This braised short rib mushroom sauce is made with red wine and fresh herbs. It slow cooks in the oven until the short ribs are falling apart tender before it’s strained and reduced to a velvety smooth sauce. It takes some time, but most of it is hands-off time while the ribs braise in the oven. It’s decadent rich comfort food that’s perfect for a cold winter’s night.
Short Rib Mushroom Sauce
This braised short rib mushroom sauce is how I do January. Short ribs cooked long and slow with mushrooms, fresh herbs, and red wine until they’re falling apart tender is the best kind of comfort food for the cold days following the holidays. You know, when you’re slowly coming down from the holiday high and you need a plate of pasta to soften the fall a bit. I feel like a black sheep this time of year because pretty much everyone I know turns the dial to “healthy” eating as soon as January 1st rolls around and here I am (oh, hi!) with my plate of decadent rich braised short ribs.
And this is the sort of recipe that’s perfect for mid-winter. It gives you the perfect excuse to hang around the house, it fills the kitchen with a savory aroma, and it will warm you through. The sauce is basically three things: mushrooms, red wine, and fresh tarragon a somewhat anise-flavored herb that will leave people wondering what the secret ingredient might be. It’s distinctive, but not overwhelming and a nice switch up from other run-of-mill herbs. The short ribs simmer in the sauce for a couple of hours until they’re so tender you can cut them with a fork.
I love a velvety smooth sauce so I used the same trick I learned when I made beef bourguignon a few years ago – I strained the sauce and reduced it on the stove before adding the shredded beef back in. It’s an easy step and means you don’t have to be so careful prepping the veggies – a rough chop is all they need and as they slow simmer with the beef they break down and infuse the sauce with all of their flavors.
I choose pappardelle for the braised short rib mushroom sauce because it’s pretty to look at and it holds the sauce in its own special way – like ribbons of saucy wonderfulness. It can be found at most major grocery stores, but if you have trouble finding it substituting fettuccine or linguine will work just as well.
I think this braised short rib mushroom sauce is totally guest-worthy and it’s the kind of recipe that can easily be made in advance. In fact, letting it have a day in the fridge just enhances the flavor. To serve, just gently warm it on the stove, thin it with a little water if it’s too thick, while you boil the pasta.
Happy January, everyone. Let’s embrace the comfort.
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Braised Short Rib Mushroom Sauce with Pappardelle
This recipe takes time, but most of it is hands-off time while the short ribs braise in the oven. I like to take the extra step to strain the sauce and reduce it which gives you a velvety smooth sauce that clings to the pasta.
The sauce is flavored with mushrooms, red wine and fresh tarragon – an anise-flavored herb – and pairs wonderfully with the tender short ribs. Make the sauce up to a day in advance and gently warm it on the stove, thinning it with water if it’s too thick, when you’re ready to serve it.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound boneless beef short ribs, seasoned with kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 8 oz whole cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 4 sprigs fresh parsley (see note)
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 cups red wine (like pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon)
- 8 oz pappardelle pasta (see note)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Brown the short ribs in the pot for about five minutes on each side. Remove them from the pan.
- Add the butter to the pot and once it’s melted add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook the vegetables for about ten minutes, stirring frequently. Add the salt, pepper, and sprinkle the flour over the top of the veggies. Stir to coat them in the flour and add the tomatoes, parsley, thyme, and tarragon. Add the wine and stir to combine. Place the short ribs back in the pot and add enough water to the pot so that they’re covered (I used 2 cups of water, but depending on your pot you may need a little more or less).
- Bring the pot to a boil. Turn the heat off and cover the pot with a lid slightly askew to allow steam to escape. Transfer the pot to the oven for two and a half to three hours, or until the short ribs shred easily with a fork.
- Remove the short ribs from the pot. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the sauce into a large bowl removing all the vegetables from the pot. Press on the vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible before discarding. Pour the strained liquid back into the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat to medium to maintain a strong simmer for thirty minutes or until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. While the sauce reduces, cook the pasta according to package directions.
- Shred the short ribs and place them back in the sauce. At this point, taste the sauce and add more salt if you think it needs it. Simmer for a few minutes to warm the beef through. Serve with the pasta.
Because you will strain the sauce there’s no need to chop the parsley or thyme. You can toss them in the sauce, stems and all.
Pappardelle is a ribbon-like pasta that has a great texture. It’s available at most mainstream grocery stores, but if you can’t find it substitute linguine or fettuccine instead.
- Calories: 707
- Fat: 28.9g
- Carbohydrates: 58.5g
- Fiber: 4.5g
- Protein: 34.3g