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Food & Recipes

Fire Up Your Slow Cooker and Make These Tender, 3-Ingredient Short Ribs

Add this to your dinner rotation.


Chilly nights call for a comforting dinner, and tender short ribs fill that bill perfectly. Derived from the beef chuck portion of a cow, short ribs can be bought bone-in or boneless and cut Flanken or English style. Flanken-cut short ribs are sliced thin across the bone; English-cut short ribs are sliced between bones (to separate them). I prefer the latter, which can be fabricated to several 2-inch long pieces or left as is on a single bone. Because these short ribs are tough and fatty, cooking them low and slow is the way to go. In fact, there’s no better way to tenderize your meat than by using a slow cooker, and there’s no better short ribs recipe than this pomegranate teriyaki short ribs recipe — in my humble opinion.

Why Your Slow Cooker Makes the Best Short Ribs

A slow cooker is a home cook’s best friend. This workhorse appliance does all of the heavy lifting involved in braising short ribs, and it eliminates the need for constantly checking the pot. (Tip: Start the cooking process in the morning so your home is filled with a mouthwatering aroma all day.) Crockpot’s Cook and Carry Design Series 7-Quart Slow Cooker (Buy at Bed Bath and Beyond, $79.99) is a favorite for two reasons: It’s uniquely suited to feeding a large crowd; and it has a spill-proof locking lid that makes transporting food to picnics and family gatherings easy.

Slow Cooker Pomegranate Teriyaki Short Ribs Recipe

This recipe, from a recent issue of our print magazine First for Women, requires just three main ingredients: short ribs, pomegranate juice, and teriyaki sauce. For layered flavor and a richly caramelized exterior, sear the meat before slow cooking. To slash calories, swap regular teriyaki sauce for a low-sodium or sugar-free option. You can also double or triple the measurements of each ingredient to accommodate more servings.

Ingredients (Makes 2 servings):

  • 2 pounds beef short ribs (preferably English-cut)
  • 3 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup teriyaki sauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped scallions (optional for garnish)


  1. Coat bottom of pan with oil and heat over medium flame. Season short ribs with salt and pepper.
  2. Sear short ribs on all sides until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding. Place short ribs in slow cooker and discard excess grease from pan; keep meat bits on bottom of skillet.
  3. Deglaze pan with pomegranate juice and teriyaki sauce. Once combined, pour mixture over short ribs.
  4. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours or LOW 8 to 9 hours. Short ribs should be soft and tender when gently pulled with fork. (Optional: Before serving, skim fat from meat juices.)
  5. Serve each portion over rice with a spoonful of slow cooker juices and a few scallions.
My test of pomegranate teriyaki short ribs
Alexandria Brooks

My Taste Test

The short ribs’ cook time is an all-day affair, but it’s worth it. The meat had a buttery texture, and it pulled apart with ease; the sauce was at once salty, tangy, and sweet; and the scallions balanced the pomegranate-teriyaki combo perfectly. For a little spice, I added a spoonful of WUJU Chili Crisp (Buy from Amazon, $16.99) on top of my serving of short ribs. With Szechuan chilies and fried garlic, this condiments gives dishes (like pizza and eggs) a hint of both heat and crunch.

This recipe is going into my collection of slow cooker favorites for warming weeknight meals, alongside pumpkin mac and cheese and loaded baked potato soup.

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