Short Rib Ragu via The Parsley Thief

katie vitucci

It's been a long time since I've made a winter stew type of meal...the sort of thing that takes all day to cook & permeates your house with the smell of something good cooking. This past Sunday seemed like the perfect day to make a little Short Rib Ragu, and I'm so glad I did.

I served it the same day & it came out great. Although, I would imagine it would be even better made ahead. I couldn't resist making some creamy polenta to go with it but it would be delicious served with egg noodles, or some buttery mashed potatoes.

Short Rib Ragu 

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

3 pounds bone-in short ribs

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 large onion, diced

1 carrot, sliced

1 stalk celery, sliced

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 tablespoon anchovy paste

1 cup good red wine

1 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes {with juice}

1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1-2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 bay leaf

1-2 quarts low-sodium chicken stock

chopped fresh parsley {as an optional garnish}

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rehydrate the porcini mushrooms by mixing them with 1 cup of boiling water. Let them sit while you prepare the other ingredients.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot, over medium heat. Add the short ribs & cook for about 2 minutes per side, until all sides are browned. Remove them from the pot & set aside on a plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot & add in the onions, carrot & celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened {about 5 minutes}. Stir in the garlic & cook for an additional minute. Add the tomato & anchovy paste. Stir to coat all the vegetables thoroughly. Add the wine, tomatoes, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, herbs...along with the porcini mushrooms & their soaking liquid {do not add the last 1/2" or so, as it will contain some grit from the mushrooms}. Stir to combine, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the ribs back in & pour in enough chicken stock to cover the ribs. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pot & transfer it to the oven. Cook for 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender & falling off the bones.

Remove from the oven & transfer the meat to a cutting board to cool slightly. Remove as much fat as possible from the liquid & vegetables that remain in the pot {I found it was helpful to pour the mixture into a measuring cup & then skim the fat off}. Then, puree the mixture in a blender, or food processor until mostly smooth. When the meat is cool enough to handle, pull all the meat off the bones & shred it into bite-sized pieces {remove any large pieces of fat while doing this}. Transfer the meat to a serving platter & coat with the sauce. Serve over polenta & garnish with some chopped parsley.