Short Rib Ragu

5 from 20 reviews

This short rib ragu is hearty and comforting. The short ribs are simmered in the oven until they are fall-apart-tender.



For the Ragu

  • 3 pounds boneless short ribs, pat dry with paper towels and 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, to taste

Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional for garnish)


How to Make the Ragu

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large dutch oven or stock pot. Add the short ribs and brown them 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.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the diced carrots, celery, and onion. Cook them for about ten minutes until the vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Next, add the tomatoes and all of the juice from the can. Pour in 2 cups of water and stir. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the tomatoes.
  7. 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 stir.
  8. 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 to 3 hours or until the beef is fork-tender and shreds easily. For me, it usually takes about 2 1/2 hours – start checking yours at the 2-hour mark.
  9. Once the beef is fork-tender, remove the pot from the oven. Remove the short ribs from the pot and set them 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.
  10. 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.
  11. While the sauce reduces, shred the short ribs. Once the sauce is thickened, add the shredded meat and stir. 

How to Make the Mashed Potatoes

  1. 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.)
  2. Drain the potatoes and return them to the cooking pot. Add in the butter and, using a potato masher, mash the potatoes with the butter. Add the sour cream and Parmesan cheese and stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve the ragu on top of the parmesan mashed potatoes. Garnish with chopped parsley.


Make it Ahead! You can make the ragu up to one day in advance. Just follow the recipe steps and once you’ve reduced the sauce and added the ribs back in, let it cool and then keep it in the refrigerator. Heat it up in a saucepan on the stove before you serve it. You can thin the sauce with a splash of red wine, water, or beef stock if needed. I don’t recommend making the potatoes ahead – do those the day of!

Side Dish Tips: You can make the Parmesan mashed potatoes while the sauce reduces or make crock pot mashed potatoes to save space on the stove. I also love this ragu tossed with pasta or served over buttered egg noodles.


Keywords: short rib ragu, braised beef recipe, braised short ribs