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Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu is ready in just one hour and it’s so easy to make! With simple ingredients and tender beef, the rich and flavorful sauce is truly the perfect winter meal. Serve it on pasta, mashed potatoes, gnocchi, and more.
about this instant pot short rib ragu recipe
Who in their right mind could turn down a warm bowl full of short rib ragu?
To me, this is 100% the perfect winter meal. Making a great ragu is usually something so time-intensive. However, with the Instant Pot, a 3 hour+ project turns into a meal that you can get on the table in an hour.
With all the rich and hearty flavor you love, it’s ideal on a cold night in the dead of winter.
Speaking of which, our family has taken a vote and we are ready for no more snow in February. Anyone else?
This short rib ragu sauce takes your favorite pasta to a whole new level of deliciousness! It’s luscious, it’s decadent, and it’s totally warming. If I had to pick one comfort food meal to live off for the rest of winter, trust me, this would definitely be it. With all the Italian flavors you love, it’ll become your favorite too!
short ribs. You can use either bone-in or boneless beef short ribs for this recipe. Bone-in tend to have more flavor, but boneless are less work since you don’t have to worry about removing the bones after cooking.
salt and pepper. Use coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to season the short ribs.
oil. Either canola oil or olive oil will work in this recipe.
vegetables. The variety of vegetables used in this recipe really build the flavor of the sauce. You will need a yellow onion (you can use white, but yellow has a nice sweet flavor), shallot (don’t skip this!), 2 carrots, and 2 sticks of celery.
garlic. Garlic is a must for EVERYTHING, so I have a jar of minced garlic living in my fridge at all times. No smelly hands, no peeling garlic. The best shortcut to pay for, in my opinion.
tomato paste. I highly recommend buying your tomato paste in a tube instead of a can! The flavor is better (less tin-y) and it lasts so much longer.
red wine. Reach for a dry red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Pinot Noir.
crushed tomatoes. Use plain crushed tomatoes for this recipe, but you can also use 100% tomato puree if that’s all you have on hand.
beef stock. The richness of the beef stock is what creates the best flavor for this ragu!
spices and herbs. You will need bay leaves, dried basil, and fresh thyme sprigs for this recipe.
Don’t forget the pasta for serving! I recommend pappardelle pasta, it’s the ideal pairing.
this recipe’s must haves
To make this short rib ragu sauce, you will need an Instant Pot! I love my Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ultimate Lid – it’s officially my favorite Instant Pot model ever. The Instant Pot Duo and Instant Pot Pro are also solid options.
You’ll also need a cutting board and chef’s knife to prep the ingredients for the recipe.
For cooking, I make sure to have tongs and a wooden spoon.
instant pot favorites
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here’s how to make instant pot short rib ragu
Trim the short ribs and season short ribs well with salt and pepper.
Turn on the Instant Pot to Sauté and heat oil. Once oil is hot, add short ribs and brown them on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the browned short ribs to a plate and set aside.
Add in onion, shallot, carrots, and celery. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant.
Stir in tomato pasta and red wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the insert.
Turn off the Instant Pot and add in tomatoes, beef stock, bay leaves, thyme, and dried basil. Stir to combine.
Add the short ribs to the mixture, nestling them into the sauce.
Seal and cook on High pressure for 35 minutes.
Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure.
Remove the meat to a cutting board.
Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, as well as any bones and fatty parts of the meat that ay have fallen off if you are using bone-in short ribs.
Shred the meat using two forks.
While you are shredding the meat, set the Instant Pot to the Sauté setting. Let the sauce reduce until thickened.
Add meat back to the sauce and bring to a simmer.
Add in cooked pasta and toss for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot and serve.
tips for success
don’t forget to scrape the bottom. If you are already familiar with the Instant Pot, you know that you need to scrape any browned bits off the bottom to avoid the infamous “burn” warning. In Step 4, when you add the tomato paste and red wine, it’s time to deglaze and scrape up any browned bits. Use a wooden spoon as its the best tool for the job!
don’t worry about cooking the short ribs through right away. You don’t need to cook the short ribs all the way through when you brown them! They will fully cook during the pressure cooking time.
other cooking methods. This short rib ragu can be made in a large dutch oven and also in a slow cooker! I’ve noted the instructions at the bottom of the recipe card below in detail.
More tasty instant pot recipes to dive into: Instant Pot Pulled Pork | Instant Pot Pumpkin Chicken Curry | Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup | Instant Pot Carne Asada Chili
should I use boneless or bone-in short ribs?
You can use either in this recipe! If you use bone-in, you will need about 2 lbs. If you use boneless, use 1 3/4 to 2 lbs. Finally, don’t forget to remove the bones at the end of cooking when you remove the meat to shred it!
what kind of wine goes in short rib ragu?
I recommend using a dry red wine. Merlot, Pinot Noir, or Cabarnet Sauvignon are the ones I usually turn to. You can also use a Zinfandel or Shiraz!
Note that the alcohol will cook out of the wine as the sauce cooks. However, if you want to avoid using red wine, you can use beef broth in its place in this recipe.
can I make this instant pot short rib ragu ahead of time?
You certainly can! This recipe is ideal for making ahead and storing in the fridge, or freezing. If you are making it ahead, you can store the sauce in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. Simply heat it up and toss with your favorite pasta. See my notes in the recipe card below for more detailed information on how to store.
Need more inspiration for pasta dishes? Check out my pasta recipes page!
what to serve with instant pot short rib ragu
When serving this instant pot short rib ragu, make sure that you reach for your favorite pasta! I personally love to use pappardelle! You can also use spaghetti, linguine, gnocchi, etc. This dish also works well when spooned over mashed potatoes if you want to go that route.
Make sure that you have crusty bread to sop up the rest of the sauce in your dish, like my easiest no knead overnight bread! It’s the best pairing, especially when said bread is spread with some really high-quality butter and a sprinkle of fleur de sel.
Finally, if you want a little something more, I recommend either serving this with a side salad or a side of green vegetables:
Spicy Sweet Roasted Broccolini
Bacon Cranberry Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
how to store and reheat
Store. This sauce can be made up to 4 to 5 days ahead of time. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container and placing in the refrigerator. The flavor actually gets even better the longer it sits!
Reheat. Heat it up either on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave until warmed through. Toss with your favorite pasta and serve with parmesan cheese.
Freeze. Place cooled short rib ragu in a freezer-safe container. I personally like to freeze mine in smaller portions for quick individual meals in the future. To serve, thaw the sauce in the refrigerator overnight, and then warm through completely on the stovetop or in the microwave. Toss with your favorite pasta and serve!
Finally, if you make this instant pot short rib ragu, please be sure to give this recipe a rating or leave a comment! I love to hear when you all make recipes, and I do take the time to respond to every single comment. Feel free to drop questions below too, if you have them!
Oh and be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make the recipe! I love being able to see these recipes come to life in your homes – it’s my favorite thing to look through those photos. It really means the world to me!
Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu
Luscious and rich, this short rib ragu is the ideal pairing for your favorite pasta.
- 2 lb bone-in beef short rib, cut into 8 pieces (you can also use boneless here, about 1 3/4 lbs to 2 lbs)
- 2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 2 sticks celery, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 1/2 lbs pappardelle pasta
- Garnish: freshly chopped parsley, freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Trim the fat off the short ribs, if they are not already trimmed. Season beef well with salt and pepper.
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté function. Add oil and once hot, add short ribs. Sear on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add onion, shallot, carrots, and celery to the insert. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.
- Stir in tomato paste and red wine to deglaze. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom.
- Turn the Instant Pot off. Stir in tomatoes, beef stock, bay leaves, thyme, and basil. Nestle the seared short ribs into the sauce.
- Seal the Instant Pot and cook on High pressure for 35 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure.
- Remove beef to a cutting board and shred the meat using two forks.
- Remove bay leaves and thyme springs from the sauce. You can also remove the short rib bones and any remaining fatty pieces that may have fallen off at this time.
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add meat back to the sauce and bring to a simmer.
- Add cooked pasta to the pot and toss for about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off Instant Pot. Garnish and serve as desired.
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