Looking for a delicious short rib ragu recipe? This braised beef short rib ragu is simple and impressive!
Growing up, my mom always made a delicious, feel-good meal on Sundays. It ranged from roast beef with mashed potatoes to a hearty pasta dish, but what sticks out is that it was such a nice way to start the week. Since I’m an adult now and the main cook at our house, I’ve tried to incorporate this tradition for us when possible.
Short Rib Ragu
Last weekend, I got it in my head that I wanted to make homemade pasta. I had Papardelle on the brain, because I love the soft, wide, ribbony noodles, so I knew I needed a thick sauce. Some people don’t know this, but each pasta shape is intended to be a vehicle for sauce. Because Papardelle is wide and absorbent, it’s intended to be served with thick, rich sauces. It’s also often served with stews!
With that in mind, I landed on a short rib ragu. If you know me, you know I don’t eat a ton of meat. In fact, I rarely cook or eat it at all, but sometimes I do, and I always take that as a sign my body is craving something. With a delicious braised beef short rib sauce on my brain, I was so excited to get down to business on Sunday!
Braised Short Rib Ragu
The results were better than I could have dreamed. My best tip is to buy quality beef short ribs. I got mine at Costco, but you want them to be thicker cut, so it may require a trip to a local butcher. It’s also important there we good meat on the ribs, not just fat. The tender braised beef is how your sauce gets all the delicious flavor.
Beef Short Rib Ragu
There are so many recipes and variations of a good short rib ragu, so this is a combination of a few recipes that works well to bring out all the flavors. To note, there are also recipes for short rib bolognese. The difference is that a ragu combines red wine and tomatoes, while a bolognese typically uses white wine. Just a fun fact…now let’s dive in to the recipe!
Short Rib Ragu Recipe
2 pounds bone-in beef short rib, (cut into thick 2-3 inch chunks)
~2 tsp salt
~2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1.5 cups carrot, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
grated parmesan cheese, for garnish
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1. Season your short ribs with salt and pepper.
2. Put the 3 tbsp olive oil in a Dutch oven on high heat.
3. When oil gets really hot, sear the short ribs on each side. You want them to be dark brown (a deep sear!), but not burned. To note, it’s okay if they are not cooked all the way through. This process took about 10 minutes total for all my short ribs.
4. Remove the short ribs from the Dutch oven and set aside.
5. In the same pot, reduce the heat to medium and add in the onions, carrots, garlic, and sprinkle in some salt and pepper.
6. When softened, add in the tomato paste. Make sure the vegetables and paste really soften and thicken up. This is how the flavors will come together later on in the sauce!
7. Add in the wine and let simmer for about 10 minutes. You want to reduce the liquid, but not by too much! This is also a great time to use the wine to deglaze the pan and scrape the sides of the Dutch oven. Every little morsel is important!
8. When the wine has reduced by about half, add in the tomatoes, beef stock, mustard, bay leaves, and thyme and stir.
9. Put the short ribs back into the Dutch oven, making sure the sauce you’ve created covers them entirely.
10. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover.
11. Let the sauce simmer for around three hours on stove, stirring occasionally. When the meat begins to pull apart from the bones, carefully remove the ribs bones from the sauce.
12. Discard the bones. Shred the meat (it should be tender enough to use a fork or your CLEAN fingers) and return the meat to the pot.
To note – once the meat is shredded, it’s time to eat! But the longer this sauce cooks, the better the flavor. I let mine simmer together for another hour after shredding, so around four and a half hours total for this recipe from start to finish.
Boil your noodles, top with sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve!
Personally, I think this is one of the best feel-good meals you can make. This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so it’s great for a crowd or to freeze.
If you liked this recipe, you might also enjoy Zucchini + Sweet Potato Fritters with Goat Cheese