Zinfully Delicious Short Ribs

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 15 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: Serves 4
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12 bone-in meaty beef short ribs of similar weight and size

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

About 1 teaspoon allspice, or a couple pinches ground cloves

About 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika, a scant palmful

4 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

4 large cloves garlic

1 red Fresno chile pepper, chopped

4 bay leaves

1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

A few stems fresh rosemary, needles picked

2 medium onions, cut into wedges with root end attached

3 large carrots, sliced on an angle or chopped into bite-size pieces

2 small ribs celery with leafy tops

1 (750 ml) bottle red zinfandel wine

4 cups beef stock

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Crusty bread, for serving

2 cups arugula, for serving

Short Rib Ragu with Drunken Pappardelle:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 to 3 ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped

3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups beef stock

4 cooked short ribs, meat pulled and shredded plus 1 cup braising liquid

1 pound pappardelle pasta

1 (750 ml) bottle dry red wine

Pecorino Romano cheese

Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pat the ribs dry and season liberally with salt, pepper, allspice, and paprika.
  3. In a large Dutch oven heat the oil, a couple of turns of the pan, over high heat. Add the meat and brown in two batches, turning frequently. Remove the ribs to a plate, pour off the fat, as necessary.
  4. While the meat browns, make a flavor paste by adding the garlic, chile, bay leaves, parsley, and rosemary to a food processor and pulse the processor to finely chop. Remove and reserve the paste.
  5. Once all of the meat has been browned and the fat has been poured off, add the remaining oil, onions, carrots, and celery to the pan, season with salt and pepper and stir 5 to 10 minutes, until soft, remove the mixture to a plate. Add in the flavor paste and stir 5 minutes more. Deglaze the pan with wine and reduce by 2/3, about 15 minutes. Return the ribs to the pot and add the stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and move the ribs into the oven and cook 2 1/2 hours. Add the onions and carrots back to the pot for the last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking time.
  6. Remove 4 ribs, for Short Rib Ragu with Drunken Pappardelle, recipe follows, if desired.
  7. Cool the remaining 8 ribs completely, then refrigerate.
  8. To serve, skim the fat from the beef, reheat uncovered, over medium heat. Cook 20 minutes or so, to heat through. Remove the ribs and reserve.
  9. In a small saute pan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Whisk in 4 tablespoons flour to make a light brown roux, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of rib sauce into the roux pan, then add back into the stew pot. Reduce the sauce until thickened, about 20 more minutes.
  10. When the beef ribs are ready to serve, bring the water to a boil, salt the water and cook the egg noodles to al dente. Drain the noodles and return them to the hot pot. Toss the noodles with butter, salt, nutmeg, and chives, to taste. Serve 2 ribs per person with crusty bread, arugula, and sauce.

Short Rib Ragu with Drunken Pappardelle:

  1. Short Rib Ragu with Drunken Pappardelle:
  2. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the carrots, onions, celery, garlic and season with salt, and pepper. Cook until very tender, then stir in the tomato paste, stock, short rib meat, and braising sauce. Heat through, then cool completely and store for make-ahead meal. Skim the fat and reheat, covered, over medium heat.
  3. While the sauce reheats, bring 5 to 6 cups of water to a boil with 1 bottle red wine. Add the pasta and cook to al dente. Drain the pasta and toss with sauce to coat, then top with Pecorino cheese and chopped parsley.

Cook’s Note

To increase the number of servings for this dish - say around holiday time, divide the work between 2 pots and cook 8 to 10 ribs in each pot simultaneously. Make the short ribs 1 day ahead of serving them to make it easy to skim the fat and to allow the flavors to fully develop.