Whether you’re using it in lasagna or paired with regular old pasta, this beef short rib ragu recipe needs to be in your recipe repertoire.
This ragu is the epitome of meaty, rich decadence. We use four types of meat in this ragu, including:
- Beef short ribs
- Ground beef
- Hot Italian sausage
Depending on your preference, you can use any combination of the meat above. If you want to do all short ribs, do all short ribs. If you want to do short ribs and ground beef, that works too! You can also use bone-in short ribs and just discard the bone after shredding the meat.
How to make this beef short rib ragu recipe:
There are a few main steps to this recipe:
- Browning the meat
- Cooking the mirepoix (celery, carrot, onion, garlic)
- Creating the sauce base with tomato paste and red wine
- Simmering the sauce
- Shredding the short ribs
Once the sauce is ready, simply cook your pasta and reserve a bit of the pasta water. Add the pasta water to the ragu and add the cooked pasta directly to the ragu and toss to coat.
This short rib pasta would be delicious served with a bit of grated parmesan or even a drizzle of heavy cream.
Looking for more beef recipes? Check my archives!
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Short Rib Ragu Recipe
- 2 Large pot
- Colander or sieve
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 1½ pounds boneless short ribs
- 1 pound loose hot Italian sausage
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 teaspoons neutral oil if needed
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 2 carrots peeled and small-diced
- 2 ribs celery trimmed and small-diced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 28- ounce can whole-peeled tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional
- 24 ounces pasta such as paccheri, rigatoni, or pappardelle
- Salt pepper and crushed red pepper to taste
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Freshly minced parsley
Cook the pancetta:
- Place the diced pancetta in a large pot. Turn the heat to medium. Stir occasionally for 4–5 minutes until the fat renders and the pancetta browns. Remove from the pot and transfer to a large bowl.
Brown the short ribs:
- Pat the short ribs dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Place the short ribs in the pancetta fat and cook over medium-high heat for 3–5 minutes per side until browned all over. Transfer to the bowl with the pancetta.
- Add the sausage and beef and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the bowl of pancetta and short ribs.
Cook the aromatics:
- If needed, add another teaspoon or two of oil and turn the heat to medium-high.
- Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook for 5–7 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
Brown the tomato paste:
- Melt the butter into the onions. Add the garlic and cook for 45 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook, mashing it into the aromatics, for 2 minutes until it begins to deepen in color. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Pour in the red wine and turn the heat to high. Whisk the wine into the paste and continue until the wine begins to boil. Boil for 5 minutes until it just begins to reduce.
Simmer the ragù:
- Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in all of the meat from the bowl. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, sugar, and crushed red pepper. Add the bay leaves.
- Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 3–4 hours or until the short ribs can be shredded easily with a fork.
Shred the short ribs:
- Remove the ragu from the heat and carefully remove the lid. Shred the beef and mash any remaining whole-peeled tomatoes. Turn the heat to medium-high and let the ragu low-boil uncovered, for 15–20 minutes. If the liquid evaporates too quickly, add beef stock in ¼ cup increments. Taste and season the sauce.
Cook the pasta:
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.
Coat the pasta:
- Return the heat on the ragu to medium. Once bubbly, add the pasta cooking water along with the cooked pasta. Toss to coat for 1-2 minutes. Taste and season once more to your preferences.
- Divide the pasta between bowls and garnish with parsley and grated parmesan cheese.