Serious Sunday Night Eats: Short Rib Ragu Pappardelle

One of my favorite cold weather comfort foods is this decadent short rib ragu, a dish I always turn to on a snowy {indulgent} Sunday night or a ski trip after a long day on the slopes. All you need is time, and a handful of simple Italian ingredients, cooked low and slow so the rich meat falls right of the bone and the sauce is cooked down to a sticky, complex flavor that can only be made this one. A crowd favorite that can be made days ahead and saved, I’ve learned that every real Italian cook has a delicious ragu in their arsenal. Now you’ve got one too.

Prep Time
Cook Time
  • 4 lb. of Bone In Short Ribs
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. all purpose seasoning or Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. high quality crushed chili peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1-28 ounce can of tomato puree
  • 1 can chicken stock, for adding in more cooking liquid
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese + additional for garnish
  • Basil, for garnish
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare the ingredients by chopping onions and garlic. Salt and pepper the short ribs on both sides.
  3. In a large oven proof pot, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil. Once almost smoking hot, place short ribs, meat side down, in the oil. Work in b batches if they don’t all fit. Brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Take out and reserve in a bowl.
  4. Turn down the heat to low and add in 1 tsp. more oil, if need be. Sauté the onions until they are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and herbs. Continue cooking while stirring. Add in the tomato paste and continue cooking until it becomes darkened and caramelizes on the bottom of the pan.
  5. Put the short ribs back into the pan and then deglaze with the red wine. Add in the red wine and using a wooden spoon, scrape up any bits that have stuck onto the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook down for 5 minutes until it has reduced by 1/4.
  6. Add in the tomato puree and stir. Then add in 1/4 cup chicken stock only if the liquid doesn’t cover about 3/4’s of the short ribs.
  7. Place into the oven covered and cook for 2 1/2 hrs. Take out and look at the liquid level. If the short ribs are not mostly covered, add in more chicken stock.
  8. Cook for another 1 1/2 hrs. until the meat is completely coming off the bone and you can easily shred it with a pair of forks.
  9. Take out and place on stove. Watch out, it will be very hot. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
  10. Take out the short ribs, one by one, and place into a bowl. Have a bowl for the fat and bones by your side. Take out the bone and carefully scrape and take out the fat that is lining parts of the meat. This should come off easily but you may need to use your hands.
  11. Discard the bones and fat. Using two forks, easily shred the meat.
  12. Place the meat into a clean sauce pan.  Using a ladle, take the clear fat that sits in the cooking pan and place it into another small bowl and put tot he side to discard. Take the dark red, sauce from the cooking pot and place into the pan with the meat.
  13. Stir and coat the meat. Add in another 1/2 cup chicken stock, parmesan cheese, and the milk or cream. Turn on the heat and heat up on low. Stir and season with salt and pepper. This can be done ahead of time and reheated at time of serving.
  14. Make the pasta and serve with the meat and sauce on top. Garnish with more cheese and basil.


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