This classic Short Rib Bolognese is a hearty and heartwarming dish that you will crave after your first bite. If I could eat this every day, I just might!
This is a classic recipe and the ingredient list reflects that. Carrots, Celery, and Onions that create a classic mirepoix, and San Marzano tomatoes from the motherland. The result is a decadent sauce that you will just want to bathe in!
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of the post, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and instructions.
Making this sauce is a long process, BUT, it does not require a lot of active work or babysitting. Once you get the initial sauce put together, the short ribs just have to simmer for a few hours until very tender.
First, sear the short ribs until they are browned on all sides. Then remove them from the pan and set them aside.
Then saute the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in the remaining fat at the bottom of the pan until browned. Deglaze with the wine and add the tomato paste. Crush the tomatoes by hand as you add them to the pan and then nestle the ribs back into the pot.
At this point, the ribs need to simmer in the sauce for 3-4 hours until they are so tender they can shred with a fork. After the 4 hours, I let them cool and refrigerate them overnight. I do this so I can remove the fat from the sauce. I put on a glove and remove as much as possible.
When you are ready to finish the short ribs, now that the fat is removed, bring the sauce to a simmer over low heat and the ribs remove easily. Take them out of the pot and remove the bone, and shred or dice the meat, removing any excess fat you find on them.
Return the meat to the pot and add the cream and red pepper flakes. Return the sauce to a simmer, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes. The sauce is now ready to be served over pasta or polenta. Serve with lots of parmesan cheese on top and some basil if you like.
Notes & Tips
If you would like to eat this sauce at the end of the 4 hours braising period, as opposed to letting them cool fully and removing the fat by hand. After searing the ribs remove all the fat from the pan, leaving behind only 1 tablespoon of fat to sautee the vegetable in. Then your sauce will be ready to be finished in one day.
After cooking the short ribs, when you are ready to shred or dice them, remove any hard fat pieces that remain after taking out the bones. Short ribs have a tough, rubberband-like piece of fat that holds the meat to the bone. You will want to make sure you get that out for a more pleasurable eating experience.
For a nice finished sauce, you want to ensure your vegetables are diced nice and small. You could also throw everything in a food processor and pulse them together until they are finely chopped.
You can use bone-in or boneless short ribs for this recipe. Boneless will cook a little faster, and this may be preferred if you want to finish the whole recipe in one day.
If you would like to keep this dairy-free, omit the butter and replace the heavy cream with cashew milk to retain the richness.
Red or White wine can be used in this recipe, red would offer a deeper flavor. If you want to omit alcohol, you can replace it completely with chicken stock.