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Monday, April 12, 2010

slow-cooked beef short rib ragu with homemade pasta

okay, so it's not exactly a springy meal, but the weather was fairly wintry last week, and the short ribs in the freezer needed to be cooked. i read countless short rib recipes last week, but ultimately decided to try a short rib ragu from bobby flay. (i may have mentioned, we really really like a good ragu.)

i stewed the ribs in vegetables, wine, and stock for about 3 hours on the stove, as i don't yet own a good ovenproof braising pot (sorry, le creuset, the hundreds of dollars it will take to make you mine continue to evade me!), and served over homemade pappardelle pasta with a generous amount of chopped parsley and grated cheese. bobby's recipe called for tomato paste, which i substituted with some garden tomatoes from the freezer. i figured the stovetop preparation would benefit from a little more liquid in the pot. it was totally delicious, and made for some amazing leftovers!

short rib ragu
from bobby flay's short rib ragu with pappardelle and pecorino romano 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds short ribs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 dried bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 small carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 medium shallots, diced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups diced tomatoes (or 1 15-oz can)
1/4 cup tawny port
1 cup red wine, such as cabernet
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 cups homemade beef stock
2 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 pound pappardelle or other long, flat pasta
chopped parsley
grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese

tie bay leaf, rosemary, and thyme together in a pouch made of cheesecloth.

heat oil in a large, heavy bottom pot over medium heat. season short ribs with salt and fresh cracked pepper. working in batches if necessary, brown the ribs on all sides. (one thing i've learned from watching tyler florence on the food network is "color equals flavor," so let them sear long enough that they develop some good golden brown color, 5 or so minutes each side.) 
remove from pot and set aside. 

add carrots, celery, onion, and shallots to pot and cook over medium heat until softened, about 10 minutes. add flour and cook, stirring, about one minute. add port and wine and deglaze, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. simmer until wine is reduced by about half. add pouch with herbs (bouquet garni), garlic, and beef and chicken stocks. 

return ribs to the pot and bring to a simmer. cover and lower heat to low and cook until very tender, stirring occasionally, 3 hours. (the mixture should cook at a low, easy simmer-- if it gets too rowdy, turn down the heat. when done, the meat should be almost falling off the bone.)

remove and discard the herb pouch (bouquet garni). remove the ribs from the pot and shred the beef from the bones. meanwhile, with the ribs out of the pot, use an immersion blender in the sauce to blend the solid vegetables and to thicken it. (optional.) add shredded beef to pot, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered to reduce and thicken the sauce, about 20 minutes or more. (cook to desired thickness.)

serve over hot pasta with chopped parsley and grated cheese. 

delicious, grass- and potato-fed beef short ribs from olsen farms 

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