Three bowls of short rib ragu over pappardelle next to a small bowl of gremolata.

Short Rib Ragu

  • Author: Nicole Cutchall
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2.5 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


Short rib ragu is a meaty sauce filled with bold flavors of beef short ribs, red wine, thyme, and rosemary; it’s balanced with a dollop of mascarpone cheese and a bright citrus gremolata.



For the Ragu:

  • 1 lb boneless beef short ribs
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 2 celery stalks, diced small
  • 2 carrots, diced small
  • 2 cups full-bodied red wine (recommended: Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • ¾ cups beef broth
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 large stems of parsley
  • 1 large or 23 small sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • ½ tbsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided

For the Gremolata:

  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely grated
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Pinch of kosher salt

For the Mascarpone:

  • 2 cups heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

For serving:

  • 1 lb Pappardelle (homemade or store bought)
  • Short rib ragu
  • Gremolata, optional
  • Mascarpone, optional


For the Ragu:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and ¼ tsp of kosher salt. Pat the short ribs dry, and coat in the flour and salt mixture. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1½ tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.
  4. Add the short ribs to the dutch oven. Sear until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side.
  5. Once seared, remove short ribs and set aside on a plate.
  6. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the remaining 1½ tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Add in the onions, carrots, and celery, plus ½ tsp kosher salt. Cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute.
  8. Deglaze the dutch oven with the red wine. Simmer over medium heat for 7 minutes.
  9. Add in the beef broth, canned tomatoes, Dijon mustard, bay leaf, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, crushed red pepper, and ¼ tsp kosher salt.. Stir to combine. *See note*
  10. Return the short ribs to the dutch oven, and cover in the sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. Cover the pot and cook in the oven at 325 degrees for 2 hours, stirring the sauce every 30 minutes. Short ribs are done when you can shred them easily with a fork. *See note*
  12. Shred the short ribs, removing any large chunks of fat, and return to the pot. Serve immediately, store in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

For the Gremolata:

  1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl.
  2. Mix to combine.

For the Mascarpone:

  1. Add the cream to a medium sized pot, and bring up to 180 degrees over low heat. Simmer at 180 degrees for 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the lemon juice, stir, and continue simmering at the same temperature for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Once the cream coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat, and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  4. Line a strainer with cheesecloth (about 3-4 layers), and pour the cream into the cheesecloth and strainer. Place the strainer over a bowl, and put in the fridge overnight.
  5. Mascarpone is strained when thick and creamy. It will keep airtight in the fridge for 1-3 days.

For serving:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, salt the water.
  2. If you are reheating the ragu, heat covered in a medium pot over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add the pasta to the boiling, salted water and cook according to instructions.
  4. In a separate large bowl, add your desired amount of sauce. Add in the drained pasta and toss to coat.
  5. Portion the sauced pasta to individuals bowls. Top with a dollop of mascarpone cheese and 1-2 tablespoons of gremolata, if desired.


  • Tie the parsley, thyme, and rosemary together with a piece of twine. This will make it easier to remove the herb bundle after cooking.
  • After cooking for 2 hours at 325 degrees, check to see if the short ribs are done by inserting a fork into one of the ribs and twisting. If the meat shreds easily then the short ribs are done. If the meat does not shred easily, continue cooking at 325 degrees in 15 minute increments until tender.
  • Ragu can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to a week. Reheat covered in a medium pot over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Braising/Stewing
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: beef short ribs, ragu, pappardelle, thyme, rosemary, red wine, parsley, oregano, tomatoes, slow-cooked pasta sauce, hearty pasta sauce