Sweet and Spicy Short Ribs

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 6 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 6 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chile powder

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

4 pounds bone-in short ribs (about 2 inches thick)

3/4 cup apple butter

1/4 cup yellow mustard

1/4 cup ketchup

1 cup apple cider

3 carrots, thinly sliced

5 scallions (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced

Cornbread, for serving


  1. Combine the flour, brown sugar, chile powder, garlic, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle all over the short ribs and rub into the meat. Arrange the ribs in a single layer in a 6-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle any of the remaining flour mixture on top.
  2. Whisk the apple butter, mustard, ketchup and cider in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until very hot, then transfer to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high, 4 hours.
  3. Using tongs, turn the ribs in the sauce to coat, then remove to a bowl. Skim off the fat from the sauce (there will be quite a bit), then return the ribs to the sauce and add the carrots and scallions. Cover and cook on high, 2 more hours. Serve with cornbread.
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