The secret of this - brown ribs before you put them in the crock pot! Brown food tasts good - food can't get brown in a cockpot. I suggest if you are cooking this on a week night and have to go to work the next day. Prep this the night before and put it all in the cock pot as you are walking out the door the next day!
If you are using dried mushrooms please soak in water and set aside.
Heat a large skillet on high, add oil. Let the oil get hot - add garlic and ribs. Do not move the ribs untill you think they are browned - check ONE if you are not sure. If you move the meat in the pan it will never brown. Turn ribs and brown on other side.
Remove and place in crock pot.
Add onions, peppers, and mushrooms to pan. If you are using dried mushrooms drain before using!! Add salt to taste. Cook for about 5 - 7 minutes.
Add red wine and deglaze the pan. Move the veg around and be sure the brown stuff from the bottom the pan is coming up, this is where the flavor is!
Add all this liquid , and veg to the crock-pot, now add the tomatoes and dried thyme. Allow to cook in your crock-pot for 8-10 hours or store in refrigerator and cook in crock-pot the next day.