Slow-Cooker Sunday: Short Rib Ragu

Slow-cooker Sunday for me doesn’t necessarily mean breaking out the crock-pot.  In this instance it means breaking out a big heavy pot and letting the oven do all the work!

I love taking the time to slowly craft a perfect dish on the weekends.  There is something incredibly relaxing about dicing, searing, stirring, and bringing together some of my favorite flavors.  No need to rush! Then just pop the whole pot in a low oven and sit back, turn on some football and relax!  In a few hours you will have a company worthy dinner!

The carrots, onions, and garlic cook down and meld with the tomatoes and make a thick, rich sauce.  Thyme is my favorite herb and it adds a surprising, earthy addition here.

Short Rib Ragu
Serves 4

Olive oil
2 lb. beef short ribs
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper
Big splash of red wine (I prefer Pinot Noir or Cabernet Savignon)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
3-4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
Pinch of sugar
Pappardelle or linguine, cooked
Basil, torn
Parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 300°.

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season short ribs with a heavy sprinkle of salt and pepper on all sides. Add ribs to pot and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Add a little more olive oil to the pan. Add onion and carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Deglaze pan with wine, scraping brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and sugar. Stir to combine. Nestle short ribs in the tomato mixture. Cover and bring to a boil.

Bake in the oven for 2-3 hours. Take the pot out of the oven after three hours. Transfer the ribs to a plate, let cool slightly. Remove bones and any excess fat. Shred meat, set aside. Retrieve thyme stems and bay leaves, discard. Return sauce to stove over low heat. Skim off any excess oil from the sauce. Add shredded beef back in and stir to combine.

Toss pasta in sauce. Top with torn basil and parmesan cheese to serve.

Source: Ruth’s Table, 2017.

I love when a recipe experiment gets perfected.  I started working on this recipe a couple years ago and with a few tweaks here and there I finally got it just right.  I’m not sure why I haven’t shared it with you before now honestly.  Forgive me, I hope it’s worth the wait!



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