What a treat is this braised short rib ragu recipe, peeps! Fall-off-the-bone, extra tender, and succulent beef short ribs slowly braised in a rich, flavorful stew. Big, bold flavor from fresh herbs, aromatics, spices, vegetables, red wine, tomatoes, and more. It’s a hearty, delicious stunner that’s perfect for nearly any occasion. This is the ultimate restaurant-quality Italian food made in the comfort of your own home.
For the short rib ragu:
- 4 lbs bone-in beef short ribs (English-cut)
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 1 large stalk of celery, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste or 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1 cup dry, red wine- preferably Chianti
- 1 (15-ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 2 1/2 cups beef broth
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 parmigiano reggiano or parmesan cheese rind, optional
- 1 small bundle of fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage (about 2–3 sprigs each, aka poultry blend of herbs)
For the short rib ragu pasta:
- 1 lb rigatoni pasta (or pasta of choice): penne, casarecce, tagliatelle, pappardelle, fusilli, paccheri, bucatini, etc.
- freshly grated parmigiano reggiano or parmesan cheese, to taste
- freshly chopped herbs for garnish: thyme, parsley, basil- optional
- 4 ounces burrata cheese, at room temperature- optional
For the short rib ragu:
- Season and rest the short ribs: On a large plate/platter, generously season the short ribs with salt and pepper on all sides. Set the short ribs aside to marinate and to come up to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Afterwards, preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Brown the short ribs: In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, add in the butter and olive oil. Once the mixture is sizzling, swirl the pot around to evenly coat the bottom of the pot. Working in batches, add a few short ribs into the pot. Sear the short ribs on all sides until a nicely browned crust appears, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer the browned short ribs onto a cleaned plate and repeat the process until all the short ribs are browned. Then set the browned short ribs aside and reduce the heat to medium.
- Sauté the aromatics: Add the chopped onion, celery, and carrot into the pot. Use a wooden utensil to sauté the mixture together, while stirring every so often, about 10-15 minutes. Look for any moisture to be drawn out and for the aromatics to be golden brown. Then add in the garlic and continue cooking the mixture together until the garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Bring the flavors together: Create a small well in the center of the pot and add in the tomato paste. Use a wooden utensil to stir the paste in along with the aromatics until combined, about 2 minutes. Add in the red wine to deglaze and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine reduces a little, about 2-3 minutes. Then pour in the canned fire roasted tomatoes with its liquid as well as the worcestershire. Followed by the seasonings: oregano, thyme, and chipotle powder. Stir the mixture together until fully combined.
- Assemble the braise: Return the browned short ribs back into the pot along with any residual juices that have collected. Pour in the beef broth and make sure that the ribs are submerged under the liquid. Add the bay leaves, parmigiano reggiano/parmesan rind (if using), and fresh herbs into the pot- carefully stir to combine.
- Braise the short ribs: Cover the pot with a lid and carefully transfer the pot to the oven. Allow the short ribs to braise until extra tender and falling off the bone, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours- going back to the pot to stir the mixture together for even cooking, every so often.
- Bring the short rib ragu together: Carefully remove the pot from the oven. Take the short ribs out of the pot and place onto a cutting board or a large platter. Remove the bay leaves, cheese rind, and the herb stems from the pot. Allow the short ribs to cool down some before handling. Then use two forks or your hands (fitted with disposable gloves, if desired) to shred the short ribs apart into little pieces- discarding any fatty parts as needed. >> Note: depending on the amount of fat that was on your short ribs, you may need to skim off the fat/excess grease from the top of the sauce. Do that before proceeding with the step below- otherwise continue as directed.
- Add the shredded short rib pieces into the pot with the sauce and stir together to combine. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings by adding more salt/pepper, as desired. At this point, you can enjoy the short rib ragu as is or proceed with short rib ragu pasta, below.
For the short rib ragu pasta:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook according to your package directions, al dente- stirring the pasta every so often. Meanwhile, as the pasta is cooking, on a separate stovetop burner, re-warm the short rib ragu over medium heat.
- Back to the pasta, remove about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta into a large colander- do not rinse the pasta.
- Add the cooked pasta into the pot with the short rib ragu and stir to combine. Stir everything together very well to coat the pasta with the sauce and then remove from heat. Use the reserved 1/2 cup of pasta water to stream into the pot to help loosen the sauce, only as needed- stirring to combine. Let the pasta sit in the pot for at least 10 minutes for the flavors to meld.
- Serve the short rib ragu pasta immediately into pasta bowls, top with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano/parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, and burrata cheese (if using). Enjoy!
- Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.
Keywords: Short Rib Ragu, braised short ribs, ragu sauce, short rib pasta, ragu, how to make ragu