These Coca-Cola Braised Short Ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and easier to make than you might think. Serve them shredded over mashed potatoes, polenta, or risotto, or for a complete comforting meal perfect for wintertime!
Braised Short Ribs Are the Perfect Comfort Food
‘Tis the season for low-and-slow-cooked comfort foods.
I have a thing for beef short ribs. What can I say, they’re delicious. Cooked low and slow they end up fall off the bone tender. So tender, in fact, that you can leave the knife in its drawer because these are literally so tender a fork will get the job done.
And if I’m honest, that is one of the very few things that I enjoy about the cold weather months (other than the holidays, of course). What can I say, I’m a summer baby and prefer longer, brighter, warmer days.
So, warm bowls of rich, delicious, stick-to-your-bones comfort food are the silver lining that help get me through these dreary winter months. That and blankets, boots, roaring fires, beanies, and bourbon — sometimes all at once with a bowl of these slow cooker short ribs!
Why You Should Cook Short Ribs with Coca-Cola
I recently partnered with Coca-Cola for an Instagram campaign where I created these braised beef short ribs. And I knew they were just too tasty not to share on the blog, and after you make them yourself, I think you’ll agree!
Coca-Cola, is my preferred soda and has been since as far back as I can remember. I am from Georgia after all, which — fun fact — happens to also be the birthplace of Coca-Cola and home of the World of Coca-Cola.
I cook with soda fairly often in my recipes like our this Instant Pot Pulled Pork and Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs. And can I just say … YUM! The soda gives the beef in this braised short ribs recipe and my other pressure-cooked pork recipes an underlying sweetness that doesn’t overpower the meat, but compliments it beautifully. It also helps tenderize the meat, making it fork tender and delicious.
Key Ingredients for Coca-Cola Braised Short Ribs
- Beef Short Ribs: This is one of my favorite cuts of red meat to cook low and slow. After two hours of cook time, it becomes ultra flavorful and fall-off-the-bone tender, as any ribs should be!
- Oil: You’ll use extra virgin olive oil in this short ribs recipe to keep the meat from sticking to your dutch oven and help it get nice and seared.
- Seasonings: One of the best parts of this recipe is how simple it is and its ingredients are. All you need seasonings-wise is salt and pepper. Really!
- Herbs: The beef short ribs derive their flavor from the Coca-Cola and the fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and dried bayleaf.
- Vegetables: Carrots, celery, onion, and garlic also take these braised short ribs to the next level and help produce that luscious gravy you’ll spoon over the shredded beef and bed of potatoes. YUM!
- Coca-Cola: AKA my secret ingredient for these short ribs. The soda’s sweetness compliments the beef, veggies, and herbs, and the carbonation helps tenderize the red meat. It’s a perfect combo!
- Beef Stock: This helps braise the beef along with the Coca-Cola and produce the scrumptious jus.
- Tomato Paste: The balance of tart and sweet from the tomato paste helps to balance out the rest of the flavors in these braised short ribs. (Check out my recipe to learn how to make your own!)
How To Make Coca-Cola Braised Short Ribs
Our short ribs start out getting seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs and then they’re set aside for a spell to take the chill off. A quick sear on all sides and then the vegetables join the party pot to soften. Next come the liquids and remaining ingredients. Then the low and slow magic happens. You’ll know it’s happening because your house will smell amazing while the short ribs are cooking away until they are fall off the bone tender.
Follow these steps to make these Coca-Cola braised short ribs at home!
- Season ribs in a large bowl with salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme. Cover with saran wrap, and allow ribs to come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a deep-sided, heavy-bottom, oven-safe Dutch oven.
- Add short ribs to the Dutch oven and brown on all sides. Do not crowd the pan, so do this in batches if necessary. Transfer browned ribs to a plate, and set aside.
- Add veggies to the the Dutch oven, and sauté until softened.
- Add Coca-Cola, broth, bay leaf, and tomato paste. Stir to combine and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
- Return ribs to Dutch oven. Cover with lid and transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 2 hours, turning ribs half way through.
- After two hours, remove lid and continue cooking additional 45 minutes OR until ribs are fall off the bone tender.
- Remove bay leaf and discard.
- Serve short ribs and enjoy!
What Should I Serve with These Short Ribs?
Once they’re cooked, you can shred the meat or leave it as is with the bone. Either way, serve the meat and jus over a creamy bed of mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, risotto, or polenta. That sauce is splendid and something to text home about!
How To Cook Slow Cooker Short Ribs with Coca-Cola
While this recipe calls for cooking the braised short ribs in the oven, you can also make them in your trusted slow cooker. Just follow these steps:
- Season the ribs all over with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the ribs and cook, turning, until they’re browned on all sides.
- To your slow cooker, add the browned ribs and top with vegetables.
- Combine jus ingredients — the beef stock, Coca-Cola, and tomato paste — in a separate bowl, and add to the ribs. Place the thyme, rosemary, and bayleaf on top.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 8 hours.
- Taste after the cooking time has passed, and add more salt and pepper, as needed. Serve, and Enjoy!
If you’re a fan of your Crock Pot, then check out my cookbook, “Slow Cook All Day. The Ultimate Cookbook of Hands-Off Slow Cooker Recipes.” It features 100 classic, home-cooked recipes that can cook all day in your slow cooker with minimal effort. with minimal effort. Perfect for busy weeknight meals and low-effort weekend family dinners. It makes a great stocking stuffer or Christmas gift this time of year!
How To Make Instant Pot Short Ribs
Just when you thought this recipe couldn’t get any easier, you can also make these Coca-Cola braised short ribs the Instant Pot. Just follow these simple steps:
- Brown Short Ribs in Instant Pot: Set your Instant Pot to Sauté mode. Wait until it says HO, and add the olive oil. (High temps prevent the meat from sticking.) While you’re waiting for the insert to heat up, season all sides of your short ribs generously with salt and pepper. Add the short ribs to the insert, and brown each side for 4 minutes. Do in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pot. Remove from Instant Pot once browned, and set aside.
- Sauté Veggies and Spices: Add the sliced onions to your Instant Pot, and sauté until soften. Add chopped garlic, and sauté until fragrant. Then, add chopped carrots, celery, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and bay leaf and sauté for a minute or two.
- Deglaze Instant Pot: Combine the Coca-Cola, beef stock, and tomato paste in a separate bowl. Then, pour into Instant Pot with veggies and spices to deglaze the insert. Scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, and give it a quick mix.
- Pressure Cook Short Ribs: Add browned short ribs to the pot and cook on High for 15 minutes. Once done cooking, let the pressure naturally release for another 10 minutes or so.
- Serve and enjoy!
How To Store, Freeze, and Reheat These Coca-Cola Short Ribs
- To Store: Keep leftover Coca-Cola braised short ribs in an airtight container in your fridge for up to four days.
- To Freeze: Store in an airtight, freezer-safe container or Ziplock bag for up to three months. (TIP: Shred the beef off the bone and freeze flat. This will free up more space in your freezer.)
- To Reheat: Place in microwave-safe bowl or plate and heat in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
More Recipes To Try
If you like these Coca-Cola Braised Short Ribs, then you’ll love these comfort food recipes:
- Braised Beef Brisket
- Lasagna Bolognese
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Air Fried Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Slow Cooker Picadillo
- Skillet Swedish Meatballs
Coca-Cola Braised Short Ribs
These Coca Cola Braised Short Ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender. Serve over mashed potatoes for a comfort meal that's perfect for winter!
- 4 pounds beef short ribs
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
- 2 carrots – peeled and finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery – finely chopped
- 1 small onion – minced
- 3 cloves garlic -minced
- 2 cups Coca-Cola
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- Place ribs into a bowl large enough to hold all ribs. Season ribs with
salt/pepper and herbs. Cover and allow ribs to come to room
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Into a deep sided heavy bottom Dutch oven heat oil over medium heat
- Add ribs and brown on all sides. Do this in batches if necessary. Do
not crowd the pan. Transfer browned ribs to a plate and set aside.
- To Dutch oven add: carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Saute until softened. Stirring as necessary.
- Add Coca-Cola, broth, tomato paste. Stir to combine. Add bay leaf.
- Return ribs to Dutch oven. Cover with lid.
- Transfer Dutch oven into oven and cook for 2 hours. Turning ribs half way through.
- Carefully remove lid and continue cooking additional 45 minutes OR until ribs are fall off the bone tender.
- Remove and discard bay leaf.
Sauce can be served as is OR for a smoother sauce, transfer ribs to serving platter, insert an immersion blender into Dutch oven and carefully blend until smooth. If sauce is too thick you can thin with additional beef broth if necessary. See blog for instructions on how to make this dish in the slow cooker and Instant Pot.
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Mary Sportegan says
I never cooked this and never tried it, but grace to your recipe has discovered a new dish. Many thanks
Making this dish this weekend. Sounds delish.
Yummy! The whole family loved it. Thank you for the recipe.
So glad y’all enjoyed it Zethina. Thanks for sharing with us.