijon mustard.
  • Pour over short ribs.
  • Cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4 hours.
  • Remove the short ribs from the slow cooker.
  • Skim the fat off the sauce in the slow cooker, and using an immersion blender, puree the onions and celery into the sauce.
  • Serve with Parmesan polenta.
  • To make the polenta:
  • Add chicken broth and garlic to a medium pot and bring to a simmer.
  • Whisk in polenta.
  • Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until thick, about 10 minutes.
  • Once thickened, add heavy cream, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, stirring to combine.
  • Serve topped with short ribs, rosemary, and additional Parmesan cheese, and a light drizzle of the sauce.
Tried this recipe?Mention @greensnchocolate to let me know!
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Recipe Rating

  1. Hi! I have been looking for a short rib recipe. I’ve never made them but have had them and really love. This sounds amazing and simply. Have you ever tried doubling it – I would like to make it for a dinner party. Maybe I could use to slow cookers if you think it’s too much in one?

    Also, I’ve never really purchased short ribs. Is there anything I should look for regarding quality of the meat?

    Thank you!