This delicious Short Rib Ragu pairs perfectly with our 2017 Gene's Block Zinfandel and is a favorite of our June 2021 Wine Club Members of the month!
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
5 1/2 lbs bone-in short ribs
1 pinch - kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large - onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsps tomato paste
1/2 bottle Amista Vineyards 2017 Zinfandel
14 ozs can fire-roasted whole tomatoes and juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 dashes - Worcestershire sauce, more to taste
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 large sprig rosemary, leaves chopped
2 bay leaves
2 quarts - chicken stock or water (more or less as needed)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Soak dried mushrooms in 2 cups boiling water.
Season ribs well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large, heavy pot (I used a 5-qt. enameled cast iron Dutch oven) over medium heat until shimmering. Brown ribs in batches for 2-3 minutes per side, then set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of accumulated fat from the pot, then sauté onion, carrots, and celery until soft. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
Create a hot spot in the pot by moving vegetables aside and leaving about a 3-inch radius bare. Add tomato paste to the hot spot and stir vigorously until caramelized, then stir into the vegetables. Add red wine to deglaze and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add tomatoes, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms, and soaking liquid (minus the last 1/4 inch to keep sediment out of your dish), plus herbs.
Add ribs to pot and fill with chicken stock or water until ribs are nearly covered. Bring liquid to a boil, then cover tightly and braise in the oven for at least 3 hours or until ribs are fall-apart tender.
Remove ribs from liquid and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove bay leaves and discard. While ribs cool, purée the braising liquid with an immersion blender until thick and set over medium-low heat to reduce if the sauce seems thin. When ribs have cooled down, discard bones and large pieces of fat, then shred the beef and return it to the pot. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, skimming any large pools of fat from the surface.
Refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove additional fat from the surface before reheating. Alternatively, serve warm immediately if you do not have the patience to wait until the next day because your kitchen already smells divine and you are probably hungry. Serve over polenta or pasta with a glass of Amista Zinfandel.