Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu

This recipe for short rib ragu came from my Williams Sonoma 'The New Slow Cooker Cookbook'. I've had that cookbook for almost a year and this was the first recipe I've made from it - they've all looked rather too complicated but the new me this year loves complicated! On a weekend or holiday night only please! In the end, I'm glad I stepped up to the plate and ordered short ribs along with our batch of grass fed beef and I'm *really* glad I chose to make this - the ragu is delicious. D was still talking about it two days later.

I would suggest making this only when you have at least an hour to spare in the morning to get everything going for the sauce. The ribs take 8 hours to cook but boy is the result worth it. I served it over soft polenta and it was incredible that way but I think you could serve it over anything and be happy.


3 lb. grass-fed beef short ribs, English cut (I used a little over 2 lbs and it was fine)
salt and pepper
2 T olive oil
2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
10 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 T tomato paste
3/4 cup red wine (make sure it's good enough to drink, you know, because)
28 oz can plum tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 springs fresh rosemary
2 t red wine vinegar
soft polenta to serve


  • Pat the ribs dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, add the ribs and sear until brown on all sides (turn as needed). About 10-12 minutes. Using tongs, transfer ribs to the slow cooker.
  • Add the bacon to the pan and cook, stirring, until the fat begins to render. Add the onion, carrot and celery and continue cooking until golden. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring. Pour in the wine and stir to get up all the brown bits. Add the tomatoes and juices, thyme, rosemary, vinegar, 3/4 salt, and several grinds of pepper. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Pour the contents into the slow cooker, making sure to pour over the ribs. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, the ribs should be falling apart.
  • Using tongs, transfer the ribs to a platter (the bones were falling out of mine at this point) and let cool slightly. Pull the meat from the bones and shred it. Discard the herb sprigs. Transfer about 3/4 of the sauce to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the slow cooker and stir in the meat. I let the sauce sit for another 15-30 minutes for the flavors to amalgamate.
  • Serve over pasta or polenta (I recommend polenta). Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

No comments:

Post a Comment