Tender Juicy Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs in a Crock Pot {Paleo Recipe}

by Krista on January 10, 2014 · 70 comments

Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs |Paleo Recipes

A hearty, slow cooked, and flavor packed Paleo recipe, made with Beef Short Ribs and Balasmic Vinegar. This dish totally delivers on taste!

Alright folks, you are in for more Paleo Recipe Madness or should I say goodness. :)

In this case, it is definitely goodness, because let me tell you. These Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs rock!

Have you ever tried one of those healthy frozen meals before? You know the weight watchers or lean cuisine type? Most of the time they are pretty good, but you can always tell that there is just some flavoring missing from the dish that just leaves you wanting more. Or saying, “it was ok”.

These Short Ribs are no where close to that. They are packed with flavor, starting from the spice rub that gets seared into the meat in the beginning. And ending in the sweet tomato balsamic sauce in the end. The best part is, no sugar. This dish is sweetened with whole dried dates. It is also super easy to make because after searing the short ribs you throw them into the crock pot and let the slow cooker do its magic.

Again.. WIN!

Did I mention its Paleo? Yeah, definitely going to be making this one again. I ended up serving this along with the Honey Roasted Carrot recipe I posted the other day. It worked perfectly together! You don’t need rice or potatoes to fill the “space”, this dish is satisfying in and of itself!

To get started, in a small bowl mix together 2 tablespoon of course sea salt, 1 tablespoon of rosemary, 1 tablespoon of sage, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1 tablespoon of paprika, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

Balsamic Short Ribs 1Pat dry 2-3 lbs. of bone-in beef short ribs. Rub spice blend into both sides of the short ribs.  Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to pan and sear the short ribs for 2-3 minutes per side or until slightly browned.

Balsamic Short Ribs 4Put the short ribs in a slow cooker with a 15 oz. can of tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar, 4 whole dried dates, and 6 cloves of garlic smashed.

Balsamic Short Ribs 5Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until beef is tender. Serve with Honey Roasted Carrots.

Balsamic Short Ribs Balsamic Short Ribs #paleo #cleaneating #shortribs #beef #balsamic #braised #maindish

4.5 from 2 reviews
Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs |Paleo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 2-3 lbs. of bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • ½ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 whole dried dates
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
Spice Blend:
  • 2 tablespoon of course sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  1. In a small bowl, mix together course sea salt, dried rosemary, dried sage, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper.
  2. Pat dry bone-in beef short ribs. Rub spice blend into both sides of the short ribs.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add coconut oil to pan and sear the short ribs for 2-3 minutes per side or until slightly browned.
  4. Put the short ribs in a slow cooker with a tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, whole dried dates, and smashed garlic cloves.
  5. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until beef is tender.
  6. Serve with Honey Roasted Carrots
Recipe from Practical Paleo


{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

marcie January 10, 2014 at 7:47 AM

Those ribs look so succulent and flavorful! That’s a meal everyone in my family would be thrilled about. :)


Krista January 10, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Thanks Marcie, they definitely just fall apart with a fork and the sauce is amazing! Hope you get a chance to make it and wow your family. Thanks for stopping girl, hope you have a great weekend!


Melanie @ Carmel Moments January 10, 2014 at 8:14 AM

These look gorgeous and simple! You’re making me hungry for dinner already. ;)


Krista January 10, 2014 at 2:25 PM

haha… I feel like lately I have always been hungry. But I guess thats what happens when your a food blogger and look at food all day, sheesh!

Thank you so much for the foodie props Melanie! Hope you have a great weekend my dear!


Joanne/WineladyCooks January 10, 2014 at 8:49 AM

This looks and sounds amazing. Pinned and shared.


Krista January 10, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Awesome Thank you so much Joanne! Appreciate the bloggy love! :)


Monica January 10, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Looks delicious! Pinned!


Krista January 10, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Thanks Monica! Hope you have a great weekend!


Amanda H @EatHardWorkHard January 10, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Ah these look so good and I LOVE that they are made in the slow cooker! Amazing!!


Krista January 10, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Oh Amanda, you have no idea! They are absolutely delicious and the sauce with this is to die for. But I am also a balsamic vinegar freak. :) Thanks for stopping by girl!


Kristin @ Dizzy Busy and Hungry! January 10, 2014 at 4:33 PM

This is gorgeous and looks delicious too! Pinning!


Krista January 11, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Thanks Kristin, so delicious and love that it is paleo so its healthy for ya too! :) Thanks for the pin. Hope you have a great weekend!


Zainab @ Blahnik Baker January 10, 2014 at 5:07 PM

My stomach is growling!!! This looks so good Krista. I love that it is slow cooked and will be ready when I get home. Your photos are making me drool…so mouth watering.


Krista January 11, 2014 at 2:42 PM

haha.. my stomach is growling too. But its because I need BREAD! :)

The slow cooker is totally my favorite part about this dish, oh and the amazing balsamic sauce! YUM. :) Thanks so much for popping in and the fun comments Zainab. Made my day! :)


Patty January 10, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Hi Krista, I found you through SITS and I’ve spent the last 35 minutes copying and drooling over the recipes on your blog! Oh my word, what a blessing it is to have found you; I’m just starting out in the Paleo journey and have been looking for some yummy, yet normal recipes that I can make for my family! Finding this blog is like hitting the jackpot!
And by the way, you have gorgeous hair! ;)


Krista January 11, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Awesome Patty! So excited that my site can be a blessing to you! The Paleo journey is a hard one in the beginning. Getting your pantry “Paleo stocked” and then for me no wheat or sugar has been hard. I like my bread and cookies. :) But so worth it!

Thank you so much for stopping in on my SITS day and for the sweet comments! Hope you have a great rest of the weekend my dear!


Lisa @ Cooking with Curls January 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Those look absolutely amazing Krista!! I bet they taste amazing as well. I can’t wait to try them. I’m making your Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles this weekend. :)


Krista January 11, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Oh girl, you have no idea! :) HOLY YUM is all I have to say.

Enjoy those peanut noodles Lisa, eat some pasta and think of me. {I know I will be thinking of you hehe :)} Have a great weekend!


Kelly January 10, 2014 at 10:10 PM

These ribs look amazing Krista! I love how flavorful they sound and making them in the slow-cooker is an awesome idea!! They look so juicy and perfect, my hubby would love this for sure! Happy Friday and hope you have a wonderful weekend:)


Krista January 11, 2014 at 2:47 PM

If you’re husbands like my and a “meat lover” than he will for sure drool over these. The slow cooker is totally my favorite part about this dish! So easy and full of flavor. Thanks stopping by Kelly, hope you have a great weekend!


Erin {Delightful E Made} January 11, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Oh, WOW!! These short-ribs look so amazing. Have pinned! Stopping by from Show Stopper Saturday. Thanks for hosting another great party. Have a wonderful week! ~E


Krista January 11, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Thanks Erin, there were just as amazing to eat too. hehe… totally gonna have to make them again, next time my husband wants them shredded and in a taco though haha. :) Hope you have a great weekend, thanks for linking up girl!


Linda @ it all started with paint January 11, 2014 at 12:49 PM

I’m in love with this madness goodness! Salivating over here on this side of the computer screen! Pinning for sure!

Thanks so much for the amazing inspiration!

:) Linda


Krista January 11, 2014 at 6:35 PM

haha… too funny! Well, don’t drool on your keyboard, thats just gross. :) Thanks for the pin and the laugh Linda. Hope you have a great rest of your weekend!


Ashlyn @ Belle of the Kitchen January 11, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Oh my goodness, YUM! These look so delicious and I love that you can make them using a crock pot! Easy! I like to “dabble” in Paleo, so this is the perfect recipe. :) Pinning!


Krista January 11, 2014 at 2:31 PM

I was a dabbler too, but girl, I’m starting to really think about doing it! :) Most of the food is still so good! Thanks for pin Ashlyn, have a great weekend!


Julie @ This Gal Cooks January 11, 2014 at 1:33 PM

These look so darn good, Krista! Wish I had some of these right now. Pinned and sharing of FB and twitter!


Krista January 11, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Thanks Julie! They were pretty amazing, I could probably just drink the sauce, ok, maybe not, but better close to it! :) Thanks for the pins and sharing!


Trish January 11, 2014 at 2:51 PM

This look YUMMY!!!!!!! Pinning to Pinterest & printing to make immediately! Thanks!


Krista January 11, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Awesome Trish! Thank you so much, I hope you like it my dear! Have a great weekend!


Gloria @ Simply Gloria January 11, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Yes! I have to agree, this beef rocks! Krista, you always make meals like this so tasty. I love how you used balsamic… they must take amazing! I’m definitely putting this on my list the next time the fam wants some short ribs! (=


Krista January 11, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Aww… make me blush. Thanks girl, and yes the balsamic was amazing, gave it a sweet taste and compliment the tomato sauce perfectly! :) I am totally turned on to short ribs after this dish. Thanks for stopping by sweet friend!


Krystle(Baking Beauty) January 12, 2014 at 10:46 PM

These look so delicious! pinning!


Krista January 13, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Thanks Krystle! :)


Renee@Two in the Kitchen January 16, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Oh Krista, these short ribs are making my mouth water! They look so fall off the bone tender!!! Pinning!!


Krista January 19, 2014 at 8:24 PM

haha… well they will water even more once you taste them. DE-lish! Thanks for the pin sweet friend. :)


Martha@A Family Feast January 17, 2014 at 11:50 AM

These look amazing! (And – gorgeous photos! We always struggle with getting beef to photograph well – but these look fantastic!!)


Krista January 19, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Thanks so much Martha! Yes, meat is definitely hard, its hard to make it look as juicy and delicious as it really is. :)

P.S. I don’t think you could take a bad picture! You pics are always amazing!


Mary January 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Seasoned, browned and in the pot! Smells amazing. Will be accompanied by braised kale, honey carrots and a little dab of horseradish mashed po’s all floating above that delicious sauce. Yum.


Krista January 29, 2014 at 9:04 PM

ok… mouth watering! I need the recipe for those horseradish potatoes, we love horseradish and I bet it was awesome with those short ribs. Wish I could come over for dinner! Yum Mary. :)


Rob February 10, 2014 at 10:47 AM

This short ribs look great!! I’m definitely going to make then but wanted to see how thick the ribs you used were?


Krista February 10, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Oh… Rob I made them a while ago and to be honest I don’t remember. But, usually when I buy my meat I look for the thickest ones. I bought a package that was about 3 lbs. So I would recommend looking at the poundage on the outside of the meat wrapper and make sure it is at least 3lbs, so it gives you the most meat. Hope that helps. If you have more questions totally let me know, always here to help!


Alex February 12, 2014 at 7:17 PM

I could only find boneless short ribs out by me. Would this change the cooking time at all? Or should it be situation normal?


Krista February 12, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Hey Alex, it will not change the cooking time but it will change the sauce consistency. The sauce will be a little thinly because the bones in the meat actually help thicken the sauce. The flavors will all still be there though. :) Hope that helps Alex!


Trent February 18, 2014 at 10:52 AM

I just bought 1.5 lbs of grass fed boneless short ribs. I figured that was enough for 2 people to experiment for my first time with short ribs. Will boneless work with this recipe? And such a small amount?

Thank you!!!


Krista February 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Hey Trent! 1.5lbs of short ribs should still be fine. I would make it the same. The only thing that might be different is the consistency of the sauce, which will be a little thinly. The bones in the short ribs actually help thicken up the sauce, but I’ve made it with boneless before and the flavor is still spot on good! :) Hope you enjoy it!


Trent February 18, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Krista, could this be done with a pressure cooker? If so, what changes would I need to make with ingredients?

Using boneless

Thank you!


Krista February 18, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Hey Trent, I’m not completely sure because I’ve never used a pressure cooker before. I looked it up online and from what I can see, cook it on high for 20 minutes. But again, I’m not completely confident in this because I’ve never used one before. You’ll have to let me know how it turns out! :)


Trent February 19, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Krista, thanks for the info. I tried it last night and it was amazing. It was my first time using a pressure cooker and it turned out great. It took 25 minutes with the first 5 minutes getting it to the right “pressure” temp. I lowered it to med:high when it locked in the pressure. I wound up using bone-in short ribs. The sauce was so good that I scooped out the rest and poured all over the dish. The bones were completely off by the time I opened the top of the cooker.

I also made the carrots in the oven while it cooked.

I can’t believe how tender it was with only 20-25 minutes. Thank you for the recipe. I look forward to trying more of your paleo stuff!


Krista February 19, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Absolutely! Sooooo glad to hear that it went well for you. Sounds like I need to get a pressure cooker and cut down on the cooking time… 6 hours or 25 minutes? um… 25 minutes ding ding ding!!! :)

Glad you ended up using the bone-in short ribs, the sauce truly is to die for and combined with the carrots its a winner.

Thanks for popping in and letting me know how it turned out! Always love hearing that!


Trent February 26, 2014 at 1:11 PM

I’m trying it with the slow cooker tonight. Lots of pressure on the slow cooker to perform after the results from the pressure cooker ;)

Chassidy March 4, 2014 at 8:03 AM

What would be a sub if you don’t have dates?


Krista March 4, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Hey Chassidy, you could try dried figs or apricots. The dates or just to sweeten the dish a little bit. So you could even use honey if you’d like. Hope that helps! :)


Chassidy March 4, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Great, thanks! Will try with Simply Fruit apricot preserves.


Krista March 4, 2014 at 7:43 PM

awesome, let me know how it turns out Chassidy!


Lana April 9, 2014 at 9:20 PM

Hi I have made this 3 x and my family love it! My husband loves it and my 3 kids! It’s so easy to chuck in the slow cooker in the morning then serve in the evening! I serve it with mashed sweet potato and cabage with bacon!! Thank you so much!!! Much appreciation from Australia!! X


Krista April 11, 2014 at 1:25 PM

I know! I love that all I have to do is throw it in the crockpot and then a couple hours later deliciousness is waiting. :) The mashed potatoes with cabbage and bacon sounds outstanding!!! So excited that your family loved it and that is a repeat recipe in your home, makes my heart happy! Thanks for leaving a note Lana, always love hearing from my readers!


Susan May 3, 2014 at 9:48 AM

I have to watch salt and night-shade vegetables.
Can you suggest substitutes for salt or (how low can I go in terms of amount??) and for tomato sauce??
I would love to try it in a pressure cooker.


Krista May 5, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Hey Susan,
Sorry about the slow response. I was out of commission all weekend. :)

As far as the salt part you can definitely half the amount used or omit it completely amp up the herbs a little bit and use the juice of 1 lemon instead. Alot of times I will use a little bit of salt and use lemon to enhance that salt flavor, it works great. ;)

In regards to the tomato sauce I’m not completely sure to be honest. Thats a hard one to mimic. I did some research and found that you could use tamarind concentrate as a substitute for tomato paste or sauce {if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, use 1/4 cup of tamarind concentrate, basically half the amount} or you could also try to use a can of butternut squash or sweet potato puree. {without the spices of course}

Hope this helps Susan. Let me know if you have any more questions!



Jess @ Crunchy Hot Mama June 10, 2014 at 7:53 PM

These are in the crock pot as.we.speak and I can’t wait to try them :)

I just found you and saw that you live in Texas! Where are you located? I’m in the Dallas area and love finding other bloggers in this great state ;) I’m looking forward to perusing your site to find more yummy recipes!


Krista June 11, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Yeah! Hope you like them Jess!

I live in the Houston area, I know a couple in the austin and dallas area but none in Houston. :( So glad you stopped by to say hi Jess.. enjoy those short ribs!


Krista February 26, 2014 at 1:43 PM

haha.. you will have to let me know how they compare. If the pressure cooker is better than I am going to head out and get one! :)


Trent March 11, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Ok, so I have now tried the pressure cooker twice and the slow cooler once. The pressure cooker won both times. Was very shocked but both my wife and I thought it was more tender and tastier with the pressure cooker. Both ways were good but pressure cooker gets slight edge for taste and huge edge for time saver.

Thanks again for the recipe. We’ll be trying some other paleo recipes you have.


Krista March 13, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Awesome… sounds like I need to get a pressure cooker for sure. Thanks for the feedback as always Trent. :)


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