Short Rib Ragu
Cook’s note: This takes 4 hours to cook from start to finish. But your active time is only 30 mins. Make this after lunch on a Saturday. Go read a book or take a nap and when you’re done, you have a big, rich and savory meal for Saturday night.
- For the short rib ragu:
- 1 Ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 5 1/2 Pounds bone-in short ribs
- 1 Pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon bacon fat, lard or oil
- 1 Large onion, diced
- 2 Medium carrots, diced
- 2 Stalks celery, diced
- 2 Large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 Tablespoon anchovy paste
- 1/2 Bottle big red wine
- 14 Ounces can fire-roasted whole tomatoes and juice
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 Dashes Worcestershire sauce, more to taste
- 1 Teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 Large sprig rosemary, leaves chopped
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 Quarts chicken stock or water (more or less as needed)
- 1 Recipe gremolata (as follows)
- 1 Large clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon zest from one large lemon
- 1/4 Cup parsley, finely chopped
- ½ Teaspoon salt
- 1 Teaspoon olive oil
- Dried Porcini Mushrooms
- Bone-in Short Ribs
- Bacon Fat, Lard or Oil
- Garlic Cloves
- Tomato Paste
- Anchovy Paste
- Red Wine
- Fire-Roasted Whole Tomatoes
- Dijon Mustard
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Dried Thyme
- Dried Oregano
- Sprig Rosemary
- Bay Leaves
- Chicken Stock or Water
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Soak dried mushrooms in 2 cups boiling water.
- Season ribs well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large, heavy pot (I used a 5-qt. enameled cast iron dutch oven) over medium heat until shimmering. Brown ribs in batches for 2-3 minutes per side, then set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of accumulated fat from pot, then sauté onion, carrots and celery until soft. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
- Create a hot spot in the pot by moving vegetables aside and leaving about a 3-inch radius bare. Add tomato paste and anchovy paste to the hot spot and stir vigorously until caramelized, then stir into the vegetables. Add red wine to deglaze and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add tomatoes, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms and soaking liquid (minus the last 1/4 inch to keep sediment out of your dish), plus herbs.
- Add ribs to pot and fill with chicken stock or water until ribs are nearly covered. Bring liquid to a boil, then cover tightly and braise in oven for at least 3 hours or until ribs are fall-apart tender. Remove ribs from liquid and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove bay leaves and discard. While ribs cool, purée the braising liquid with an immersion blender until thick and set over medium-low heat to reduce if the sauce seems thin. When ribs have cooled down, discard bones and large pieces of fat, then shred the beef and return it to the pot. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, skimming any large pools of fat from the surface.
- Serve over polenta, sprinkled with gremolata.
- Gremolata - Mix ingredients in a small bowl and let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.