Short-Rib Ragu with Bacon & Kale

I get quite a few cooking magazines in the mail, which is where I first found the recipe for this Short-Rib Ragu with Bacon and Kale. Most of the time I page through them for inspiration and think about how good everything looks without actually making any of the recipes…except when I came across this Short-Rib Ragu with Bacon and Kale from Rachel Ray Every Day, November 2016 issue. I saw gnocchi and short-ribs and knew I had to make this. I am a sucker for a good gnocchi dish; combine that with short-ribs and it’s bound to be delicious!

After making this a few times I’ve adapted it slightly to my liking. Double the recipe and you have a great meal for a crowd, and perfect for a cold fall/winter night in with friends or family! Freezes well for a later meal too.

This can be served with gnocchi, but also fabulous with creamy cheesy polenta or your favorite pasta. One of my favorite things to make in the winter.

Short-Rib Ragu with Bacon & Kale

A simple, delicious one-pot dish that is packed with flavor.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 4
Author Modified from Rachel Ray Magazine


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless short ribs, cubed excess fat trimmed
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, uncooked chopped
  • 1 small-medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 14.4 oz can stewed Italian tomatoes
  • 1 cup kale, stems removed chopped
  • 3 tbsp grated pecorino or parmigiano-reggiano plus more for garnish


  1. In a large pot such as a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper on all sides and place in the pre-heated oil, turning after 3-4 minutes until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer browned ribs to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, set aside.

  2. Add the uncooked chopped bacon to the same pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until browned, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the onion, carrot, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the liquid is almost all evaporated, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the beef stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  3. Drop the browned ribs back into the pot, cover, and cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until the meat is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Using two forks, shred the meat in the pot or take the meat out of the pot and shred on a cutting board. Add meat back into pot.

  4. To thicken the ragu, continue to simmer on low without the cover, sauce will reduce. Stir in the kale, and the fresh grated cheese.

  5. Serve over gnocchi, cheesy polenta, or your favorite pasta. Freezes and re-heats great.

Recipe Notes

I have only ever found bone-in short ribs at my local store. If you run into this as well, buy about 2lbs of ribs to account for the bone and fat weight. You'll have to trim off the bone and trim as much fat off as possible. If you're left with anywhere from 1-1 1/2 lbs of short ribs you're set!

Makes a great double batch for freezing! Don't forget to serve a nice French loaf along side to sop up all the ragu deliciousness! Enjoy!

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