Slow Cooker Tuscan Short Ribs cook themselves with very little prep. Beef short ribs are marinated in wine, beef broth, herbs and vegetables are slow cooked until the meat is fall off the bone tender. This is a hearty winter warmer meal. Quick to prepare, then let the slow cooker do all the work. Delicious served over polenta, with gnocchi or your favorite vegetable.

Pouring gravy over beef short ribs

Short ribs really have the most tender meat when slow cooked in the crockpot and being on the bone, adds a great depth of flavor.

What makes this recipe Tuscan? First and foremost it’s simple food with real, good quality, local ingredients. They cook a lot with fresh herbs, like rosemary, and fresh vegetables like fennel, carrots and onions along with flavor enhancers like fresh garlic, and of course a good red wine from the region.

Short ribs and gravy on a plate with carrots and rosemary

Short ribs cook down a lot and the meat shrinks on the bone, so they will be quite a bit small than when they’ve finished cooking. I like to serve 2 short ribs per person. 

This recipe comes with built-in gravy. If you are familiar with my roast chicken, you know I’m all about making gravy as meat cooks. 

To thicken the gravy, I like to use corn starch, not flour. When you use flour to thicken a gravy or sauce, it is best practice to ‘cook’ the flour in a little oil or butter first to take out the raw flavor. We don’t have the option to do this with this dish, so corn starch is used and perfect for thickening at the end.

Beef short ribs on polenta with carrots on a white plate

Slow Cooker Tuscan Short Ribs Serving Suggestion

Keeping the Italian theme, my favorite way to serve these beauties is over creamy polenta. Mash potato is also a delicious option.

Tuscan Short Ribs in the Dutch oven

If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can easily use the same recipe and use a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Details in the recipe.

Yield: 4

Slow Cooker Tuscan Short Ribs

An oval platter of Tuscan short ribs with carrots

Beef short ribs marinated in wine, beef broth, herbs and vegetables are slow cooked until the meat is fall off the bone tender.

Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 18 hours


  • 1 1/2 cups (354 ml) Tuscan red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups (354 ml) beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt (depending on how salty your broth is)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 8 beef short ribs
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup (150 grams) yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery (225 grams), chopped
  • 1 cup (90 grams) fresh fennel, chopped
  • 8 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • For the polenta
  • 3 ½ cups (448 grams) low sodium or unsalted chicken stock/broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt (depending how salty your broth is)
  • 1 cup (220 grams) yellow cornmeal, medium or fine grind


  1. To a large bowl, add the wine, broth, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Whisk to distribute the paste. Add the bay leaves, fresh rosemary, short ribs, garlic, onion, celery and fennel. Mix well so the ribs get coated well with the marinade. They don’t have to be completely submerged. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat a 6-quart (5.5 liter) slow cooker on low.
  3. Slow cooker method: Transfer the ribs to the slow cooker and pour over the marinade and all the vegetables. Nestle the carrots around the ribs. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
  4. Stove top/Dutch oven method: Transfer the ribs to a Dutch oven or large saucepan and pour over the marinade and all the vegetables. Nestle the carrots around the ribs. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
  5. When the meat is tender, remove the ribs and carrots from the slow cooker or pan and keep warm. Remove the bay leaves and pour the liquid into a pan along with the vegetables.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon corn starch to a small bowl and add a little water until dissolved. Stir into the liquid and bring to a simmer until thickened. Keep warm.
  7. Make the polenta right before serving. Add the stock/broth to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and add the salt. Whisk in the cornmeal and cook until the liquid has been absorbed and there are no lumps. Serve immediately topped with the ribs, vegetables and gravy.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 661Total Fat 35gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 155mgSodium 889mgCarbohydrates 53gProtein 54g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.