Thursday, November 12, 2009

Short rib ragu

OK, short rib ragu is not exactly the most economical choice, given the average cost of short ribs these days. But I discovered that Sam's here carries both short ribs and oxtail in bulk. I used to make this ragu with lamb shanks, but since short ribs are cheaper here than lamb shanks, hence short rib ragu.

Start by searing 2-3 lbs of short ribs on both sides in a little oil in a big cast-iron Dutch oven. You then remove the ribs, and saute a chopped onion, a couple of chopped shallots, and a few diced carrots and celery ribs in the same pot. When soft, deglaze with 1/2 cup or so of ruby port, and then add 2 cups of red wine. Let the wine cook down to about half, and add beef stock, several peeled whole garlic cloves, and seasonings (rosemary, bay leaf, thyme, etc.). Put the short ribs back in, and cook in a 325-degree oven for about three hours. Remove to the stovetop and remove the short ribs, letting them cool. Meanwhile continue cooking the sauce on low. When the ribs are cool enough to handle, strip the meat off the bone and add back to the pot, along with pasta of choice (penne or papardelle works well). When pasta is done, serve with lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

It's certainly not a light meal, but it's very filling and you get a lot of entertaining bang for the buck. Depending on how much you pay for the short ribs, you could conceivably get 2-3, possibly 4, quarts of ragu for under $10.

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