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Bourbon and Black Pepper Braised Short Ribs

Paired with crispy corn fritters, these hearty short ribs make a satisfying meal. The meat becomes meltingly tender after long, slow braising in a slow cooker.


  • 4 lb. bone-in beef short ribs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 cups bourbon and black pepper barbecue sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Corn fritters for serving (see related recipe at left)


Season the short ribs with salt and pepper.

In the stovetop-safe insert of a slow cooker or in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil until almost smoking. Add half of the short ribs and brown on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining ribs.

Transfer the insert to the slow-cooker base; if using a sauté pan, transfer the ribs to a slow cooker. Return all the ribs to the slow cooker and add the onion, barbecue sauce and water. Cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer's instructions until the meat nearly falls off the bone, about 6 hours.

Transfer the ribs to a platter. Using paper towels, blot the excess sauce off the ribs. Skim the fat off the braising liquid and simmer the liquid until slightly thickened.

Meanwhile, preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat until smoking. Spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Working in batches, grill the ribs until nicely grill-marked, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the ribs to a platter and serve with corn fritters. Pass the sauce alongside. Serves 6.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.