Browse All Recipes

Beef short ribs agrodolce

Australian Gourmet Traveller Italian recipe for beef short ribs agrodolce

By Rodney Dunn
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 40 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Beef short ribs agrodolce
This dish is based on Paul Bertolli’s recipe in Cooking by Hand (Clarkson Potter).


  • 1.2 kg (about 4) beef short ribs
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 50 gm prosciutto, coarsely chopped
  • 6 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 15 gm dried porcini, soaked in water for 15 minutes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 250 ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 125 ml (½ cup) saba (see note)
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) balsamic vinegar
  • 900 ml beef stock


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180C. Season beef ribs with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat olive oil in a wide heavy-based casserole over high heat, brown ribs (on all sides except bone side) in two batches for 2-3 minutes each. Transfer to a tray.
  • 2
    Pour off half the oil and discard, then return casserole to heat and add prosciutto, sauté for 1 minute, add onion, carrot, celery, herbs and drained porcini, and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables caramelise (8-10 minutes). Stir in tomato paste, reduce heat to medium and cook until dark red in colour (4-5 minutes). Add red wine, saba and vinegar and cook until reduced by half (10-15 minutes). Add beef stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat, then return beef ribs to casserole and bake, covered, until ribs are tender (2 hours).
  • 3
    Transfer ribs to a warm serving platter and pass vegetables and juices through a mouli (see note) into a saucepan. Skim fat from surface, then cook over medium heat until thick (3-5 minutes). Season with 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Pour over beef ribs and serve immediately.


Saba is the sweet reduction of grape must and is available from
and select delicatessens. A mouli is a rotary sieve available from specialist kitchen supply stores. Alternatively, you can use a coarse sieve and push processed vegetables through using the back of a ladle.
Drink Suggestion: Robust red primitivo. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • undefined: Rodney Dunn