Leftover prime rib ragu
Every year, my dad makes a gigantic prime rib for our family Christmas party. Because it’s so huge and my mom doesn’t like leftovers, I wind up taking some home with me. I always repurpose my prime rib, because let’s be real: I’m never going to buy an entire rib roast for my roommate and me. (Although I’m sure our cats would love that!) It’s an opportunity to elevate dinner into something amazing.
Last year, I did a ton of faux pho and some prime rib quesadillas. This year, I decided to turn it up a notch and make a delicious ragu sauce out of prime rib. Now, I do not claim to be the authority on Italian cooking, but I’ve made pasta sauce enough to know this will be the bomb. Also, I wanted an excuse to use my brand new Lodge Logic enameled Dutch oven (one of many Christmas gifts from my parents).
A note on tomatoes: I used 2 cans crushed and a 17.64 box of Pomi tomato sauce because that’s what I had in my pantry. If I were buying ingredients, I’d probably use 2 large (28 oz) cans of whole tomatoes and simmer until they either broke down all the way or I got impatient. In the very likely event of the latter, I’d throw them in my blender. (You could use a food mill or a immersion blender if you have one. I’m still regretting the time I saw a food mill in the thrift store and passed on it.) Since I am using crushed, I’ll just cook them until they’re pretty nice and smooth.
If you choose to use diced, you will need to puree them because diced tomatoes don’t tend to break down due to the addition of calcium chloride.
A note on beef: You could use leftover short ribs, chunk, flank…you’ve got a lot of options. I wouldn’t use anything too tender (i.e., filet), but I think most beef would hold up to this treatment. I have a feeling I’ll even use the same basic recipe for pulled pork that’s hanging out in my freezer.
1/2 a medium onion
3 peeled small peeled carrots
3 ribs of celery
(Cut all of these on the small side! I went with a small dice on my onion and cut the carrots and celery to about the same size. Don’t forget to save your scraps!)
4 cloves of garlic, minced (you can do this by hand, with a garlic press, or even grated)
A nice sized pinch of red pepper flakes (omit if you don’t like heat)
Salt and pepper
1/4 c dry vermouth or dry red wine or chicken stock (for the non-drinkers)
2 14.5 oz cans of crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted because that’s what I had from when I last made chili, but use what feels good to you.)
1 17.64 box of Pomi tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
Roughly 1 lb prime rib, cooked and trimmed of any large fat chunks/gristle (I give some to my cats and toss the rest in my scrap bag) and roughly cut/broken up with your hands.
1 lb pasta. I used buccatini, but you have so many choices
1/2 cup pasta water
1. Put olive oil on the bottom of your pan. As mentioned above, I used an enameled cast iron Dutch oven. This is the exact one I used. Turn your burner on to low/medium-low.
2. Toss in your veg (onions, carrots, celery, and garlic), red pepper flakes, and salt/pepper. Let ’em sweat down..about 5-10 minutes. I give them a stir, then give them a poke once they look like they’re getting soft. Once they’re soft, move on to step #3.
3. Pour in your vermouth to deglaze. Once you have scraped up the delicious crusty bits, crank the heat up to medium and cook down your booze (or chicken stock).
4. Turn the heat back down to low. Add in both cans of tomatoes, box of Pomi, bay leaves, and oregano. Cook it down by about 1/4 or so. If you need to puree your sauce, do it now and return it to the pot, bringing it back to a simmer. Add in your beef and let it simmer, stirring occasionally. I let mine simmer for about 20/30 minutes before starting my pasta water.
5. Get your pasta water started. Let the sauce simmer while it’s going. Add your desired pasta shape to the pot once it hits a