Braised Short Rib Ragu

Braised Short Rib Ragu


This hearty beef ragu requires very little effort to put together and the results are outstanding.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hrs - 6 hrs
  • Views: 25,668
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Searing the Ribs

• 4 lb short ribs, bone-in (English style)
• kosher salt (to taste)
• freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
• 1 to 2 tbsp grapeseed or veg oil


Liberally season the ribs with the salt and pepper. Then heat a bit of the oil in a large (5 or 6-quart) Dutch oven.

Next add half of the ribs and brown on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the ribs to a platter and set aside.

Continue with this process until all of the ribs are nicely browned. Transfer them all to the platter and set aside.

Preheat the oven to at least 200°F or 95C. You can cook these at a higher temperature to speed up the cooking process, but slower and lower is the way to go if you can afford the time. If short on time, set the oven to 375°F.

Step 2: Building the Sauce

• 5 oz pancetta
• 2 medium onions
• 2 stalks celery
• 2 carrots
• 2 cups button mushrooms
• 6 cloves garlic
• 1 tbsp kosher salt
• 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 3 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 1/8 tsp crushed chili flakes
• 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
• 2 pinches ground cinnamon
• 3 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1/2 cup red wine (can substitute with white wine or vermouth)
• 42 oz canned whole tomatoes


To start prepare your mise en place. Dice the pancetta and then roughly dice the onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Emincé the garlic and gather the rest of your ingredients.

To begin making the sauce, drain any excess fat from the pot if there is any. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until the pancetta has rendered some of its fat but is barely crisp. This will take only about 4 minutes.

Next, add the onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and season with the salt and pepper. Cook this for about 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add the tomato paste, sugar and red pepper flakes, cinnamon, fennel seeds, and sundried tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes or so.

Next, deglaze with the balsamic vinegar and wine (or vermouth). Stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Return the ribs and any juices back to the pot and nestle them into the sauce (meat side down).

Step 3: Cooking the Ribs


Cook the ribs for about 3 to 5 hours or until fork tender. The time it takes to cook the ribs will depend on how hot you set the oven. If cooking at 375°F then it should only take about 2 to 3 hrs.

See the drill-down on “Oven Temperatures for Combination Cooking” for more information.

Step 4: Finishing the Ragu


To make the ragu, use tongs or slotted spoon to transfer the ribs to a platter. Let cool slightly – just long enough until you can handle them.

Alternatively, you could cool the entire dish and then chill in the refrigerator over night. The next day, skim any fat from the surface before proceeding.

If making the same day, skim any fat from the surface and then bring the sauce to a simmer. If the sauce seems watery, increase the heat to medium-high and simmer to reduce and thicken it a bit. Now check for seasoning.

In the meantime, once the beef has cooled a bit, remove the meat from the bones. Try to keep the meat in large pieces, if possible. Using a small paring knife, remove any bits of connective tissue that is left on the meat. Now break up the meat into large, bite-size chunks or strips and return the meat to the sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Like most braised dishes, this dish is even better if made the day before.

Step 5: Serving the Dish

• 1 lb rigatoni pasta (or pasta of choice)
• salt (1 tsp per L/qt of water)
• Parmigiano-Reggiano (to taste)
• extra-virgin olive oil (to taste)


To cook the pasta, bring a pot of cold water to a boil. Add the salt and stir. Add the pasta and stir as it comes back up to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package. Once the pasta is just past the al dente stage, reserve one cup of the cooking liquid and then drain the pasta.

Toss the past with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil and bit of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Top with some of the braised beef and enjoy!


  • Linda C
    Linda C
    This is so very good. Using short ribs for the meat gave the dish such depth. Great mouth feel, along with amazing taste. I'll be making this often.
  • Eunice B
    Eunice B
    This might be the single best thing I have ever made - I keep thinking that with each of the Rouxbe recipes I try but this is the first time I felt compelled to pick up the phone and call our foodie friends over because I couldn't get over the flavor. Complex and amazing. Worth the 7 hours it took.
  • Jason G
    Jason G
    I had a rib dish like this in a Yaletown restaurant about a month ago. I tried this recipe for the first time this weekend. I never wouldn't thought I would have made a comparable dish. It was fantastic! For added flavour, I added a demi-glace (Rouxbe recipe) to the sauce prior to the 5-hour baking. Thank you once again for the recipes!
  • Eunice B
    Eunice B
    If there's not enough time to get the meat to fork tender in one session (because I want to go to bed already!) what would be the best procedure? If I take it out, chill it and continue the next day, would defeating in between be helpful or best saved until the end? Any downside to this? I find this dish takes 6-8 hours at 200 degrees
  • Eunice B
    Eunice B
    *defatting*. Stupid autocorrect is not up with culinary terms
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    If you don't have enough time, then you might try doing as you suggested and see if you notice any difference. Personally, I think I would find it a hassle to have to chill the dish, finish cooking it and then chill again to defat it the next day — but you could certainly try it. As for defatting, I would just save it until the end, but there are no hard rules. Alternatively, you could cook the dish at a high temperature if you are short on time. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Yuseph K
    Yuseph K
    Hi, I made a bunch of small technical errors but it turned out great. I have a couple of questions: 1) Would you recommend putting the tomatoes through the food mill first? I didn't and I like the look of the tomato skins all over. 2) Is the mirepoix supposed to deglaze the sucs? I've noticed this after a few recipes. Once I start moving the mirepoix it actually starts to lift the fond. Is this correct? By the time I get to actual deglazing part in the recipe, they are already gone. 3) Can you short ribs for beef stock? Or are they missing gelatin?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Yuseph- You will find that there are many variations to this dish - so I'll start by saying that this recipe is a great inspiration and you can adapt it as you wish. 1) Many people do not prefer skins, as they can be tough and bitter. They may look good to you, but most typically, the skins are not something to "highlight". 2) The mirepoix does add moisture and that deglazes the pan and begins to lift the fond. When it starts, then deglaze. 3) Short ribs have lots of gelatin - but other bones are better suited.
  • Yuseph K
    Yuseph K
    Thanks for always answering so quickly. I'm always impressed by the support rouxbe gives everyone. cheers!

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