Thursday, March 15, 2012

Short Rib Bolognese

Wow - its been a long week.  I think that I've been on an airplane 5 out of the 6 days since my last blog post.  There actually weren't even very many funny/peculiar/annoying fellow passengers to make my trips more interesting.  The best I've got is that today I shared a flight from Boston to Richmond with a certain Virginia Politico - the House Majority Leader.  I was all excited when I walked up to the gate because there were like 5 Massachusetts State Troopers and several bodyguards surrounding someone, and I was convinced that it was someone famous, like Tom Brady or Madonna.  I was a bit disappointed when I realized that they probably don't fly on tiny US Air planes with no first class section at all.  And, I'm not really sure why Tom Brady or Madonna would want to come to Richmond, VA anyway.  So, while it was sad that it wasn't more exciting, but I guess at least it made the pilot fly the plane more carefully.  Or something.

I've been meaning to post about this short rib bolognese for a long time now.  Beeecaaauuusssee, what is better than short ribs cooked in red wine and served over pasta?  Nothing, I tell ya!  Short ribs are my favorite cut of meat to cook.  Of course.  Kind of like the Four Seasons is my favorite kind of hotel, Prada is my favorite kind of purse, and Joseph Phelps is my favorite kind of Cabernet Sauvignon.  See that?  Yeah.  I bet you can guess how much fun it is to be married to me and share a bank account.  P.S. - I don't have a Prada purse.  But I really want one.  Maybe I could have one if I stopped spending all our money on short ribs.

ANYWAY, I'm always looking for new ways to make short ribs, and this bolognese didn't disappoint.  The meat was so tender and had just the right amount of fat to add flavor to the sauce.  I served it over fettuccine the first night and the leftovers over spinach ravioli.  Yum times dos.


Short Rib Bolognese
Source: Adapted from Chowhound

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces chopped pancetta (about 1/2 cup)
2 1/2 pounds short ribs
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes (whole or diced)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 cups beef broth
3/4 cup red wine
1 pound fresh or dried tagliatelle
4 to 6 teaspoons shaved bittersweet chocolate
Place the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Cook the pancetta until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, season the short ribs with salt and pepper, and dredge in the flour. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta from the pan and set aside. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes total.
Meanwhile, combine the onion, carrot, parsley and garlic in a food processor and blend until finely minced. Then add the tomatoes and tomato paste and pulse.

Once the short ribs are browned, carefully add the mixture from the food processor to the pot. Return the pancetta to the pot and stir. Add the rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, beef broth, and wine. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for another hour and a half, stirring occasionally. Remove the meat and bones from the pot. Discard the bones. Shred the meat and return it to the pot. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes for dried pasta and 2 to 3 minutes for fresh. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the pot and stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta liquid 1/4 cup at a time, if needed, to moisten the pasta. Transfer to serving bowls, top each bowl with 1 teaspoon of chocolate shavings. Serve immediately.

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