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This ragù stands apart from most with the addition of fennel seeds, ground allspice, and habanero hot sauce. Like most great braises, it tastes even better after a day or two in the fridge, making it a great do-ahead dish for entertaining. Be sure to look for meaty short ribs; they can sometimes be skimpy, consisting of mostly bones. The ragù is topped with gremolata for a bright, fresh finish. Traditional gremolata is made with parsley, garlic, and lemon zest, but here the lemon is swapped out with orange zest, a nice match for the fennel and habanero in the ragù.


Credit: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Recipe Summary test

30 mins
3 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Using flat side of a chef's knife, smash 3 of the garlic cloves; set aside. Sprinkle beef evenly with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add beef; cook, turning occasionally, until deeply browned on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in Dutch oven. Add onion and smashed garlic to Dutch oven; cook over medium-high, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juices, crushing tomatoes with your hands as you add them. Add wine, water, oregano, fennel seeds, hot sauce, and allspice; stir to combine. Nestle beef into sauce. Bring to a boil over high. Remove from heat and cover.

  • Transfer Dutch oven to preheated oven. Bake until meat is falling off the bone, 2 hours, 30 minutes to 3 hours. Remove from oven. Remove and discard bones and oregano sprigs. Skim fat from surface. Using 2 forks, shred beef in Dutch oven. Stir orange juice into ragù. The ragù can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat before continuing.

  • Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. While pasta cooks, finely grate remaining garlic clove. Stir together grated garlic, parsley, and orange zest in a small bowl for the gremolata. Divide cooked pasta evenly among 4 bowls. Top pasta evenly with ragù and gremolata.