Short Rib Ragu
If you don’t know already, pasta is my favorite thing to eat. A good bolognese is an absolute classic but a Ragu is out of this world! It's perfect for chilly evenings now the nights are closing in early and the fire is roaring. It’s something that can be made in a slow cooker or in your Dutch oven for a few hours until you are ready to cook up some pappardelle pasta and warm some crusty bread (or my homemade focaccia), and enjoy with a large glass of red wine.
Here is what you will need to make your own:
1 whole sweet onion, finely diced
1 large carrot (or two small), finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup red wine
2 cup beef broth
1 tbsp beef bouillon
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
6 short ribs
2 tbsp butter (or vegan butter)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 can tomato paste
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 large can San Marzano tomatoes (whole peeled), crushed with hands
1 parmesan rind (optional)
1/3 cup grated parmesan (optional)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
More parmesan to add on top
Take the short ribs out of the fridge and bring them to room temp for 10-20 minutes. Season them generously with salt/ pepper and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
In a large Dutch oven or skillet in olive oil, sear the short ribs on high until golden brown on each side (about 2 minutes per side). If you are using a slow cooker, take the short ribs out of your skillet and place on a plate and add the ingredients for the sauce in to the slow cooker.
If you are using a Dutch oven, like I did, take the short ribs out and add in your butter (or earth balance vegan butter), along with your onions, garlic, celery and carrots you prepped. Add in your salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, then toss veggies to sweat them. You can also add in 1/3 cup of diced pancetta if you’re feeling fancy.
***If you are using your slow cooker, add in all the ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours.
Next, add in your red wine to deglaze the pan and scrape up all those brown bits with your wooden spoon from the short ribs. They hold so much flavor. Once the wine is bubbling, add in your 1/2 can of tomato paste. Stir to cook for at least a minute to remove any bitter taste from the paste before adding in your beef broth, boullion and then your can of hand crushed San Marzano tomatoes. Stir to combine. Add in the thyme sprigs and bay leaves, then the short ribs back in to the pan with a parmesan rind and cover.
Pop the whole pot in to the oven on 325 F for 3-3.5 hours until the short ribs are falling apart. At that point you remove the short ribs and shred them, removing any excess fat along with the bones and toss those. Add the shredded meat back in to the pot and stir in to the sauce.
*Note, best way to shred these is in the kitchen aid mixer with the paddle attachment. Quickest shredding technique ever. Thank me later!
Put the stove on medium/high and let the sauce reduce by almost half which usually takes another 15-20 minutes, giving you plenty of time to cook the pappardelle pasta and make a quick arugula side salad along with warming some crusty bread whilst enjoying your vino. Don't forget to do a taste test for salt, and add a little if needed.
A perfect cozy autumnal dinner for just you, or the whole family!