Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu

72 reviews / 4.9 average

Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu! Ready in an hour. AMAZING on gnocchi, pasta, polenta, rice, potatoes, and more.

Short Rib Ragu?! Who am I right now, making SHORT RIBS?

I am a pillowy-gnocchi-loving-pasta-eater, that’s who.

Carbs 100% dictate my life, and my current carbs wanted short rib ragu.

Did you know that short rib ragu is so good, end of story, but also not end of story because it just takes pasta to a whole nother level? Saucy, tangy, and just so tender and luscious all at the same time? This was a new discovery for me.


In This Post: Everything You Need To Make Short Rib Ragu


Prefer To Watch Instead Of Read?

Short ribs in an Instant Pot.

Ragu Made Fast and Easy (Thanks, Instant Pot!)

As a less-savvy meat cooker (<- this is who you’re dealing with), I was a little intimidated by making short rib ragu. But then I remembered how we had this at our dinner club all those years ago, and I remembered how good it was with our tiny pillows of homemade gnocchi, and then I got brave with it because a) Instant Pot, and b) food motivation.

So that’s what’s happening today – short ribs, short cut, Instant Pot, RAGU!

First Things First: Ingredients You’ll Need

In an effort to keep this in the fast and easy category, this recipe also has a shockingly short number of ingredients.

  • Short ribs
  • Garlic + onion
  • Red wine
  • Jarred spaghetti sauce
  • Salt
  • Spices

Now let’s get to it!

How To Make This Short Rib Ragu

Starting with the short ribs. We’re starting with the saute function on the Instant Pot to get a nice browning on the short ribs.

Okay, then something magical happens.

You have all the browned bits in the bottom of the pan, right? So you throw some onions and garlic in, and you start working those browned bits off into your sauce. Oh my gosh, YES.

Short ribs and onions in an Instant Pot.

Did I already talk about magic?

There’s more magic.

A splash of red wine pulls all your browned bits, sauteed onions, garlic, and spices into something so good that it should be illegal.

Wine poured into an Instant Pot.

Now the shortcut part. Add your short ribs back in with a jar of your favorite tomato sauce.

And now the Instant Pot gets to work.

Cooked short ribs in an Instant Pot.

One hour later? This is what is sitting in front of your face.

You are your own favorite person right now for making this happen.

Parmesan sprinkled on Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu with gnocchi.

So, What Is Ragu Anyways?

Ragu can mean a little something different depending on your preference, but primarily: it’s an Italian meat-based sauce that’s typically made with veal, beef, lamb, pork, fish or poultry.

This recipe veers a little away from the traditional due to the fact that it’s not a classic slow-simmered ragu, but rather made quickly in the Instant Pot to make it doable on a weeknight!

You might ALSO be familiar with ragu alla Bolognese, which is a variation of ragu. This is also a meat-based sauce, but uses white wine and less tomatoes than a traditional ragu.

What To Serve with This Short Rib Ragu

The options are truly endless here, but I love to pile this on storebought gnocchi, freshly-made gnocchi, cauliflower gnocchi, or some delicious pasta like pappardelle. This could also work on polenta or rice. All of the above are also delicious with a big dollop of ricotta or parmesan on top. YUM.

For sides, this Simple Green Salad is my go-to – it provides the perfect little bite of freshness against the comfort-heavy ragu and carbs.


Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu, guys. It’s a little short-cut-y, a little weeknight-friendly, and MEGA DELICIOUS.

Short Rib Ragu: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this in a slow cooker?

Do steps 1-3 in a pan on the stove, and then cook everything in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours.

Can I make this on the stovetop?

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Sear the short ribs on all sides until browned, but not cooked through. Remove from pot. Add in the onion and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes until tender. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan and scrape up the brown bits. Add in the short ribs, tomato sauce, salt, and crushed red pepper. Use 1 cup of water to rinse out the jar and add to pot (1/2 cup more than original recipe states). Bring everything to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook on low for 2 hours until the beef is fork tender.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes! Make this recipe as written, and then let it cool and store in the fridge. One bonus of doing this is that a lot of the fat will rise to the top and turn solid which makes it easy to remove. When you’re ready to serve, reheat it on the sauté setting in the Instant Pot or in a pot on the stove.

What should I serve this with?

I like to serve this on top of gnocchi, pappardelle pasta, or polenta!

Will this recipe work with boneless short ribs?

Absolutely! Just adjust to be 1 lb. of boneless short ribs (vs. 2 lbs. of bone-in).

Could I freeze this recipe?

Yes! Just freeze it in an airtight bag or container, and then thaw in the fridge for at least 24 hours before reheating on the stove.

Can I replace the wine in this recipe?

Yep, just sub in the same amount of broth or water!

Can I use a different cut of beef?

We haven’t tested this recipe specifically with other cuts of beef, but the Instant Pot can be quite forgiving. We also have a recipe for a beef ragu made in the slow cooker with flank steak if you want to give it a try!

Print
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Short Rib Ragu in bowls with gnocchi.

Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu! Ready in an hour. AMAZING on gnocchi, pasta, polenta, rice, potatoes, and more.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 lbs bone-in short ribs (or 1 lb boneless)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • one 25-oz jar store bought marinara/spaghetti sauce (I use DeLallo tomato basil sauce)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. pasta or gnocchi

Instructions

  1. Get ready: Turn instant pot on to the sauté setting. While it heats up, trim any excess fat from the short ribs, then pat dry with a paper towel. Generously season the meat with salt and pepper.
  2. Brown those short ribs: Add oil to the Instant Pot. Add the short ribs to the hot oil and sear on all sides until brown. (The meat does not need to be fully cooked. Just browned.) Remove from pot and set aside.
  3. Onions, garlic, and wine: Use tongs & paper towel to remove any excess oil from the pot. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Pour wine in to deglaze (*sizzzles*) and cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Go-time: Add short ribs, tomato sauce, salt and crushed red pepper to pot. Use 1/2 cup water to rinse out sauce jar and add to pot. Set Instant Pot to the stew/meat setting (35 mins). When it’s done, let it sit untouched for a natural steam release.
  5. Finish up: Remove meat to sheet pan. Shred into bite size pieces, removing bones and any large pieces of fat. Meanwhile, set the Instant Pot to sauté again to reduce/thicken the sauce. Skim any fat off top of sauce and add meat back in. Taste and add salt & pepper if needed.
  6. Serve: Serve over cooked pasta or gnocchi. Yummmo!

Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions: Do steps 1-3 in a pan on the stove, and cook everything in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours.

Stovetop Instructions: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Sear the short ribs on all sides until browned, but not cooked through. Remove from pot. Add in the onion and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes until tender. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan and scrape up the brown bits. Add in the short ribs, tomato sauce, salt, and crushed red pepper. Use 1 cup of water to rinse out the jar and add to pot (1/2 cup more than original recipe states). Bring everything to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook on low for 2 hours until the beef is fork tender.

Initially, the meat will stick to the stainless surface of the Instant Pot, but once it’s got a nice sear on it, it should release pretty easily.

If you make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge, a lot of the fat will rise to the top and turn solid. This makes it easy to remove.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: instant pot short rib ragu, short rib ragu, ragu

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203 Comments

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      It tastes amazing but it’s taking WAY longer than 2 hours for the stove top version. I’m almost at 4 and I’m not close to the meat falling off the bone.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Hello! Wondering if I do the slow cooker version, if you would suggest the inital pan I use be Cast Iron? Or would that be hard with deglazing? Thanks!

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    What are cooking instructions for a slow cooker? This sounds amazing but I have no Instapot. Thanks!!!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Question: “Short Rib Ragu?! Who am I right now, making SHORT RIBS?”

    Answer: SOMEONE I <3 <3 <3!!!! 😉

    As an avid follower of your blog, I can't emphasize how much I love seeing a recipe that isn't vegetarian on here. But when you do what you just did with those short ribs above, my heart just skipped several beats and all I can say is dang lady, those ribs are a MAJOR OOMPH BOMB!!!

    Look forward to your gnocchi recipe with this spectacular short rib ragu!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks incredible! Would normally be very intimidated cooking short rib but all over this this weekend – I am guessing it can maybe made in a slow cooker but with a much longer cooking time?

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    HI! This sounds great! The picture makes it look almost like there’s pasta or chicken? Am I missing an ingredient?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Nevermind! i see your post talks more about what to eat with the ragu .. i’ll assume this is gnocchi in the photos.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Can you provide non-instant pot option? Don’t have one but would love to try this!!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love short ribs and this rags looks irresistible! Quick Instant Pot question for you: I have not jumped on the bandwagon yet, but I borrowed a friends’ Instant Pot for a week and my one complaint was that I just didn’t get the depth of flavors that you would if you braised or slow cooked something and gave it hours for flavors to develop. Do you experience this or do you “over” season to compensate for this at all? Thanks!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Mercedes! We’d agree that it can be true for certain recipes (though this one has great flavor!). We mostly love the Instant Pot for quick dinners and hands-off cooking (you can get it all in there and then just put your feet up while it cooks!). Totally depends on your preference for cooking and flavor. Hope you give this one a try to see!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        This is a family favorite. I use a 2-3 lbs chuck roast and crushed tomatoes. Flavor is always amazing and I serve it over polenta. I make it for a regular family dinner and have also served it to guests. It’s really a fabulous recipe.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I’ve made this several times in instant pot and in the oven for 2.5 hours at 350. It’s perfect.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi! I can never seem to get beef right in my instant pot. It always comes out too tough. Do you think I’m not browning it for long enough?

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      What do you recommend for sides with this? Thinking it needs something light but I can’t think of what.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Any suggestions to replace the wine? I’m pregnant and the idea of opening a bottle for 1/4 cup won’t work for a bit.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I think she meant, why open a whole bottle of wine when she only needs 1/4 cup for the recipe and can’t polish off the rest.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I freeze wine in 1/4 or 1/2 cup containers to use when I only need a little. Works great!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    made this using the slow cooker instructions and it was SO YUM. the only thing i’d change for next time is to reduce the water to 1/4 cup because I like a thicker sauce but that’s just me. thank you for a yummy and easy recipe!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Also, if any of you are impatient like me, I used the Quick Release and the meat was still fall-apart tender.

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hi there!

    Can this be made with marinara sauce? I have a bottle of Rao’s and wasn’t sure if it would turn out okay.

    Thank you!
    Charlie

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I just made this and the short ribs weren’t anywhere near tender enough to shred after following the instructions. Putting it back in the instant pot for another 10 minutes of pressure and crossing my fingers.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I was stoked to try this and my meat was nowhere near done at 35 min. I put it back on manual high for 12 and still couldn’t get much meat off- maybe it was cut I got at store/ gonna try again longer on manual high next time

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I had the same issue! $30 worth of short ribs just would NOT come off the bone. We ended up throwing them out and just had the sauce. I think the crock pot version of this is probably the way to go.

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          I’m so sorry to hear that, Kelsey. Instant Pots can be really finicky sometimes when cooking meat until fork tender, and it seems like it takes forever. But if the meat doesn’t shred easily, it definitely needs to cook longer.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This meal was insanely rich and made enough for two dinners (half is frozen in the freezer now). We tried it with both gnocchi and pappardelle pasta and enjoyed both (youngest doesn’t like gnocchi). It’s definitely a comfort food dish or a special occasion meal that pairs nicely with a salad. My partner used the instant pot and said it was easy and came together nicely. This recipe is going into our collection of favorite meals and I look forward to eating it again.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I shouldn’t know this, but I’m getting an Instant Pot for my bridal shower next weekend, and I am taking it STRAIGHT HOME and making THIS EXACT DISH. I’m so excited I could cry delicious savory tears!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    So. Stinkin. DELICIOUS. Not kidding, I have made this 3 times in the last month-ish since it was published. We even did the interactive dinner party activity but with homemade pasta instead of gnocchi, so much fun! Love this recipe!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Update: Made it for my cousin & his girlfriend while they were visiting last week and they both said it was the best pasta they’ve ever had. Seriously, this one is a winner!