This hearty Short Ribs Ragu recipe is rich, delicious comfort food at its finest. And you'll save time by making in the pressure cooker!
When it comes to comfort food, I think pasta dishes are always amazing, no matter what the weather. Don't you agree?
I've long loved a good short ribs ragu served over a heaping mound of pappardelle pasta. Before I started making it at home, it was one of my favorite dishes to order at restaurants.
Once I started cooking this classic Italian American recipe at home, I always made my ragù in the slow cooker. Keep in mind, this was well before the Instant Pot revolution, Slow cooking brings out the tenderness that traditional braising does, but without all the work of working over the stove the whole time.
Now, thanks to the Instant Pot, you can make an even more amazingly flavorful short rib ragù in even less time!
Instant Pot Short Ribs Ragu
While there is a little work up front for this recipe, it is 100-percent worth it. And compared to the traditional braising method, this is a much easier, faster recipe. I think you will love it so much, that you'll make it again and again - just like I do for my family!
This Instant Pot Short Ribs Ragu is a faster version of a slow cooking classic recipe: braised short ribs. Instead of several hours, it takes just around an hour from start to finish.
The ragù is made with beef short ribs seared in bacon drippings, which means they are EXTRA tasty. The sauce includes tomatoes in three different forms: diced, paste, and sauce. The variety adds to the richness of this delicious dish, and ensures it's not a one-note wonder.
I serve Instant Pot Short Ribs Ragu with a thick, larger format pasta, such as pappardelle. I've also made this with tagliatelle, fettuccine, rigatoni - all with success. You want a bigger pasta that can hold the beautiful ragù.
What wines pair well with Short Ribs Ragu?
A rich, hearty meat-based sauce calls for a rich, hearty red wine. For a pairing of equals, try the 2016 Légende Médoc 2016 ($24.99), pictured above (gifted). Made of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, this is a full-bodied red wine with a long and slightly spicy finish. Its qualities bring out the bold flavors of the short rib ragù beautifully.
You can also pair this recipe with a full-bodied Merlot or Chianti.
What can I substitute for red wine?
If you don't want to use red wine in the sauce, simply substitute equal parts of additional beef broth.
Can I make this short ribs ragu in my slow cooker?
Yes! Before the Instant Pot, I always made this Red Wine Slow Cooker Short Ribs recipe instead. Both ways produce an amazing short ribs ragu. Personally, I prefer the Instant Pot version since the searing creates a beautiful smokiness to the dish and makes the meat extra delicious, but the slow cooker version is yummy too!
What is the difference between ragu and bolognese sauce?
Both ragù sauce and bolognese sauce are rich, hearty red sauces. Both are usually also served with pasta. The difference is that ragù sauce is meat-based, whereas bolognese sauce is tomato-based. While most bolognese sauces also have meat, the flavor focuses on the tomatoes.
Short rib ragù mac & cheese
My favorite way to enjoy leftovers of this hearty comfort food dish? With mac and cheese! It's seriously AMAZING, and even though I enjoy mine with vegan, dairy-free mac & cheese, I know the full dairy mac & cheese would be extra delicious.
Easy Instant Pot Short Ribs Ragu Recipe
Instant Pot Short Ribs Ragu
- 2 lbs beef short ribs
- salt & pepper to season
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 strips bacon, chopped into 1" pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (equals about 2 tsp)
- 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped into small pieces (yields approximately 1 cup)
- ¼ cup dry red wine
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes (14.5b oz can, undrained)
- 1 can tomato paste (6 oz can)
- 1 cup tomato sauce (your favorite jar or from a can)
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup beef broth
- salt & pepper
- 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped for garnish (optional)
- Dry short ribs with a paper towel and salt & pepper both sides. Set aside.
- Add olive oil to the Instant Pot, turn to SAUTE, and add bacon. Sauté until cooked, remove and set aside on a plate.
- Add short ribs to the Instant Pot and sear all sides until brown (no need to cook completely, just make sure all sides are nicely seared and brown). Remove from the Instant Pot and set aside on a plate.
- Add onions, garlic, carrots and sauté for 2-3 minutes, just until all are slightly soft.
- Add red wine and deglaze the bottom of the pot, gently scraping any meat or veggie bits off the bottom with the wooden spoon.
- Return the ribs to the Instant Pot. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, thyme, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth. Seal lid.
- Set your Instant Pot to Meat/Stew for 35 minutes. Allow for natural release, then remove the meat, discard the bones (or save them to make beef broth!) and shred meat using two forks. Return meat to the pot and serve over pappardelle pasta. Garnish with cooked bacon and parsley.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.
Wow this sounds SO flavorful and amazing! Pinning!
Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife says
Thank you, Kelsey! :)
Renee | The Good Hearted Woman says
Thanks for clarifying the ragu-bolognese sauces. (Although I imagine that there is some grey area in the middle.) Also, short rib mac & cheese!?! I think I need that now. 😁
Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife says
Thanks, Renee! :)