Short Rib Ragu


  1. Brown the short ribs: Add the olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot (I use a 5-qt Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Use paper towel to pat the surface of the beef short ribs as dry as possible. Generously season the short ribs with 1 heaping tablespoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Once the oil in the pot is shimmering hot, carefully add in the seasoned short ribs. Work in batches, as necessary, to avoid overcrowding the pot (which prevents browning). Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until nicely browned. Transfer the browned short ribs to a plate & set aside. Repeat, as necessary, with the remaining short ribs. Once all of the short ribs are browned, carefully drain off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from the pot. Set aside & discard once cooled. Returning the pot to medium heat.
  2. Brown the soffritto: Add the soffritto (carrots, onion, & celery) to the same pot used to brown the short ribs, seasoning with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Stir to combine & cook, stirring occasionally, until the soffritto is deeply browned, 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add aromatics. Add the garlic to the pot with the soffritto. Stirring constantly, cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato paste to the pot, stirring to coat the soffritto. Cook 2-3 minutes, until browned.
  4. Deglaze: Increasing the heat to medium-high, pour the red wine into the pot. Stir constantly, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits that may have formed at the bottom of the pot. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the wine is almost completely absorbed into the soffritto.
  5. Build & simmer the short rib ragu: Tie the herbs together using kitchen twine (or finely chop if you do not have twine), then add to the pot with the bay leaves & parmesan rind (if using). Add the crushed tomatoes, beef broth/stock (or water), & browned short ribs from Step 1. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a low. Cover & simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 1/2 3 hours, or until the short ribs are fall-apart tender. If the ragu begins to reduce too much (i.e. it loses too much of its liquid too quickly), feel free to add in a splash more water &/or reduce the heat further.
  6. Finish the braised short rib ragu: Carefully transfer the short ribs to a plate or cutting board. At this point, you can remove & discard the spent herbs, bay leaves, & parmesan rind from the pot, as well. Use tongs or 2 forks to shred the short ribs into bite-sized pieces, discarding the bones as you go. Return the shredded short ribs to the pot with the ragu. Stir to combine. At this point, you can cool & store for later use (see Recipe Notes for storage & freezing directions), or proceed with making the short rib ragu pasta (below).
  7. Boil the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked to al dente according to package directions. Carefully dip a liquid measuring cup into the pot, reserving about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water, and set aside. Carefully drain the pasta do NOT rinse it!
  8. Finish the short rib ragu sauce: Meanwhile, as the pasta boils, bring the braised short rib ragu up to a simmer. Stir in the heavy cream & parmesan cheese. Continue to simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  9. Short rib ragu pappardelle: Add the cooked pasta to the pot with the braised short rib ragu sauce, tossing to coat. The short rib ragu should evenly coat the pasta. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if the ragu needs to loosen up a little; add in an extra handful of parmesan if it needs to tighten up a little. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, allowing the pasta to meld with & absorb some of the ragu.
  10. Serve: Portion the short rib ragu pappardelle into individual pasta bowls, topping with additional grated parmesan, chopped fresh herbs, &/or crushed red pepper as desired. Serve immediately. Enjoy!