Reduce the qt of beef stock to one cup in a shallow sauce pan or deep saute' pan and set aside. Season ribs with salt and pepper, then dredge with flour (I seasoned flour with salt and pepper also)until well coated.
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the ribs until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. When browned on all sides, remove from skillet and set aside. Reserve pan drippings for later.
To a slow cooker, add the onion as a bed, then add seared short ribs. Add as well any juice or drippings reserved from the pan. cover ribs with garlic cloves, fresh herbs, butter, salt and fresh cracked pepper. Add the stout beer and reduced stock.
Place lid on slow cooker and set to high. Cook for approximately 6 hours or until tender (mine only took 4 hours). Top short ribs with sauce made from cooking them. I also made up a pkg of pork gravy mix with just the 1/2 cup of water to the mix and added it to the slow cooker after about 3 hours. Gave the ribs a little extra kick.