Melt-in-your-mouth short ribs make Short Rib Ragu company worthy. The Instant Pot makes it a super simple recipe, even for a weeknight.
Beat the summer heat
We search for ways to keep our cool as summer’s heat continues. This month’s The Recipe Redux challenge was how to keep the kitchen cool with an appliance. Because whatever you do, don’t turn on the oven!
Fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your mouth, cut-with-a-fork tender. Braised meats are comfort food. Especially so in winter. I’m making a braised beef dish because on a recent trip to Italy I fell for Bolognese ragu. Again.
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How to braise meat
Slow, low cooking with liquid breaks down tough fibers tenderizing the meat while developing rich flavor. Low heat is a bubble, not a boil, around 325° F. Braising requires a tight-fitting lid to keep in the moisture. There are many ways to braise. It can be done on the stovetop, but the oven is preferred over the stove because the heat is more uniform. But since it’s sweltering summer and I don’t want a hot kitchen, a slow cooker, pressure cooker or in my case, a brand-spanking-new Instant Pot are all good options.
Here’s a slow cooked braised Texas Chile.
Cooking in an Instant Pot
Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker plus. The plus is slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker all-in-one appliance. My first Instant Pot cooking adventure was to make hard-cooked eggs. They cooked perfectly, no green ring and the shells slipped off beautifully. Then I made the #1 recipe on my blog: Curry Egg Salad.
The Instant Pot is a time saver
Anyway, the Instant Pot reduces cooking time by about two thirds because the food cooks under high pressure. And while it doesn’t heat up the kitchen, it does create some delicious aromas!
The ingredients in a Bolognese ragu
- Tough meat cuts: chuck, arm or shoulder roast, short ribs, round steak or brisket
- Browned in oil. Browning is not cooking the meat, but searing a nice brown crust on the skin. This is a way to add flavor. Big meaty flavor. The trick is to not crowd the pan. Make sure each piece has space around it, otherwise, the meat just kind of simmers and steams.
- Liquid: water, juice, beer, broth, wine
- Seasonings: vegetables, herbs, spices
I went with bone-in short ribs, broth, wine, tomatoes and their juice, onions, carrots, celery, garlic and a handful of fresh herbs. Short ribs have a pretty thick fat layer. By trimming the ribs before cooking and allowing them to cool after cooking, you can remove quite a bit of extra fat because it will rise to the surface and solidify. Bones add even more flavor plus help thicken the sauce.
This Instant Pot recipe is great make-ahead recipe because flavors develop over the next day or two. And believe me, it tastes as good on the patio as it does but the fire.
A few more Instant Pot recipes to get you going
- Instant Pot Apple Pumpkin Butter
- Instant Pot Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps
- Instant Pot Chicken Mole
- Instant Pot Chicken Jambalaya
- Instant Pot Curried Egg Salad
If you like braised beef dishes, try Texas Beef.
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Short Rib Ragu
Melt-in-your-mouth short ribs make this company worthy. The Instant Pot makes it super simple. The richly flavored sauce is a staple of Northern Italy. Be warned, you’ll be ready to eat because the cooking aromas are yum, yum, yum!
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 teaspoon canola oil olive oil
- 2 onions, minced
- 3 carrots, quartered, thinly sliced
- 1 celery rib, quartered, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 14-ounce can beef broth
- 1 stalk fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 3 sprigs fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds short ribs, trimmed of fat
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Cook: Turn on Instant Pot. Choose Saute. Add oil. Brown short ribs by placing them in a single layer in pan. Don’t crowd too much. Let them cook undisturbed for 5-7 minutes. Turn to brown the other sides of the ribs. Remove short ribs to a bowl. Add onions, carrots, celery, tomato paste, and garlic and cook until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 10-15 minutes. Stir in wine, tomatoes and broth. Nestle the short ribs in the vegetables and top with herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and choose Meat/Stew. Cook 35 to 50 minutes. I know this is a wide range. If you are cooking at low altitude, the time will be closer to 35 minutes. Higher altitude is about 50 minutes. Allow InstaPot to cool down for 15 minutes, then release steam by venting.
- Then: Remove from heat. If you have time, refrigerate overnight. The fat will congeal so you can easily remove it and the flavors will improve. Remove meat and bones from sauce. Shred short ribs, then return to sauce. Heat sauce with meat. Serve over cooked fettuccine or polenta.
If you have time, refrigerate overnight. The fat will congeal so you can easily remove it and the flavors will improve.
Ragu may be frozen for 6 months in an airtight container.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 300
Keywords: beef dinner, Instant Pot, ragu, braised meat
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Here’s a link to how my fellow food bloggers are keeping their kitchen’s cool.