Braised Short Rib Pasta

By Thursday, September 17, 2015 0 Permalink

Braised Short Rib Pasta

Braised meat is bomb. There is nothing more tender or better at serving up saucy goodness. But, I don’t want to focus on what you guys already know, so let’s talk about (braised) meat sauce. We’re all familiar with Bolognese and this recipe is really a slightly more complex variation of that classic, at least as far as flavor. It also plays with the old school concepts of gravy making, e.g. not from a packet and not from drippings alone. You take your mirepoix/soffrito, you hard sear some bone-in-meat in the middle of it, add liquid, reduce over a long period of time, and voila.

There are some individuals who will refer to sauces like this one as a “Sunday gravy.” The idea being that on a Sunday, before church, your mom or grandma would wake up early and get to work cooking. They’d do all the hard stuff before you even got out of bed, and leave a beautiful sauce simmering softly in the pot as the whole family trucked off to mass in their Sunday best. When you got home, the intoxicating smell announced that Sunday gravy awaited you in all its glory. It was your reward for strapping on uncomfortable clothes and sitting still for a couple hours, but it was also the centerpiece of the big family meal of the week.

My brother is probably the only person under the age of 90 who still uses the term “Sunday gravy”, but the point is well taken. This is a thick, extremely flavorful sauce, with all the hallmarks of comfort food, that is best consumed with friends or family, especially with a couple bold bottles of red wine. I warn you, this sauce could be coma inducing.

Braised Short Rib Pasta

Just a couple of notes on the different types of meat you could use if short ribs are unavailable – pork shoulder is a great option here but depending on the thickness may require a longer cook time. Lamb and veal shank are also classic choices. Additionally, you don’t have to serve this sauce over regular pasta. Depending on how meaty or how long you reduce, this could be the base of a phenomenal sandwich. You could even use this sauce as a heartier component of a homemade lasagna or baked ziti.

Vegetables for mirepoix

Short rib for braised short rib pasta

Braised Short Rib Pasta

Braised Short Rib Pasta
Print Recipe
Braised meat is delicious and not all that hard to prepare. This is a simple but delicious meat sauce that requires a little bit of patience but goes great with a whole lot of full bodied red wine.
Servings Prep Time
6 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
6-8 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
6-8 hours
Braised Short Rib Pasta
Print Recipe
Braised meat is delicious and not all that hard to prepare. This is a simple but delicious meat sauce that requires a little bit of patience but goes great with a whole lot of full bodied red wine.
Servings Prep Time
6 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
6-8 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
6-8 hours
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Heat your olive oil in a large pot on medium-low heat. Finely dice your onion, celery, and carrots. Add to the pot and cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add the tomato paste and mix into your mirepoix thoroughly.
  3. Generously rub the short ribs in salt and pepper. Heat your pot to medium high and add the meat, bone-side up. You want a hard sear but obviously without burning your meat.
  4. After searing the short ribs for 3-5 minutes (you want a nice crust on the top of your ribs) you may transfer the contents of the pan to a slow cooker, or continue cooking in the pot.
  5. Add the parsley, wine, stock, and both cans of tomato. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the rosemary, sugar, and black pepper.
  6. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours.
  7. After a long time has passed and you are confident your meat has been tenderized, uncover the sauce and carefully inspect and taste it. Are the short ribs soft? You should be able to easily pull them apart with a spoon. If not, continue cooking. When the meat is properly cooked, skim as much fat from the surface of the pot as you can.
  8. Taste the sauce. If it is acidic add more sugar. Add more salt or black pepper as needed. You can even add more rosemary or parsley to up the herbaciousness. When satisfied with the base flavor, add the crushed chili flake, gently stir and let the sauce cook for another 5 minutes to marry.
  9. Serve over pappardelle or other long pasta (egg pasta is preferable) and dress with pecorino and parmigiano reggiano. Enjoy!
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