Tender short ribs in a tomato red wine sauce with Parmesan mashed potatoes – this hearty slow-cooked short rib ragu is worth the time! Grab the recipe and be sure to check out more of my delicious beef recipes!
Slow-Cooked Short Rib Ragu
In our house, there are two kinds of cooking – weekday and weekend. It’s a simple way to classify, but I find that during the week it’s all about speed and simplicity, while the weekends are the opposite. With the extra time, I tend to slow down in the kitchen and I don’t get bothered by lots of steps, lots of pans, and lots of time spent in the kitchen. During the week I love short-cuts and quick wins, but I tend to focus more on the process when I cook on the weekends. Cooking from scratch, taking my time with steps, and challenging myself with recipes and ideas I can’t imagine trying to execute during the week after a long day at work. I guess my weekdays are more Rachael Ray, while the weekends are more Julia Child.
This slow-cooked short rib ragu is a great weekend cooking project. It can’t be rushed. There’s no dumping and stirring. It’s not a one-pot wonder. There’s a lot of chopping, dicing, searing, deglazing, simmering, straining, reducing, and shredding and all of it is necessary to develop a rich and complex sauce. Dumping it all in a crock pot for eight hours just won’t produce the same result. You can’t set it and forget it.
The time investment to make this dish is well worth it – one bite of the tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef will make you so happy and so comforted you will try and figure out how to make this a rotating dinner in your weekend line-up. In an unexpected turn of events, I paired this rich and hearty red wine and tomato beef ragu with some parmesan mashed potatoes, which make a delicious base for all the rich sauce and beef, but it can easily be served with pasta. We also used some leftovers for sandwiches by piling the shredded beef onto soft rolls with a drizzle of sauce. Depending on how many you have to feed, you should get some mileage out of this one making the time investment even more worthwhile.
Some Ingredients You’ll Need
- I used boneless short ribs, which are readily available at most grocery stores.
- Carrots, celery, onion, and garlic are sauteed in the same pan as the short ribs and soak up all the beefy flavor.
- Red wine and tomatoes are the base for the braising liquid.
- I served my ragu with mashed potatoes made with Yukon Gold potatoes, butter, sour cream, and grated Parmesan cheese.
More Hearty Dishes
This slow-cooked short rib ragu is hearty and comforting.
For the Ragu
- 3-4 pounds short ribs, patted dry and well seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 carrots, diced
- 2 ribs of celery, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano plum tomatoes, including juice
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 cups water
- 6 sprigs fresh parsley
- salt & pepper
Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
- 3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a large dutch oven or stock pot heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the short ribs and brown on all sides until the outside is nicely caramelized. I had to do this in 3 batches so the pan wouldn’t be too crowded. Once browned, remove the ribs from the pot and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the diced carrots, celery, and onion. Cook for about ten minutes until the vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste until all of the veggies are coated. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to coat all of the vegetables. Continue to cook the mixture for another few minutes.
- Pour in the wine and increase the heat until the pot begins to simmer. Deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom with the spatula to pull up all of the browned bits. Next, add the tomatoes, first squishing each with your hands and all of the juice from the can. Pour in 2 cups of water and stir. Then add the short ribs back to the pot. Be sure they are completely covered by the liquid. If needed, add more water to ensure they are covered. Toss in the parsley (no need to chop it) and give it all a big stir. Bring the pot to a strong simmer (increase the heat if needed) and then cover it, remove it from the heat and transfer it to the preheated oven. Let it simmer in the oven for 2-3 hours, or until the beef is fork tender. For me, it took about 2 1/2 hours – start checking yours at the 2-hour mark.
- Once the beef is fork tender, remove the pot from the oven. Remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Using a fine mesh strainer, carefully strain the liquid into a large sauce pot. Press on the solids to extract all of the liquid before discarding them.
- Shred the short ribs before adding them to the sauce.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat. You want the sauce to thicken and reduce, which will take at least 30 minutes or so. While the sauce is reducing periodically skim the surface to remove the fat.
- While the sauce is reducing, fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil them until they are fork tender (time may vary based on the size of your potato pieces.)
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the cooking pot. Add in the butter and, using a potato masher, mash up all of the potatoes along with the butter. Add the sour cream and parmesan cheese and stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Once the potatoes are done the sauce should be ready. Don’t worry if the sauce isn’t ready, you can keep the potatoes warm on the stove until the sauce has thickened.
- Serve the ragu on top of the parmesan mashed potatoes. Garnish with chopped parsley.