Turn Leftover Short Ribs into Easy Beef Ragu

Vegetables are gently sautéed then combined with red wine, beef broth and herbs in which beef short ribs are slowly braised until meltingly tender; served to friends on Friday, it was the perfect meal for a winter’s night. On Sunday, a day during football season when we typically crash in front of TV all day, I made an easy second meal be re-heating the leftover meat and sauce and serving it over wide pappardelle noodles. Ty it!

Braised Beef Short-Ribs

Braised Beef Short-Ribs

Braised Beef Short-Ribs, serves 4 with leftovers 

This is a simpler version of a recipe from Ina Garten, otherwise known as The Barefoot Contessa. You will need:

• Beef short ribs, cut “English-style”, 2 per person plus 4 extra

• Olive oil

• Onion, Vidalia, 1 large, peeled & chopped

• Carrots, 2 large, peeled and chopped

• Celery, 4 large ribs, sliced crosswise

• Leeks, 2 large, white part only, sliced crosswise (optional)

• Garlic, 3-4 cloves, peeled & chopped

• Tomato paste, 2 heaped tablespoons

• Full-bodied red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon), 2 cups

• Fresh rosemary, 1-2 sprigs

• Fresh thyme, 3-4 sprigs

• Beef Broth (I used Imagine Brand), 6 cups

If using meat from the fridge, let it sit out for about an hour beforehand.

Pre-heat oven to 400F.

Pat the ribs dry, season with salt and pepper and place them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; roast for 15 minutes in the oven then set aside.

Turn the oven down to 300F.

While the meat is roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or other ovenproof pot that can hold all of the ribs. Add the onion, carrot & celery (and leeks if using them) and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes (do not allow to brown). Time spent here helps develop the flavour of the dish.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.

Raise the heat; stir in the tomato paste to combine then pour in the wine; keep at a brisk simmer for 10 minutes until the wine has reduced and thickened.

If you have kitchen string, tie together sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme or simply add sprigs of each herb to the pot. I give rough quantities because sometimes rosemary sprigs are large, woody and pungent and sometimes less so; use your best judgement.

Add the ribs to the pot in a single layer (you may have to put them in upright) and add 4 cups or more of beef broth, enough to just cover the meat. Place the lid on the pot and place the pot into the pre-heated oven for 3 hours or until the meat is just starting to fall off the bones.

Allow the leftover meat and sauce to cool completely then store separately, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Beef in a Red Wine Sauce over Noodles

Beef in a Red Wine Sauce over Noodles

Beef in a Red Wine Sauce over Noodles

Simple and delicious; if anything it tastes even better second time around. You will need:

• Leftover cooked beef short ribs, 4

• Leftover sauce (I had 4 cups)

• Pappardelle noodles (or pasta of your choice), enough for two

Remove the bones and discard any rough cartilage from the ribs then shred the meat.

Heat up the leftover sauce in a pot, add the beef and simmer gently over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes until heated through (if it cooks for much longer it may start to dry out).

Meantime, cook pasta in a large pot in rapidly boiling salted water as per the instructions on the package – my noodles were cooked in 6 minutes.

Drain the pasta and add it to the meat sauce off the heat, cover and let sit for about 3-5 minutes to allow the flavours to meld. It’s delicious as is but you could also grate over some fresh Parmigiano Reggiano. If you have an extra bottle of red wine it would be perfect served alongside. Enjoy!

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