Alas, we have come to the short rib ragu recipe I mentioned we would eventually get to in my last post about the pinci. So, like I mentioned before, in case you haven’t read that previous post, one of the best things I had while in Montalcino this past summer was an incredible ragu at Le Potazzine. It was bomb. I had to create my own version once I got home, and while I’ve done a bolognese recipe in the past, I figured I would switch it up a bit and try it with short ribs. The meat would have a bit of a different texture since it’s not ground, and hopefully it would have some extra flavor and body from being cooked along with the rib bones. All in all, it was totally worth it.
The whole reason we even ended up eating at Le Potazzine was because our original reservations for the day, at some other restaurant, happened to not actually exist. Luckily our amazing driver for the day, Giovanni, who is from Montalcino and runs tons of wine tours there, recommended and setup some new lunch reservations at Le Potazzine. Dude knows what he’s doing. Lunch was phenomenal.
So, after making this recipe there is a bit of experiential knowledge I would love to pass on, so hopefully you don’t repeat the same mistake I made. If you’re cooking short ribs, maybe don’t pick the largest one available, since it’s probably not gonna fit in whatever pot you’re using. A little forethought on my part would have been great, but oh well. So, to fix this issue you’ll see that I just cut off the meat from the one rib that was way to big to fit in my pressure cooker and kept the other rib that fit intact. It all worked out just fine.
Luckily our amazing driver for the day, Giovanni, who is from Montalcino and runs tons of wine tours there, recommended and setup some new lunch reservations at Le Potazzine. Dude knows what he’s doing. Lunch was phenomenal.
Short Rib Ragu
This serves about 3 to 4 people, so scale up or down as needed.
- 2 Short Ribs
- Olive Oil
- Onion – diced
- Glass Red Wine – preferably something Tuscan, but ya know dry, red, something you would drink
- 15oz (1 small can) Crushed Tomatoes
- Thyme – small bundle, tied up so you can fish it out after cooking
- 2 Bay Leaves – optional, I didn’t have any at the time
- Water – Maybe a cup, only if you need it
- Fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Parsley – optional, I kept it super simple here cause that’s how it was at Le Potazzine
First thing is to get your short ribs browned. Season them generously with salt, add some olive oil to a hot pan and get a good sear on all sides. Get them browned up as much as possible, more browning means more flavor. Once the ribs have plenty of color, take them out of your pan, set aside for the moment and add in your diced onion. You want a little color on the onions, so cook them for maybe 5 mins or so. Once they are softened and slightly brown, go ahead and add in a glass of wine and scrape up any delish brown bits that have accumulated on the bottom of the pan.
Add your short ribs back into the pan, along with any juices they may have released. Add in that can of crushed tomatoes, bundle of thyme, bay if you’re using it, and enough water so your ribs are half submerged in cooking liquid. You may not need any. Be sure to season with some more salt.
Let cook in a pressure cooker for about 40 minutes, and naturally release. If you’re not using a pressure cooker, cook at a gentle simmer, covered, for about 3 hours. You want the meat to fall off the bone, easily shred and be completely tender.
Pull your meat and bones out. Remove the thyme and bay leaves. You can discard the bone and remove any excess bits of fat or sinew. Then chop up and shred the meat. You may also need to reduce your sauce a bit. I did. Let it simmer till it’s a consistency you like, add the meat back in and check for final seasoning.
You can certainly eat this with whatever type of pasta you want, I prefer pinci of course, but if you’re not looking to spend the time making some fresh pasta just to eat this sauce, rigatoni, bucatini or even spaghettoni would be great options. Be sure to top with plenty of grated parm and maybe even some fresh parsley if you’re into that. That’s it. Eat up!