Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Short Rib Ragu with Pappardelle Pasta

Pappardelle pasta is my FAVORITE pasta of all time, which explains why I always order it when we get Italian. While in Del Mar a few times last year, we stopped by Cucina Enoteca and tried their short rib ragu over pappardelle pasta -- it was love at first bite. I usually shy away from red meats, but after going to Spain for our honeymoon last year, I've learned to make a few exceptions for special occasions or when we eat out; we can call those "cheat" days. And of course, when eating something so delicious, what more reasonable thing to do than to try to create it ourselves? I'm sure the boy is excited I've started venturing into the red meats realm since for the last six years he has been stuck with chicken or fish when I'm ambitious but for the most part vegetarian on the day to day basis. This was my second attempt at cooking red meat (the first was an absolute flop). But this time, I had a weapon - my brand new Le Creuset dutch oven the boy got me for Christmas, and oh do I love it so.  
Recipe adapted from OC Weekly 

Short Rib Ragu with Pappardelle Pasta

Prep time: 30 minutes then marinate overnight
Cook time: 4 hours


For the short ribs:
8 lbs bone in short rib
3 cups red wine
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 carrot sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 onion chopped 
1 head of garlic peeled
10 sprigs fresh thyme
15 whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 quarts beef broth

For the ragu:
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped carrot
2 carrots sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup port wine
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 cup diced tomato
2 quarts short rib braise
2 cups crimini mushrooms
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped shallots
3 x fresh pasta recipe

Aged parmesan garnish

First off, make the marinade: Combine red wine, red wine vinegar, sliced carrot, chopped onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, and pepper in a bowl. 

Trim the excess fat off the short ribs. Divide short ribs evenly between 2 gallon size ziplock bags and pour marinade evenly over the short ribs in each bag. Leave overnight in the refrigerator to marinate. 
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove short ribs from marinade and strain vegetables and red wine marinade, saving both. Heat 3 tbsp vegetable oil on medium heat in a dutch oven. Sear short ribs on each side until browned (about 3 minutes each side - depending on your stove temperatures) then set short ribs aside. 

Next take vegetables from marinade and heat them in the pot until soft.
 Add 2 tbsp tomato paste then add the rest of the marinade to deglaze the pot. Put the ribs back in the dutch oven and add 2 quarts beef broth to cover. 
 Replace lid and put the entire pot into the oven for 4 hours. While cooking in the oven, prepare your pasta dough - recipe link above. Refrigerate dough until ready to use. 

Remove short rib from pot and debone. The meat should be extremely tender and should pretty much fall off the bone with little effort. I then shredded the meat slightly into smaller pieces, but not to the point of making shredded beef. 
 Strain and discard the vegetables - keep the broth. 
Remove pasta dough from refrigerator to rest. 

Next, in your dutch oven, add 2 tbsp oil along with onions, carrots, and garlic. Sautee for 2 minutes. Add 2 tbsp tomato paste and mix then add port wine and red wine to deglaze the pot. Cook on medium heat to reduce until nearly all the liquid is gone. Add celery salt, cayenne pepper, and tomatoes. Put the shredded short rib pieces back in the pot and add about 1/2 the reserved broth just to cover. Simmer ragu for 1 hour, uncovered. While ragu is cooking, roll your pasta into flat sheets and cut into 1 inch thick pieces to create pappardelle.
Bring a large pot of water to boil with a dash of salt and a splash of oil.  Add pasta to boiling water and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes until pasta is al-dente. Strain pasta and rinse with cool water. Toss with a splash of olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking. 

In a separate pan, sautee crimini mushrooms with garlic and shallots for 4-5 minutes. After ragu has cooked for 1 hour, add mushrooms to pot and stir all ingredients together. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. 
Remove from heat and stir in pasta. Garnish with parmesan and serve immediately. I left out this step during our dinner and served the ragu over the pasta. This is a mistake - DO NOT leave out this step. By mixing the pasta with the ragu, the pasta will get much more of the ragu flavoring. Bon Appetit!

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