Short rib ragu

Guaranteed to leave your home smelling like an Italian kitchen. Slow-cooked beef short ribs with a touch of spice served on a bed of linguine.

More than 1 hour 

Serves 4-6 


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  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) olive oil 
  • Salt and milled pepper 
  • 2kg beef short ribs 
  • 2 onions, chopped 
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) ground cumin 
  • 1 tsp (5ml) cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp (3ml) ground cloves 
  • 4 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme 
  • 1 large sachet (100g) tomato paste 
  • 1 cup (250ml) red wine 
  • 2 cans (400g each) cherry tomatoes 
  • 2 cups (500ml) beef stock 
  • ½ cup (30g) grated parmesan 
  • Pasta, polenta, mash or rice of choice and fresh basil, for serving 



  1. Heat half the oil in a pot over high heat, season meat and brown in batches. 
  2. Remove and set aside. 
  3. Heat remaining oil in the same pot and sauté onion until soft and translucent. 
  4. Add garlic, spices and herbs and fry for a minute. 
  5. Add tomato paste and cook for a minute or until sticky. 
  6. Pour in wine to deglaze pot, then stir in cherry tomatoes and stock. 
  7. Return meat to pot. 
  8. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 2½–3 hours, stirring regularly, until meat is soft. 
  9. Remove meat and shred with two forks – it should flake easily – discarding bones and any sinew. 
  10. Return meat to pot, combining with thick, rich gravy. 
  11. Serve ragu on a bed of pasta, mash or polenta, topped with parmesan and basil leaves. 



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