1. Rinse short ribs, and pat dry. Remove and discard silver skin, if necessary. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper.
2. Cook short ribs in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat 10 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer ribs to a 6-qt. slow cooker.
3. Add broth and next 5 ingredients to slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 6 hours or until meat is tender. Serve over hot cooked grits. Sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme, if desired.