Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu is incredibly easy to make yet tastes like a gourmet meal. This short rib ragu is sure to impress your dinner guests.
Anyone who knows me will tell I'm a huge pasta girl. I could eat pasta every single day and never get tired of it.
This girl loves her carbs! For real.
Every time I travel for work I take the opportunity to try great pasta recipes from wherever I happen to be. It's always my go-to when ordering off a menu.
Last year I was in Utah for a video workshop and I was having a horrible time with some health issues and my stress level was through the dang roof.
I'd recently been put on blood pressure medication but they hadn't really regulated the proper dosage before I flew out of the country.
When I arrived in Utah my legs and feet had swollen up about 3 times their normal size. I looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters!! No joke!
As you can imagine, having your legs swell like that is not much fun. In fact, it's incredibly painful. I spent a few days in Utah in utter agony.
I already have issues travelling because I have IBD and severe anxiety so I was super close to a complete and utter breakdown.
Luckily I was rooming with the very best friend a girl can have. Her name is Liz and many of you know her as That Skinny Chick Can Bake.
Liz is a fellow blogger I met through work and instantly bonded with. We have travelled together about a dozen times now. Hopefully there are dozens more trips in our future!
Aside from my daughter, Liz is the only person in the world who makes me feel comfortable when travelling. She never makes me feel like an outsider because of my illness.
She knows I don't travel easily because of my health issues. Yet she never bats an eyelash over my antics or meltdowns. She stays calm and keeps me from spinning out of control.
Friends like Liz are rare in life. I would be lost without her. I owe her a lifetime of gratitude for her kindness and friendship.
Now you're wondering what all this has to do with pasta and restaurants. Am I right? I know, I steered the bus way off course there. It's okay. I'm getting there.
On our last night in Utah I was craving comfort food something awful. I had barely eaten for 3 days because I was not feeling well and didn't want to cause any tummy issues.
We were hanging out in our hotel room with our pal, Sabrina of Dinner then Dessert. We were gabbing about all things blogging and life.
I was starving so I ordered some room service. They had a short rib ragu on the menu so I jumped at the chance to try a bowl. Needless to say it was divine.
I love short rib ragu but rarely make it because I'm usually so busy. So, I decided to come up with any easy hands-off recipe I could make in my slow cooker.
This is one of those recipes everyone should have in their recipe binder. It's so incredibly easy to make but the flavour is out of this world.
I highly recommend you make this as soon as possible. Then invite your own "Liz" over to share a bowl with you! Life is about appreciating the people who make your world a happier place!
Tips for making slow cooker short rib ragu:
- If you have the time for it, I recommend searing your meat. It adds incredible flavour. Especially if you scrape all the brown bits off your pan. There's flavour in the brown.
- If you don't have time to sear the meat it's okay. This recipe was tested both ways and I promise you it's still going to be amazing if you skip searing. The photos in the post are from a batch I did not sear.
- Pick good quality boneless short ribs. I buy mine from Costco or my local butcher.
- Use good quality tomatoes. San Marzano are epic. If you can find them, use them!
- Be patient! Personally I prefer this one cooked on the low setting. I'm not a big fan of the high setting for this particular recipe. I feel the same way about slow cooker mashed potatoes.
- If you can find fresh herbs you can use them. Good quality fresh herbs are hard to find here in cooler months.
- You can drain off some of the liquid from the sauce once it's cooked. That's a personal choice.
- Be creative! If you like chipotle peppers in adobo then add some. If you love jalapeno peppers, add them. Make this recipe your own!
What goes well with Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu:
- Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes - Serve your slow cooker short rib ragu over mashed potatoes instead of noodles!
- One Hour Bread - Serve this quick and easy bread recipe alongside of your short rib ragu!
- Pappardelle Noodles - Whip up your own noodles from scratch!
- Easy Tiramisu - This simple dessert would make the perfect dessert to accompany such an amazing meal!
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Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu
- 3 lbs boneless short ribs
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large vidalia onion, diced
- 2 large shallots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 oz San Marzano tomatoes (canned)
- 3 cups beef stock
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp parsley for garnish
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- If searing meat, do so in a very hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Sear over high heat until all sides are browned. Working in small batches and transfer to a plate as you cook each piece. Scrape bits off pan by adding a little water to pan and cooking over high heat, scraping the bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Pour over meat. Set aside.
- Add carrots, celery, Vidalia onion, shallots and garlic to slow cooker.
- Place meat in slow cooker.
- Add San Marzano tomatoes, beef stock and tomato paste to slow cooker. Use wooden spoon to make sure everything is evenly spread out.
- Add oregano, basil, salt, pepper and bay leaves to slow cooker.
- Place lid on slow cooker.
- Plug slow cooker in and turn on low setting. Cook for approximately 7 to 8 hours, depending on your slow cooker.
- Stir everything really well. If there is too much liquid you can drain some off. You can also add more tomato paste and cook for another 30- 60 minutes to thicken if you prefer a thicker sauce.
- Serve over cooked noodles or mashed potatoes.
- Garnish with parsley, if desired then add LOTS of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Serve with a pasta loving smile!
Thanks for visiting today!
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This looks hearty and comforting! Also I am loving your Crockpot in the background!
Thanks Nicole. I think that's my Pioneer Woman slow cooker. One of the few slow cookers with a white crock.
Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
ohhh Liz is seriously the sweetest-I'm so glad you had her with you!!!
and omigosh this looks phenomenal!!! I seriously must try it!
Made for tonight, ribs are still intact, very chunky. Do you put in food processor?? Mine looks nothing like pic.
Hi Jen. Did you use short ribs and not spare ribs? The meat should have been really tender and falling apart when it was done. I just used two forks to pull it a bit, kind of like when you shred pulled pork. You can also use a hand mixer with beaters to break up meat so it has that pulled texture.
Every slow cooker is a bit different. Maybe increase the time an hour or so if you make it again. The meat should be fork tender and fall apart easily. Let me know if you need any more help.
Hi Kim... This looks Devine and I’m looking forward to making in the next week or so. I’ve never made short ribs. I will check out Costco. Have you every made this other than a crockpot? Thanks
Hi Barbara. Sorry to respond so late. I've been off work for quite some time for health reasons.
Anyhow, to answer your questions, yes I have made this in a dutch oven in the oven. I love using my Le Creuset cookware and this recipe is perfect done that way. Let me know if you need more details. Maybe I can put up the Dutch oven version after the holidays.
This would fly off the table at our house Kim! I’m absolutely drooling seeing that photo. I want to grab a fork and dig right in. Pinned and definitely adding this recipe to my list of slow cooker faves!
Thank you so much. Hope you are staying safe and well during this crazy time.
Made today for dinner - fam loved it, even oldest son who is extremely picky. I used bone-in short ribs, fished bones out later when shredding the beef. Also, used beef stock+red wine, totaling almost 3c. My ragu was very thin - I even thickened with corn starch. Regardless it was delish, esp over whipped potatoes.
Hi Joy. I'm so glad you liked it. This sauce is not a thick sauce at all but you can thicken it with tomato paste if you make it again. I'll have to try it over whipped potatoes next time I make it.
Hope you and the family are staying safe right now.
Oh, my gosh, you made me tear up reading this!! I hope we have a dozen more adventures together, too!! It's been WAY too long. Darn pandemic got in the way this year, LOL.
Bill would love your short rib ragu as much as I would! Needs to be on our menu!!! XXXX
Aw, you know I adore you! I miss our travels and cannot wait to see you when this pandemic is over. I can't believe we finally planned something and all heck broke loose. Such a bummer!
Your dudes would love this. It's so good.
Wow your dish looks so delicious! I dont have slow cooker, so can I use instant pot instead?
Hi Marina. Absolutely. Just use the stew/meat setting, should take 35 minutes.Then let the steam release, which should take about 10 minutes. If you need any help just leave a comment. If you don't get a quick response you can always email me at email@example.com
Great! I just finished it last night and the result was unexpected, My wife loves it. She got surprised. Yeah. I am going to try this for my friends too. Nice. Thanks for your guide.
Hi Elliot. I'm so glad you both enjoyed it. It's really good over noodles but also fabulous over mashed potatoes too. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Much appreciated.