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BEEF SHORT RIBS RAGU

These hearty one pot meals especially during the Winter is LIFE! I think I get more use out of the slow cooker during the colder months than any other time of year, but with that comes big batch cooking for even tastier leftovers along with really easy prepping so that you can do whatever you need to do for the day while it slowly cooks.

This Beef Short Ribs Ragu recipe is among my favorite next to my Braciole & Italian Sausage recipe. It’s perfect for cold days and also for the holidays. But I’ll admit I’ve made this when it wasn’t cold because it’s that good. And often when I’m being good with my choice of eats, I won’t ignore the craving for this! Okay, believe it or not it doesn’t require anything fancy to make. Cooking it long and slow is the main ingredient to making this taste amazing. Normally I would use 1/2 cup of a dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon but there have been times I didn’t have any or forgot to get wine and it came out just as good.

There is one ingredient you don’t want to ditch when making this, and that’s the pecorino Romano cheese. Make sure you go to the cheese section and buy the block of pecorino. Not the grated. It is often compared to Parmesan cheese but the difference is that it’s made of sheep milk; giving that much stronger pungent taste. AND IT GOES SO PERFECT WITH THIS DISH! Trust me. You can use the leftover block of Romano in place of Parmesan cheese, over any pasta dish, or shaved over salads. It can also be stored tight in a freezer bag in the freezer for future uses if you don’t plan to use the rest of it so quickly before the expiration date.

One last thing! If you’re not feeling pasta, you can definitely serve this over a baked potato, polenta, Italian inspired quesadillas, and even top a homemade pizza with the shredded meat. Never feel you’re limited to only one dish when you make a big batch of food. Enjoy!

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BEEF SHORT RIBS RAGU
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Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Place about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan and bring to high heat. Brown all sides of the short ribs about a minute each side. Lay the short ribs into a slow cooker set for 8 hours on low.
  2. Drain the excess oil from the pan, place the pan back on the stove on medium heat. Add the beef broth and scrape up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan.
  3. Then, add the onions, carrot, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Stir for about two minutes and transfer into the slow cooker.
  4. Add the bay leaf, tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, dry red wine (optional), and Romano cheese chunks. Stir gently and cover the slow cooker to cook.
  5. Feel free to stir everything once half way through if you like. It should be ready in as little as 6 hours but 8 hours is perfect.
  6. Remove each short rib onto a large cutting board and use two forks to shred the meat. Place the shredded meat back into the slow cooker, add salt as needed, stir, and serve over pasta.
Recipe Notes

I recommend using a spoon to scoop the pools of fat at the top. You can also do so by scraping the solidified fat at the top after it’s been refrigerated.

CRAB & RED PEPPER BISQUE

One of my favorite types of soups are bisques because they’re super warm in flavor (not just temperature), yield so much flavor, have a creamy factor without having to add cream or any dairy and can be rather good for you. So those who are lactose intolerance or vegetarian/vegan, this may be a go to for you! If you love roasted peppers then I promise you won’t be disappointed in this recipe. I put together a citrus lump crab salad to go with the soup but it’s not mandatory to make because you can do whatever you want. While the crab adds some elegance to the dish and would make for a great soup for guests, you can keep it casual like I did the other day. I paired it with a gruyere grilled cheese and it was so awesome! I’d imagine a quesadilla would do just as well too.

The brandy in the recipe is optional if you prefer to not cook with alcohol but it does make a subtle difference in depth of flavor. Keep in mind the alcohol does get cooked out. Also, depending on the size of your blender, you might have to puree in two separate batches. As always, I encourage you to make this recipe as fancy or casual as you like and please share what you come up with. I always love your new ideas. Enjoy!


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CRAB & RED PEPPER BISQUE
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Ingredients
CITRUS CRAB SALAD
Servings
servings
Ingredients
CITRUS CRAB SALAD
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the citrus crab salad and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat the broiler on high. Place the 3 red bell peppers on a baking dish and broil until the skin is charred and blistered. Turn them often until all sides are done.
  3. Remove the peppers from the oven and cover the peppers with a towel. Let cool.
  4. Peel the skin from the peppers under cool water, remove the seeds, pat dry, rough chop and set aside.
  5. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pot over medium heat, then add 3 raw chopped bell peppers, leek, onion, garlic, and celery. Allow them to sweat for about 15 minutes, until very soft but not browned.
  6. Add the bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper then stir. Pour the brandy into the pan, stir, increase the heat to medium-high and reduce the brandy completely.
  7. Pour in the vegetable stock, stir and let everything come to a boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 40 minutes.
  8. Add the roasted peppers to the soup and run the soup through a high speed blender like a Vitamix until smooth.
  9. Add any additional alt and cayenne to taste.
  10. To assemble, arrange a few slices of avocado at the bottom of a bowl, and place the crab salad in the center. Pour the soup around the crab salad.