Short Rib Ragu

While spring is definitely knocking on the door here in Boston, winter is still holding on strong with some chilly windy days. This meal is perfect for a day like that. It’s the kind of food that warms you from the inside out in it’s heartiness and complexity of flavors.

As you can tell, I’ve been trying to get a lot of use out of my pretty red dutch oven. I think I should name it in fact… At any rate, I saw this recipe in my Google Reader and knew that Hubby and I would enjoy it. The ingredient list is similar to that of the Braised Beef in Wine that I made a few weeks ago. But to be totally honest, Hubby and I definitely liked this recipe even more.

Served over creamy polenta and topped with a bright gremolata, this short rib ragu is just amazing. As always, I bumped up the amount of veggies in the dish. I also ended up using a somewhat random assortment of meats in it. When I went to the Meat House, they only had about 1.5 pounds of bone-in short ribs. They also only had another 1.5 pounds of boneless short ribs (it was Sunday night and they mentioned they had a busy weekend).

The staff was very accomodating and offered me some soup bones for free to make up for the lack of bone-in short ribs. To finish out the 5 pounds of meat I needed, I took a couple pounds of brisket as well. I figured since it was all cooking low and slow, it would all fall apart and would still be delicious. I figured correctly. Hubby and I could not get enough of this dish.

It feeds quite a few, but reheats and freezes perfectly. In fact, the recipe even says to make it the day before and reheat it before serving. That fact, along with the fact that it’s amazing, makes this a perfect dish to serve to guests.

One Year Ago: Mustard Roasted Potatoes
Two Years Ago: Alton Brown’s The Chewy

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Short Rib Ragu

Yield: Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

For the Ragu
5-6 pounds bone-in short ribs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups big red wine
14 ounces fire-roasted whole tomatoes and juice
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 tsp dried oregano
1 large sprig rosemary, leaves chopped
2 bay leaves
chicken stock or water

For the Gremolata
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large lemon, zest only
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil

Directions:

For the Ragu
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak dried mushrooms in 2 cups boiling water.

Season ribs well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large, dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Brown ribs in batches for 2-3 minutes per side, then set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of accumulated fat from pot, then sauté onion, carrots and celery until soft. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.

Create a hot spot in the pot by moving vegetables aside and leaving about a 3-inch radius bare. Add tomato paste to the hot spot and stir vigorously until caramelized, then stir into the vegetables. Add red wine to deglaze and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add tomatoes, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms and soaking liquid, plus herbs.

Add ribs to pot and fill with chicken stock or water until ribs are nearly covered. Bring liquid to a boil, then cover tightly and braise in oven for at least 3 hours or until ribs are fall-apart tender.

Remove ribs from liquid and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove bay leaves and discard. While ribs cool, purée the braising liquid with an immersion blender until thick and set over medium-low heat to reduce if the sauce seems thin. When ribs have cooled down, discard bones and large pieces of fat, then shred the beef and return it to the pot. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, skimming any large pools of fat from the surface.

Refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove additional fat from the surface before reheating. Serve over polenta, sprinkled with gremolata.

For the Gremolata
Mix ingredients in a small bowl and let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.

Recipe adapted from Food 52

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22 Responses to “Brasato al Barolo (Beef Braised in Wine)”

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    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — January 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    You are one lucky girl because that is an AWESOME anniversary gift! I only got a Le Creuset Dutch oven this past fall and I’ve mostly roasted with it with the cover off but I am totally going to get a replacement knob. Thanks for the tip!

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    Evan Thomas — January 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    My family would love this. When meat is cooked for that long in juice and seasoning the flavor is always incredible. Thanks for the recipe!

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    Bridget — January 18, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    What a perfect virgin use for your new Dutch oven! I love the addition of more vegetables too – what a great way to make this isn’t a one-dish balanced meal.

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    Megan — January 18, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    That looks perfect for this weather! I always use my cover with the black knob, and nothing bad has ever happened to it. I do wonder though if I’ve ever come across a recipe that requires me to cook something covered at a higher temp that 375 (I’m thinking it’s not likely). Such a great gift!

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    Caroline — January 18, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I want to get a dutch oven just for something like this! What a wonderful anniversary gift! The beef looks melt-in-your mouth, and with a sauce made out of cabernet? To die for! Looks wonderful!

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    Jen — January 18, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Megan – I’ve seen a recipe for a nearly-no-knead bread that bakes at 450. But other than that, most things are cooked low and slow.

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    naomi — January 18, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    First off congrats on the anniversary milestone! This looks delicious. I’m bookmarking it now, since this definitely a recipe my family will love.

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    Shannon — January 18, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    what an awesome gift!! happy anniversary 🙂 i got a stainless steel knob, but haven’t yet exchanged it… what a great recipe, and i can just imagine how succulent that meat was!

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    EliFla — January 18, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Very good!!! Very very good!!! Hugs, ciao Flavia

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    Kimmy Bingham — January 18, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    I’m definitely ordering the replacement knob for mine as well. Great idea. This dish looks perfect for the cold weekend we’re about to have!

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    The Small Boston Kitchen — January 19, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Your pictures are absolutely amazing. Seriously amazing. I want to lick my computer screen.

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    Stef at TooMuchToDoSoLittleTime.com — January 19, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Happy Anniversary! Congrats on a fantastic gift!! I only acquired my first Le Creuset oven last May. I’m addicted! I have several pieces (which you can see on my blog). I LOVE the way they cook. I have a friend who was trying so hard to convince me to buy one. I got a great sale at the Outlet! I rarely use my stainless pots and pans any more. I now have two different kinds of skillets, too. I absolutely love them!

    I have several recipes on my blog which I have cooked in my ovens. I cook my chili for four hours. The first time I made it my husband said it was the best chili I had ever made (we’ve been married 23 years! I also cooked Pioneer Woman’s pot roast with rosemary in it (also listed on my blog)… it was AWESOME!

    If you ever get anything on your enameled pot that you can get off… try Bar Keeper’s Friend. I wrote Le Creuset and they told me that its OK to use it. 😉

    I love all your recipes and can’t wait to see what you create in your new oven!

    Stef at TooMuchToDoSoLittleTime.com

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    Nutmeg Nanny — January 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    This looks great! I love my Le Creuset….it’s the best! You made a great dish to break it in…yum!

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    kitchenmisfit — January 20, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Oh man that looks TASTY! And such a great anniversary gift!

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    Julie (thelittlekitchen.net) — January 20, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Awesome, wonderful gift. I just won my first Le Creuset french oven and like you pondered what to make with it! Thanks for the idea of the stainless steel knob.

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    Paul — January 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    A tip on that replacement knob: just go to a hardware store and buy a stainless steel kitchen cabinet knob along with a washer and bolt to fit. Bring the lid with you to the store to check the fit. This is MUCH less expensive than a “Le Creuset” knob and works great.

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    wgfoodie — January 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    This sounds absolutely perfect for a cold winter night. And with temps in the teens this week, I am definitely adding this to the list!

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    Peggy — January 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Your mom is way thoughtful for getting you guys that for your anniversary! I absolutely adore my dutch oven and bring it out every chance I get! I may have to bring it out fairly soon to try this beef because it sounds absolutely delicious!

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    Ashley — January 27, 2011 at 2:45 am

    What a wonderful gift! And so great that you’ll put it to good use. Happy anniversary 🙂

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    a frog in the cottage — January 27, 2011 at 11:27 am

    absolutely delicious !!!! i wish i could grab some !!

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    Robyn — January 11, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I keep coming back to this recipe! I just made it tonight for the in-laws and I think they might let me stay in the family. ALWAYS delicious 🙂

    • beantownbaker — January 12th, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

      Isn’t it delicious? Especially in this cold weather. Glad you guy enjoy it.

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