Sometimes you have more than 30 minutes to throw together dinner. Sometimes, you have a date coming over and want to impress. Sometimes, you just want to enjoy the cooking process and make something beautiful.
Today, I’m sharing the perfect recipe for those “sometimes.”
I rarely eat beef, like almost never. When I do, it’s a bite of something Lu’s having. Or, it’s a super-super special occasion or we’re at a place that’s well known for something – like boneless spare ribs at Echo in Palm Beach, those I always treat myself to.
Thus, if I do cook beef, it’s going to be something really delicious, like this slow-cooked short rib ragu. It cooks for 3 hours and is juicy and flavorful. It’s definitely a date night meal or a “congrats on the promotion girl, let’s celebrate!” kind of dish.
It looks beautiful on the plate, and although the short rib isn’t the most nutritionally beneficial meat cut, it makes an excellent ragu, which I’ve made today, put atop sweet potato noodles.
I also had a zucchini in the refrigerator that was going to go bad and I had no planned recipes for it, so, of course, I spiralized it and tried it with the ragu – for an even lighter version of this pasta dish.
I lightened up this ragu by omitting the other meats that are usually cooked into a short rib ragu – like pancetta or prosciutto. In my opinion, the short ribs are fatty enough, so there’s no need for the other meat!
Personally, I prefer this ragu with sweet potato noodles – they are heartier, full of more flavor, and just really carry the ragu. Plus, a robust sauce like this warrants a thicker, starchier noodle.
Hope everyone has something to celebrate or rejoice in this week so they can make this dish – and if you can’t think of anything, think of this: life is something to celebrate. No matter how hard it gets, be happy that you’re alive and healthy.
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Weight Watchers SmartPoints*: 15 points
*These points were calculated using the official Weight Watchers SmartPoints calculator. We are in no way affiliated with Weight Watchers, we are providing this information based on popular demand.
- 2.5 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 28oz can diced tomatoes, no salt added
- 4 cups beef broth, low sodium + more as needed
- 3 sweet potatoes
- freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
- grated parmesan cheese, to garnish (optional)
- Prepare the meat by trimming the short ribs of any excess fat and then patting dry with paper towels.
- In a large Dutch over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the short ribs to the pot and brown on all sides, 10-15 minutes. When browned, transfer the beef and any pan juices to a large platter or pan.
- Add the onion, carrot, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables well. Add the short ribs back in and season with salt and season with pepper then add parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, wine, diced tomatoes and broth or enough to just cover the meat. Stir the liquid and then cover the pot partially with a lid, reduce the heat to low and let cook for 1.5 hours, uncover, and then cook another 1.5 hours, with the lid off, until fall-off-the-bone tender.
- Once the short ribs are done cooking, transfer the meat to a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the meat into bite-size pieces. Return the meat to the pot, discarding the bones. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting, cover and keep warm while you cook the sweet potato noodles.
- Peel and spiralize the sweet potatoes with Blade C. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once oil is shimmering, add the sweet potato noodles, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 7-10 minutes or until cooked through and just al dente.
- Divide the sweet potato noodles into plates. Uncover the pot with the short rib sauce and using a large spoon, skim the fat off the surface, if necessary. Taste and adjust with more salt and pepper, if needed.
- Spoon the sauce over the plates of sweet potato noodles and garnish with parsley. Top with cheese, if desired.