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Beef Short Ribs with Bourbon in a Slow Cooker

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“Can we bring back these short ribs?” my sons asked as they eyed the slow cooker simmering with the Beef Short Ribs in Bourbon — eight pounds of burly beef short ribs I had bought from Whole Foods. My boys were home for the weekend. Thankfully, I just got this wonderful new cookbook The Southern Slow Cooker by Kendra Bailey Morris, from the author herself. It had been a flurry of events the past weeks – family visiting from overseas, a nephew’s wedding, work deadlines, more family visiting and the boys coming home to visit. So,with the help of this cookbook, life got easier in the kitchen.


As I mentioned before, my sons are all grown but they come home often. When they do, I am blessed they like to take over the kitchen from brunch to dinner. And when they head back to their apartment, I always pack leftovers in plastic containers for the boys to bring. My sons  begged to bring this rich stew back with them. The hefty chunks of beef were cooking in a potent broth flavored with bourbon along with tomato sauce, chili sauce, and seasonings. The irresistible aroma of the beef spiked with bourbon had the men in this family hooked. Soon as they saw me uncork the bottle, they knew it was going to be splendid.

There are more than sixty recipes of favorite ‘slow cooked’ recipes in The Southern Slow Cooker cookbook. The author classified recipes into different types – ‘soul warming soups, stews and chilis’, ‘low and slow meats’, ‘vegetables and sides’ and even ‘desserts and sweets’ – yes, all done in a slow cooker


My first ever slow cooker was one we got as a wedding present in the Philippines. My kitchen has never been without one since. A slow cooker is the best friend of any mother, wife, woman, whether you’re busy or not, this kitchen appliance will make life so much easier for you. When we moved to the States, one of my first kitchen purchases was a slow cooker. Through the years, I’ve had different brands and sizes for varying occasions.

I found a lot of great recipes in this cookbook that appealed to our Asian palate and that would be great paired with rice, a staple on our table. I cooked these Ribs in Bourbon three times. I have also made “Aunt Barbara’s Beef Stew”. I plan on cooking the Cornish Game Hens with Apple Butter, and even making my own Apple Butter with the recipe here. The easy to do slow cooker desserts I found were divine – Chocolate Banana Cheesecake in Jars, Gingersnap Peach Upside-Down Cake and my goodness the Chocolate and Caramel Black Walnut Candies.Every recipe in this cookbook will appeal to anyone who loves honest to goodness home cooking with the convenience of a slow cooker. Ingredient lists are affordable, recipe ideas are ideal for any event, and wine to beer pairings are even included. As Kendra said to her followers “Makes cooking life so easy. I’m really hype about purchasing a slow cooker.”

Well, these beef short ribs slow cooked in bourbon were soooo good, that when my husband came home from work, hungry and raring to attack the tender fall-off-the-bone ribs, I had to break the news to him. “The boys loved the stew so much, they brought back the Beef Short Ribs in Bourbon. All of it. We are not having that for dinner tonight.”




Beef Short Ribs with Bourbon in a Slow Cooker

One of the easiest ways to make a meal is to put everything in a slow cooker and let the dish cook by itself. This is how I cooked these Beef Short Ribs in Bourbon in a Slow Cooker. I braised the beef ribs quickly on the stove and placed them in the slow cooker with the sauces, seasonings and rest of the ingredients. I left and came home to a large slow cooked entrée of beef short ribs falling off the bone, tender and succulent boldly flavored with bourbon and more. The original recipe of this was ‘Country Style Pork Ribs with Bourbon and Coke BBQ Sauce’ from “The Southern Slow Cooker: Big-Flavor, Low-Fuss Recipes for Comfort Food Classics” by Kendra Bailey Morris (Ten Speed Press, 2013). I used beef short ribs instead for this dish. Servings were for 4 if served with rice.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time7 hours 15 minutes
Total Time7 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Beef Short Ribs Bourbon
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 1352kcal


  • Slow cooker - 7 quarts


  • 8 pounds beef short ribs bone-in,lean with fat trimmed, cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Coke or Pepsi soda regular (do not use diet)
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy chili sauce bottled
  • 2 Tablespoons bourbon (or substitute with cognac)
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • for serving: boiled white rice
  • 1 whole onion sliced
  • 3/4 cup beef broth


  • Season the beef short ribs with a salt and black pepper.
  • Over medium high heat, heat a large skillet. Add the oil and after 1 to 2 minutes, add the short ribs. Brown well on all sides for 2 to 3 minutes to seal in the flavors. Add the garlic.
  • Separately prepare the slow cooker (about 7 quart size or more for this recipe) by spraying the inside with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the ketchup, cola, tomato paste, brown sugar, chili sauce, bourbon, cider vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, beef broth. Stir well. Then add this mixture to the slow cooker.
  • Add the ribs to the slow cooker, layering the larger ribs on the bottom. Cover the meat with the sauce and onions. Place the slow cooker cover and cook on HIGH for at least 6 to 7 hours until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. (Note: author suggested cook on LOW for at least 8 to 9 hours).
  • Once cooked, transfer ribs to a large platter and cover to keep warm. Reduce the sauce by pouring the leftover liquid into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes till slightly thickened. Pour the sauce over the ribs. Serve with boiled white rice. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
  • Cook’s comments: the original recipe in the cookbook used bone-in pork country-style ribs which are just as good if you prefer that meat cut. I used what I had on hand at the time and the beef short ribs were fantastic. For the spicy based sauce, the author suggested American brand chili sauce, but I used the spicy Ma Ploy sweet sour sauce I had on hand (from Asian markets).
  • Disclosure: I was not paid to review or mention this book. The cookbook was a gift from the author and it was such a perfect cooking helper that I highly recommend it to anyone who loves good home cooked meals but does not have the time to stay home all day. Find more information on "The Southern Slow Cooker" by Kendra Bailey Morris on Amazon.com.

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    Serving: 1g | Calories: 1352kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 129g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Cholesterol: 391mg | Sodium: 2118mg | Potassium: 2889mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 793IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 16mg

    Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.

    Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

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      1. Thanks, Nami! Agree with you. With the chillier days, I’ve been using the slow cooker more often now. Perfect for these beef short ribs in bourbon and many other slow stews. Glad you came by 🙂

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