Normally when I make a bolognese sauce I start with ground beef but since I like a good slow braise I thought that it would be nice to go with short ribs, which have a lot of flavour, and slowly simmer them until they are falling apart tender. A bolognese sauce is the perfect dish to build up tons of flavour and umami so I like to start by cooking some pancetta or bacon and then using the leftover grease to sear/caramelize the beef before adding the veggies and then delazing the pan with wine to get all of that browned caramelized flavour off the bottom. I continue to build up the flavour with dried porcini mushrooms, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and italian seasoning before finishing things off by adding parmesan, cream and a touch of fish sauce. Because this dish is a long slow braise dish it’s perfect for the slow cooker so you can throw everything into the slow cooker in the morning and have a super tasty meal waiting for you when you get home at night! Once the meat has finished cooking it will be falling apart tender and you can serve it tossed with your favourite pasta and you will be in pure flavour heaven!
For a lighter option use zucchini noodles instead of pasta!
Tagliatelle Short-rib Bolognese
A slowly braised beef short rib bolognese that is absolutely packed with flavour!
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 1/4 pound pancetta (or bacon), diced
- 1 pound boneless short ribs or other stewing/braising cut of beef, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- red pepper flakes to taste
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white (or red) wine (or beef broth)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes, crushed
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces pasta (gluten free for gluten free)
- grated parmesan to taste
- fresh parsley and/or basil to taste
- Cover the porcini mushrooms in 1 cup boiled water and let soak until tender, about 20 minutes, before chopping the mushrooms and reserving the mushroom water.
- Meanwhile, cook the pancetta in a large sauce pan and set aside reserving the grease.
- Cook the beef in the same pan over medium-high heat until browned on all sides before setting aside.
- Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, mushrooms and tomato paste and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the red wine, deglaze the pan, add the reserved mushroom water, pancetta, beef, broth, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and italian seasoning, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the beef is falling apart tender, about 2-3 hours. (You can also transfer the pot to the oven preheated to 275F/140C and cook until falling apart tender, about 3-4 hours.)
- Mix in the parmesan and cream and season with fish sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta as directed, toss with the sauce and enjoy topped with parmesan and parsley.
Note: If there is not enough grease left in the pan after cooking the pancetta, add some oil to the pan before adding the beef or the veggies.
Option: If you have some parmesan rinds, throw them in for the braise and remove them before serving.
Note: Replace the italian seasoning with 1 teaspoon of each dried oregano, basil and thyme.