Slow-Cooker Short Ribs with Pork Rind Gremolata

Hey Y'all host Ivy Odom shares dinner party pointers that involve one showstopping recipe; a few shortcuts; and plenty of time to eat, drink, and be merry.

Slow-Cooker Short Ribs with Pork Rind Gremolata
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
35 mins
Slow Cook Time:
7 hrs
Total Time:
7 hrs 35 mins

During the month of December, my kitchen never closes. From family gatherings to cookie exchanges with friends, I host and attend more parties than at any other time of the year. Like most people, I have my tried-and-true Christmas favorites that always make a comeback. Some are intensive baking projects like intricate iced cookies or fancy cakes, and others are quick, crowd-pleasing dishes that I can throw together at a moment's notice. While these recipes will remain staples for me during the holidays, I still find myself looking for easy new meals to serve for hungry houseguests.

This recipe for Slow-Cooker Short Ribs with Pork Rind Gremolata checks every box for my dinner party menu. It's a fresh take on a comforting classic that looks impressive without being too fussy. And best of all, it's mostly made in a slow cooker, which gives me plenty of time to entertain without much standing over the stove. It can even be made a day or two in advance. Even though good food is always at the center of every Southern celebration, it's getting to spend extra time with the ones we love that matters most.


  • 3 pounds beef chuck short ribs (about 8 [7-oz.] short ribs) 

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 4 cups sliced yellow onions (from 2 medium onions)

  • 1 ½ cups beef stock

  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus ½ cup fresh juice (from 1 large orange), divided

  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, unpeeled and sliced

  • 1 garlic head, halved crosswise and loose, papery skins discarded

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon warm water

  • ½ cup crumbled pork rinds (from about 6 pork rinds)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • Hot cooked grits or polenta, for serving


  1. Sprinkle ribs evenly with pepper and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Heat oil in a large (12-inch) cast-iron skillet over high. When oil is very hot, add ribs to skillet, working in batches if needed. Cook until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer ribs, bone sides up, to a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker.

  2. Reduce heat under skillet to medium-high. Add onions and ½ teaspoon of the salt to skillet, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer onions to slow cooker; discard drippings in skillet. Add beef stock, orange juice, ginger, and garlic to slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW until meat is very tender and falling off the bones, about 7 hours.

  3. Remove ribs from slow cooker, and set aside. Pour remaining mixture in slow cooker through a fine mesh strainer into a medium saucepan; discard solids. Cook liquid in pan over medium-high until reduced by half (about 1 cup), 10 to 12 minutes. Stir together cornstarch and warm water in a small bowl; whisk into liquid in pan, and cook until sauce simmers, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

  4. Stir together pork rinds, parsley, orange zest, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Spoon sauce onto a plate, and place ribs on sauce. Garnish with pork rind mixture, and serve with grits.

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