Epic Short Rib Lasagna
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As far as epic cook-ups go for a wintery Sunday afternoon of drinking wine and pottering around in the kitchen, there aren’t many more suitable dishes we can think of than a lasagna. Comforting, fulfilling and downright delicious, it’s a classic dish that everyone should have in their repertoire. You’ll love this Short Rib Lasagna recipe as much as we do as it is so packed full of flavor!

Our Epic Short Rib Lasagna follows the typical classic guidelines with a couple of twists, the first: Slow cooked short ribs as a replacement for ground beef. Trust us on this, the pay offs of using short ribs in terms of added flavor and sophistication to the dish are astounding. Perhaps not surprisingly, short ribs have skyrocketed in price over the last 5 years as the world is realizing the immense flavor you can extract from these beautiful cuts. If short ribs are a bit budget heavy, you can trade them out for similar stewing meat (the kind that breaks down over a few hours when cooked at a low temperate). Beef Chuck is a good alternative

It’s all about the Red Wine

The second twist – red wine. We’re not talking about a cup or so as a typical recipe you have you add. We’re talking a whole bottle! Actually, pour yourself a glass first then use what’s remaining in the dish. The wine adds so much depth and boldness to the overall flavor of the ribs and tomato. Make sure you’re using a medium to full bodied red that you would also drink yourself

The trick to a good Short Rib Lasagna isn’t technique, it’s patience

There’s no amazing kitchen technique that you need to master to guarantee the best tasting Short Rib Lasagna. No, in fact it’s quite the opposite. You need to do nothing, but do nothing for a long period of time to get the best result

Flavors in this rich red sauce will take time to concentrate and develop. So once the Sauce has been prepared and those wonderful Short Ribs are in there, you need to leave it alone. Drop the heat to low and let the sauce slowly develop flavors. We recommend a 4-hour simmer for the best result

During this time, the Short Ribs are slowly breaking down and tenderizing. They’re absorbing the flavors of the sauce, but also adding their own flavors and richness to the sauce. The liquids in the sauce are slowly starting to reduce, leaving nothing but concentrated flavors of beautiful Vegetables

This dish takes some time, so get your ingredients the day before, get set up early in the kitchen and spend the day cooking, drinking and perhaps watching some trashy TV as you go to end the weekend right!

Recipe Details


6 – 8 people

Prep time

20 minutes

Cooking time

5- 6 hours

Total time

6 hours

Epic Short Rib Lasagna Recipe


For the Meat Sauce

  • 3 lbs. Beef Short Rib
  • Half a cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 Brown Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of Celery, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 28 oz. / 800g Crushed Canned Tomatoes – San Marzano if possible
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 3 sprigs of Rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of Thyme
  • 6 Basic Leaves
  • 1 cup of Beef Stock (recipe link here)
  • 1 bottle of medium to full bodied Red Wine
  • Leftover Parmesan Cheese Rind (optional)
  • Cooking Oil (eg: Vegetable or Canola Oil)
  • Salt

For the Cheese Sauce / Béchamel Sauce

  • 3 cups of Whole Milk
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 cup Grated Gruyere Cheese
  • 3 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 3 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ tbsp. Ground Nutmeg


  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour with a tsp of salt. Add the short ribs and coat thoroughly in the flour. Heat up a large pot / Dutch oven with a tbsp. of cooking oil over medium high temperature. Once the oil gets to temperature, add half the short ribs, cooking on each of their 6 sides for about 2 minutes each so that the sides are browned. Remove, add a little bit more oil and repeat for the second batch of ribs then set aside
  2. In the same pan, add the onion, celery, a pinch of salt and carrots. Reduce heat to medium then cook for approximately 10 minutes, then add in the garlic. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant then add in the tomato paste. Cook out the tomato paste for another 2 or so minutes, then add in the wine
  3. It is important that the wine burns off the alcohol and, with a whole bottle of wine this takes about 8-10 minutes. The liquid will reduce by about a half. At this point, add in the crushed tomatoes and beef stock. Gradually bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, and add back in the short ribs, ensuring they are submerged fully in the liquid
  4. Using some cooking twine, tie the rosemary, thyme and half the basil together to create a bouquet and submerge into the pot. If you don’t have cooking twine that’s perfectly fine, it will just be a bit more challenging to remove the sprigs of herbs later. Add in the parmesan cheese rind then place a lid on the pot and leave to slowly cook for 4 hours, stirring periodically. Also ensure you check that the liquid is not boiling, just a gentle simmer is what we’re looking for

Short Rib Lasagna Close Up
Finish off the delicious Short Rib Lasagna with a generous coating of cheese and some optional Basil Leaves before baking!

Short Rib Lasagna Instructions Continued

  1. After 4 hours the beef should have broken down to a point where it can easily be pulled apart with two forks. If not, continue to cook – this is a slow process that takes time so be patient! Once the beef has broken down, remove the bones from the short ribs and discard. You will likely also have a tough layer of cartilage that was connected to the bone, ensure you remove this too as it doesn’t break down and is unpleasant to eat
  2. Remove the lid and continue to cook for another 45 mins – 1 hour. What we’re doing here is reducing the liquid, so it thickens up and becomes the right consistency for the lasagna. Again, this is a bit of a personal preference so just check the consistency of the sauce and when you’re happy with it, remove from the heat. Be sure to remove the bouquet of herbs and cheese rind. Taste test and season accordingly

To make the Cheese Sauce / Béchamel Sauce

While the meat sauce is cooking we can get started on our Béchamel / Cheese sauce

  1. In a large saucepan over low / medium heat, melt the butter then add the flour. Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes until the flour has cooked through and has created a thick paste. Add the milk and continue to stir with a whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. This is a bit of a process and given we’re making a large quantity it may take 20 – 30 minutes. It’s important to do this slowly and stir continuously and ensure the heat is low and doesn’t boil as the mixture will split
  2. Once the mixture is thick enough that you can feel some resistance when you stir, add in both cheeses, the nutmeg, and season to taste. Once the cheese has fully incorporated into the sauce, remove from the heat, and set aside to cool

Assembly and Serving

Time permitting this process is easier once the Meat and Cheese sauces have cooled. It will also ensure each layer is more pronounced in the final Short Rib Lasagna

  1. In a large baking tray, add a thin layer of meat sauce which totally covers the bottom of the tray. Then add a layer of your lasagna sheets. It can be guaranteed that your lasagna sheets will not fit perfectly, so just break them up as needed to create 1 layer but try not to overlap the sheets if possible
  2. Next add a layer of cheese sauce on top of the pasta sheets. Ensure a nice liberal layer and that the sheets are fully covered. Then repeat this process of meat sauce / pasta sheet / cheese sauce until you reach the top of the tray. Be sure to end with the layer of cheese sauce
  3. Grate a layer of gruyere and parmesan mix over the top. I’d recommend 70/30 gruyere to Parmesan as it will melt nicer. Place foil over the top of the lasagna and cook in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes
  4. Remove the foil then switch your oven to the broiler and broil the top until the cheese is lightly browned. Keep a close eye on the dish at this point, each broiler is unique! Once done, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. As tempting as it is to dive in immediately and start eating, wait at least 20 minutes before serving. The dish won’t be molten hot at this point and the lasagna will hold together much better on the plate

There you have it. Our Epic Short Rib Lasagna recipe! There’s no better way to dig into this delicious meal than pouring a nice glass of wine (or top up the one you’ve been drinking already!) serve alongside any of our delicious Bread dishes along with a fresh Apple & Arugula Salad and enjoy!

Check out some of our other delicious Dinner Recipes here and Happy Cooking!

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