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two black bowls of pasta and sauce with a glass of wine

Beef Short Rib Ragu

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Compliments many cuisines
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Servings: 6
Calories: 422kcal
Thick and hearty beef short rib ragu
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  • dutch oven or stockpot
  • fine mesh strainer
  • blender


  • 2 pounds beef short ribs
  • 8 ounces pancetta diced
  • 1 cup onion 1 medium onion, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup celery 2 stalks, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
  • ½ cup carrot 2 carrots peeled and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 ½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Salt and pepper the short ribs liberally on all sides. Let the meat sit at room temperature until you are ready to use it.
  • Place a dutch oven over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, fry the pancetta until it is crisp and the fat is rendered. Remove from the pan and set aside. Remove excess fat, leaving 2 tablespoons in the pan.
  • Add the short ribs to the hot pan, fat cap side down. The bone side should be on top. Once the meat is seared and browned thoroughly, turn the short ribs to another side. When you have completely browned the meat on all sides, remove it from the pan and set it aside. Again remove any excess fat, leaving only 2 tablespoons in the pan.
  • Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the pan so that the vegetables are coated in the fat. Add salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables. Continually stir so that the vegetables do not stick to the bottom of the pan. The tomato paste will start to turn a rust color as it cooks.
  • Now pour in the red wine and the beef stock. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the fond or brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the pancetta and short ribs back to the dutch oven on top of the vegetables. Throw in the bay leaves and the thyme. Bring to a light simmer.
  • Cover the pan and put it in the oven.
  • The ribs will need to cook for up to 3 hours. After each hour, check the pan to make sure the meat is still covered with liquid. If it isn't, add more stock. After 2 ½ hours, poke the meat with a fork. If it is ready, the meat will fall easily from the bone. If it still feels tough, put it back in the oven for 30 more minutes. It should be ready after three hours.
  • Remove the bones and pieces of short rib from the pan. Pour the contents of the pan (vegetables, herbs, and pancetta) into a fine-mesh strainer placed over a large bowl. Pour the beef stock/red wine cooking liquid back into the pot. Skim any fat off the top of the liquid. Take out the thyme stalks and the bay leaves from the strainer. You can refrigerate the cooking liquid so that the fat solidifies and you can remove it much easier.
  • Remove some of the pieces of pancetta and leave to the side. Add the cooked vegetables to a blender. You will need to add a little of the liquid to the vegetables. Blend until everything is pureed.
  • Add the puree to the cooking liquid in the pot, stirring until combined. Keep warm with low heat. Check the season and adjust if need be.
  • The bones should be easily removed from the meat. Pull the meat into chunks, removing any large pieces of fat or gristle. Add the meat to the reserved liquid in the pot. Adjust the salt and pepper to your taste.


Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 612mg | Potassium: 894mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1945IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 3mg