Instant Pot Short Ribs with Semi-homemade Ragu

This dish is a kind of Jedi mind trick— at first glance, it seems over-the-top fancy and upscale, but once you really look at it, you realize how beautifully simple it is to put together! The simpler, the better, if you ask me! Short ribs are real crowd pleasers, and they do not disappoint here either.

The recipe comes together in 3 parts, but please don’t let that intimidate you.

Part 1: Cook your short ribs and vegetables in the Instant Pot and walk away.

Part 2: When the meat is done cooking, warm up your marinara sauce and add the shredded meat and cooked vegetables to the sauce (if you don’t want to dirty another pot, feel free to strain out the vegetables from the Instant Pot, discard the remaining broth/liquid, and add your marinara, shredded meat, and cooked vegetables back into the Instant Pot bowl, heating everything up on “Sauté” mode).

Part 3: Prepare your pasta of choice and serve meat-vegetable sauce atop pasta— DONE!

Running low in iron? The vitamin C in the marinara sauce increases the absorption of the iron found in beef. This dish may not be something to eat everyday (variety is key!), but definitely one to keep in mind if you’re struggling to maintain a healthy iron status.

A little more sophisticated than your average ground beef marinara and almost as simple, this dish is the perfect choice for both date night and family game night. Enjoy!

Instant Pot Short Ribs with Semi-homemade Ragu

Serves: 4-5 | Prep time: 15 min. | Cook time: 30 min. | Total time: 60 min. (see notes)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • 3 – 3 ½  pounds bone-in short ribs

  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup beef or vegetable broth

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 1 shallot, peeled and diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon pre-minced)

  • 24 ounces marinara sauce (I use the “Marinara” style of the Rao’s brand)

  • Pasta or vegetable “pasta” of choice (I use 1 box Jovial brand brown rice pasta, 1 spaghetti squash, or zucchini noodles, using ½  zucchini per person)

  • Optional: Fresh basil, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare your short ribs: remove any excess fat and sprinkle all sides with the salt and pepper.

  2. Add oil to the bowl of the Instant Pot and set it to “Sauté” mode.

  3. Once hot, add the short ribs (you may need to add them in batches, as you do not want to crowd the pot) and sear for about 3 minutes per side (they will stick a little, but that’s OK).

  4. Once seared, remove the ribs from the Instant Pot and set aside. Add the broth, and deglaze the plan, scraping all the brown bits off of the bottom of the pot.

  5. Carefully place the short ribs back into the pot with the broth, along with the chopped carrots, celery, shallots, and garlic.

  6. Set the Instant Pot to “High Pressure” and cook for 50 minutes. Once finished, let the pot naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.

  7. Remove short ribs from the pot, remove and discard the bones, and shred the meat.

  8. Meanwhile, add the marinara sauce to a medium saucepan and heat over low-medium heat. Add shredded short ribs to the sauce.

  9. Use a slotted spoon to spoon out the cooked carrots, celery, shallots, and garlic from the Instant Pot and add them to the sauce. Stir and cook until warm and flavors are combined (about 8 minutes).

  10. While warming the sauce, begin to prepare you pasta of choice, following the directions on the back of the box (see notes on how to prepare spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles).

  11. Serve short rib ragu atop prepared pasta of choice, garnish with fresh basil (if using), and serve alongside a fresh leafy green salad for a complete meal— enjoy!

NOTES

  • It will take the Instant Pot about 15 minutes to come to pressure.

  • Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

  • To make spaghetti squash: 1) Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. 2) Cut squash in half lengthwise. 3) Remove and discard seeds and “guts” from inner cavity. 3) Spray/coat cut sides with avocado or olive oil, salt, and pepper. 4) Place squash halves cut-sides down on baking sheet. 5) Roast squash for 40 minutes. 6) Remove squash from oven and scrape out the “meat” with a fork. 7) Serve warm or cold with seasonings and toppings of choice.

  • To make zucchini noodles: 1) Wash zucchini. 2) Place zucchini on spiralizer and spiralize using a thin noodle setting or attachment. 3) Heat 1 teaspoon of oil over low-medium heat. 4) Add zucchini noodles to the pan and cook until just warm (2 minutes). 5) Serve noodles warm or cold with seasonings and toppings of choice.

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