Short Rib Ragù with Fresh Pappardelle
Rich and complexly flavored, a ragù made from slow-cooked short ribs makes an impressive showing at an Italian-themed dinner party. Make the pasta from scratch if you like, or purchase fresh pappardelle or another wide noodle from a local Italian deli or gourmet grocer.
- 4 lb. (2 kg) bone-in beef short ribs
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 oz. (60 g) prosciutto, cut into narrow strips
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) dry red wine
- 3 1/2 cups (28 fl. oz./875 ml) beef broth, or as needed
- 1 lb. (500 g) fresh pappardelle
- Grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for serving
Trim the short ribs of excess fat. Thoroughly pat the meat dry with paper towels.
In a large Dutch over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the prosciutto and sauté until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the prosciutto to a large platter.
Working in batches, add the short ribs to the pot and brown on all sides, about 12 minutes per batch. Transfer the beef and its juices to the platter.
Add the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil to the pot and stir in the onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and cumin. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, lightly colored and aromatic, about 10 minutes. Return the short ribs and prosciutto to the pot, add 1 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper and stir well. Stir in the tomato paste, wine and enough broth to just cover the meat. Cover the pot partially with a lid, reduce the heat to low and braise, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 3 hours.
Bring a large pot two-thirds full of water to a boil over high heat.
Remove the pot with the short ribs from the heat, and remove and discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Carefully pour the contents of the pot through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Transfer the short ribs to a cutting board. Using your fingers or 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-size pieces. Return the meat to the pot. Let the sauce stand for a few minutes. Using a large spoon, skim the fat off the surface. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the meat in the pot and rewarm over medium-low heat.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large serving bowl. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the short rib mixture on top of the pasta. Using a spoon, add enough of the braising liquid to lightly coat the pasta, and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and parsley and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cook Good Food (Weldon Owen, 2014)