For me, cooking is all about the process. It soothes and relaxes me to wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and stroll into the kitchen to arrange my ingredients for a day of slow paced, home cooking made with care and patience. Well, if you subscribe to this old school way of thinking as much as I do, you should love this recipe. Granted, it is a bit of a project, but well worth the time in my book. This past Christmas, my loving Mom bought me a veritable cornucopia of pasta attachments for my snazzy red Kitchen Aid stand mixer, drying racks, ravioli molds, and utensils to create my own homemade pasta dishes. Well Mamasita, I think I have finally found the perfect recipe for testing these new tools out, and here it is.

Recipe: Short Rib Ragu with Papardellle and Pecorino Romano Cheese

Summary: A delicious, soul warming blend of slow cooked herbs, tender beef and melt in your mouth pasta, all topped with a bite of smooth pecorino cheese.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds short ribs, each about 2-inches long, cut flanken style, across the ribs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 small carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium shallots, diced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup ruby port
  • 2 cups red wine, such as Cabernet
  • 1/2 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 3 1/2 cups homemade beef stock
  • 1 pound pappardelle or other long, flat pasta
  • Chopped parsley
  • Grated Pecorino Romano, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Place a 5-quart casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil, and heat until it is almost smoking. Season short ribs generously with salt and pepper. Working in batches if necessary, add short ribs to the hot oil. Cook ribs until browned on both sides. Remove ribs from casserole, and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare bouquet garni: Place bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, and parsley in the center of a square of cheesecloth. Bring edges together, and tie with kitchen string. Set bouquet garni aside.
  4. Add carrots, celery, onion, and shallots to oil in the casserole, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and golden, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add flour and tomato paste to the casserole, and stir to combine. Add ruby port; stir with wooden spoon until all browned bits have been scraped from the pan and the bottom of the casserole is clean. Add red wine, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Add garlic, beef stock, and the reserved bouquet garni.
  6. Return browned ribs to the casserole. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover the casserole, and place it in the oven. Cook until ribs are very tender, about 3 hours.
  7. Remove the cooked ribs from the casserole. Set the casserole on the stove top over medium heat, and simmer to thicken sauce just slightly. As soon as the short ribs are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, and shred into small pieces. Degrease the sauce and discard the bouquet garni. Return shredded meat to casserole, and simmer to reduce sauce by about half.
  8. Fill a large pot with water and add a few tablespoons of salt. Set over high heat, and bring to a boil. Salt well, and stir in pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente.
  9. Drain pasta, and serve with short-rib ragu, sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with freshly grated Pecorino Romano

Quick Notes

Many local gourmet supermarkets, such as Whole Foods, sell fresh-made pasta by the pound, if you want to really go authentic, but don’t have the tools to do so on your own. Most grocery stores also carry fresh pastas in the refrigerated aisles.

Variations

Try using fresh, homemade pasta using a stand mixer with attachments.

Cooking time (duration): 3hours 45minutes

Number of servings (yield): 4

Meal type: dinner

Culinary tradition: Italian

 

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