Slow-Cooker Ginger, Sweet Tea, and Whiskey Short Ribs Recipe


Short ribs are often considered a cold weather dish, but we gave them a makeover for summer with a bright, tangy sauce (inspired by spiked sweet tea) and a fresh, herbal topping of parsley, scallions, and lemon zest. Serve these easy-to-prepare slow cooker ribs atop grits, mashed potatoes, or egg noodles or alongside potato salad with a tangy, vinegar-based (not mayonnaise-based) dressing.

Slow-Cooker Ginger, Sweet Tea, and Whiskey Short Ribs
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
8 hrs
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 short rib)


  • 4 (12-oz.) bone-in beef short ribs, trimmed

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 3 medium-size yellow onions, sliced (about 5 cups)

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 1/2 Tbsp.)

  • 1 (3-in.) piece fresh ginger, sliced

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz.), plus 1 Tbsp. (1/2 oz.) rye whisky, divided

  • 1 cup sweet tea

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon warm water

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions (about 4 scallions)

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest plus 2 tsp. fresh juice (from about 2 lemons)

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Sprinkle short ribs with pepper and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Heat canola oil in a large (12-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add ribs, and cook until well browned, about 10 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker.

  2. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to skillet, and cook over medium-high, stirring often, until onions are very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of the whiskey, and cook 1 minute. Stir in tea and broth, and bring to a simmer, about 3 minutes. Pour onion mixture over ribs in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW until meat is very tender and falling off the bone, about 7 hours.

  3. Remove ribs, and set aside. Pour mixture from slow cooker through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a medium saucepan; discard solids. Cook liquid in pan over medium-high until reduced by half (about 1 1/2 cups), 10 to 12 minutes. Add sherry vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon whiskey. Stir together cornstarch and warm water; stir into mixture in pan, and bring to a simmer, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

  4. Combine parsley, scallions, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Serve ribs in whiskey sauce topped with parsley mixture.

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