Sunday, October 12, 2008

Short Rib Ragu

This evening’s supper experiment was pasta with Short Rib Ragu, which is a Giada de Laurentiis recipe. I had never cooked with short ribs before – and I still have problems finding them with the bone in – but needed to appease my curiosity.

The only modifications I made to the recipe were to omit the bittersweet chocolate (I just don’t like chocolate in my savory sauces), and I substituted additional beef broth for some of the red wine. (Just a personal preference. You make one really bad batch of beef bourguignon, and you never forget it.)

The short ribs were incredible. They just fell apart, and the meat is so buttery. And although the sauce was far less tomato-y than I thought it would be, it’s so well flavored – it almost tastes like an Italian pot roast sauce. It’s also a thinner sauce, so it really soaks into the pasta.

I’m tempted to actually lick my plate right now.

Short Rib Ragu
Serves 4-6

3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 oz. pancetta, chopped
2½ lbs. short ribs, trimmed
Salt and pepper
¼ c. flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
½ c. fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves
1 14.5-oz. can diced or whole tomatoes
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2¾ c. beef broth
½ c. red wine
Cooked pasta

1. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Cook pancetta until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes.

2. Season short ribs with salt and pepper, and dredge in flour.

3. Using a slotted spoon, remove pancetta and set aside. Add short ribs to pan and cook until browned on all sides, about 7 minutes.

4. Combine onion, carrot, parsley, garlic, tomatoes, and tomato paste in food processor. Pulse until finely minced.

5. When short ribs are browned, add minced vegetables to pot, along with pancetta, and stir. Add rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, beef broth, and wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove lid and simmer another 1 hour and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Using a slotted spoon, remove short ribs and shred meat.

7. Remove bay leaf from pot. Return meat to sauce and add salt and pepper to taste.

8. Serve over pasta.

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