Slow Cooker Bourbon Short Ribs with Cheesy Grits

For a gluten free version of this dish, toss the short ribs in a light dusting of gluten-free flour or cornstarch before browning.

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 8 hours
  • Yield: 6 servings


For the short ribs:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 to 4 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Orange zest, for garnish

For the cheesy grits:

  • 1 cup coarse ground corn grits
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Special equipment:


1 Quickly brown the short ribs: Toss flour with salt and pepper and coat ribs well in the mixture.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the short ribs and brown well on all sides, working in batches so as to not crowd the pan.

When the short ribs are browned well, transfer them to a slow cooker.

Braised Short Ribs in the Slow Cooker coat the ribs in flour Braised Short Ribs in the Slow Cooker brown the short ribs

2 Scrape up the pan drippings: Add the shallot, carrots, and celery to the skillet along with 1/2 cup of water. Use the liquid to scrape up any bits stuck to the pan.

Transfer the vegetables (they don’t need to be fully cooked) to the slow cooker along with any liquid from the skillet.

Slow Cooker Short Ribs Recipe add the broth and veggies

3 Slow cook the short ribs and veggies: Add beef broth, bourbon, brown sugar, Worcestershire, garlic, and bay leaf to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 5 to 6 hours).

Slow Cooker Short Ribs Recipe transfer to the slow cooker

4 Cook the grits: When there’s about thirty minutes left on the short ribs, heat the stock in a medium pot over medium heat until it’s simmering.

Whisk in corn grits in a steady stream. Turn the heat down to low, and cover the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes until grits are thick and tender. Stir regularly to prevent sticking.

The only way to truly know when grits are done is to taste them. If they are crunchy, keep going and if you need to add more liquid, then do so.

When the grits are soft, add salt, pepper, butter, and cheese and stir to combine. Keep warm until ready to serve. If the grits get too thick (they hold their shape if stirred and don’t flow back into a single layer), add water by the 1/4 cup to loosen the grits.

Braised Beef Short Ribs Recipe cook the grits Braised Beef Short Ribs Recipe whisk in the cheese

5 Serve: Divide the grits onto between plates and top each plate with a short rib. Add the veggies and a few spoonfuls of juice from the slow cooker as well and garnish with fresh orange zest.

Beef Short Ribs Recipe in the Slow Cooker slow cook the short ribs Braised Beef Short Ribs Recipe plate the short ribs

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  • Mary

    wow ,way to sweet. dumped part of the gravy and added more beef broth. this is more asian in taste. will try again without the brown sugar.

  • Ashley



  • Traveler

    The first time I made this, I took the suggestions to cut back on the amount of brown sugar. It was still too sweet. The second time I cut out the brown sugar completely – much better.


  • Chad

    How about liquid smoke in mix?


    I too thought they were a little sweet, but I’ll eat every bit you put in front of me! I slow cooked them on Sunday, put the whole Crock Pot in the fridge overnight, and the next day I chipped out the layer of fat on top before heating them up again. I also added some fresh thick cut Mushrooms since I had them. And at the very end, I added a mixture of about 1 Tsp Corn Starch and 1 TBL Light Cream, to thicken it up for about 10 minutes. And sorry but I skipped the Grits and went straight to Egg Noodles, but you can’t go wrong either way. Great Meal, plus I have leftovers for tonight! :-)


  • Cheryl

    Very delicious!!! I cut down on brown sugar to 1/4. Would I make it again? Heck, yes!!!


  • rebecca lindsey

    Made this tonight and it was so good, first attempt at making grits and I was nervous, but they turned out soooo good. Kids thought ribs were a little sweet (yes I know weird) but hubby and I loved it. A keeper

  • Mimi B

    Made this in our Crockpot yesterday and it was beyond delicious. Served it over mashed potatoes and it was perfect. Looking forward to even more goodness when we serve the leftovers. My only negative comment is that short ribs are expensive, so, unfortunately, this recipe won’t be on my regular rotation. However, it will certainly be a “go-to” for special occasions! Thanks so much!

  • Kristen Skillicorn

    This was AMAZING!!! I served it over cous cous, and it was a delicious combo. My husband is a very picky eater, and he said it’s one of his favorite dishes I’ve made. I’ll definitely be making this again.


  • Lauri S.

    Great recipe! I cooked it in my instant pot for 45 minutes with a 15 min NPR. I also cut the brown sugar down to 1/3 C. Also added a heavy splash of cream to the grits while they were cooking. I definitely under salted the ribs before cooking. This recipe will definitely be added to my winter rotation.


  • Tany

    This was a solid miss for my family. Too sweet, I had to cut sweetness with a good amount of acidity. This level of sweet is not what I usually want on beef short ribs. The grits were good, but I prefer savory grits cooked with milk not stock. I would no make this again.