A plate of heart-warming love: Pappardelle pasta with a sauce of short ribs, bacon, and stout

Darker nights are perfect for pasta made with this sumptuous sauce

I don’t need to go much further to tempt you than simply to list the key ingredients: A lovely, tender pappardelle pasta covered in a sauce of short ribs, garlic, bacon, and stout beer.

You with me? I thought so.

And if you were with me, I’d serve up a couple of bowls of this and we could eat it together in blissful silence.

Short ribs, stout and bacon with pappardelle

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Ingredients

The first ingredient is finely minced bacon, a full half-pound. Here’s a tip: I’ve been known to shred up the bacon in a food processor. If you want to try that, toss the bacon in the freezer for an hour and it’ll dice up fine in the food processor. Don’t let it freeze. And don’t process it at room temperature.

  • 8 meaty short ribs, enough for 4 servings with a bit of leftover

  • 1 large tin of crushed tomatoes

  • 4 T olive oil

  • Enough dry pappardelle pasta for four people

  • 6 whole cloves garlic peeled and crushed

  • Bouquet garni of fresh thyme and sage

  • 12 whole shallots, peeled and halved

  • 2 pints mixed mushrooms, torn

  • 3 carrots thinly sliced on the bias

  • 2 cups frozen baby peas

  • A bunch each of kale and red chard (TIP: You can slice away the kale’s ribs or chop it super-fine to keep the crunch and texture, which I love)

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Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 300F

  2. In your EuroCAST Dutch Oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until well-crisped

  3. Remove the bacon to a bowl using a slotted spoon to a bowl

  4. Add 4 T olive oil to the pan and brown ALL sides of the shorts ribs, working in small batches so you don’t steam the meat

  5. Remove the ribs to a plate

  6. Add shallots and garlic to the oil and sauté until slightly golden

  7. Add back the browned ribs to the shallots and garlic

  8. Pour over the stout and the tinned tomatoes and bring to a low boil (if you’re concerned about the alcohol in the stout, it will evaporate during cooking)

  9. Add the herbs and reduce to low

  10. Tent loosely with foil and cook until fork tender, about 2.5 - 3 hours

  11. In the last hour add the crisped bacon you had reserved, plus the mushrooms, carrots, and peas (timing is important because you want these vegetables to have a little bit of tooth when you serve)

  12. About 30 minutes before serving, boil salted water and prepare the pasta

  13. Do a quick sauté of kale and red chard

  14. Incorporate the sautéed greens into the sauce at the end. The greens give it a beautiful look and round out the texture and flavor.

During the cooking, you’re essentially reducing the soupy liquid to something more concentrated and delicious, but you don’t want to reduce it so much that the pan becomes dry. If you need to, add water or beef broth 1 cup at a time until you achieve a thickness that will coat your pasta as desired.

Serve with pappardelle pasta.

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Paul WardComment