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Short Rib and Dried Porcini Lasagne

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Serves 6-8

This company-worthy lasagne features beef short ribs that are slow-cooked in a hearty tomato sauce until meltingly tender. Béchamel sauce adds creaminess, and porcini mushrooms contribute an earthy note.

  • 3/4 oz. (1 cup) dried porcini mushrooms 
  • 2 lb. beef short ribs 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-1/2Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil  
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped 
  • 1 small celery stalk, finely chopped 
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste 
  • 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine  
  • 1-1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes 
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter 
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk  
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1-1/2 oz.); more for serving 
  • 1 recipe Fresh Pasta for Lasagne 
Soak the mushrooms

 In a small bowl, soak the porcini in 1-1/2 cups warm water until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the soaking liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms and set aside in a bowl.

Braise the ribs

Season the short ribs all over with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. In a 7- to 8-quart Dutch oven, heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the short ribs, in batches if necessary, and brown all over, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Pour off and discard all but a thin layer of fat.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil to the pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and a pinch of salt and cook until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and bay leaf and cook, stirring, until the tomato paste darkens, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the red wine and simmer, stirring and scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, until almost evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the reserved mushroom liquid and the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the short ribs and any accumulated juices and the porcini; cover, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook, turning the ribs every 40 minutes, until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender, 2-1/2 to 3 hours. 

Put the ribs on a plate to cool. Pour the sauce into a heatproof bowl and discard the bay leaf. When the fat rises to the surface, skim it off and discard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. When the meat is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the bones and any fat or cartilage from the meat. Shred the meat and set aside in a medium bowl. 

Make a béchamel sauce

Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook at a gentle simmer, stirring often, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Season with 1 tsp. salt. Mix the béchamel sauce into the short rib sauce.

Assemble and bake the lasagne

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. 

Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x13x3-inch baking dish. Cover the sauce with a slightly overlapping layer of cooked noodles, cutting them as needed to fill any gaps. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce evenly over the noodles. Add 1/2 cup of the shredded meat in an even layer and then sprinkle with 2 Tbs. of the Parmigiano. Add another layer of noodles and repeat the layers as instructed above, to make a total of 4 layers of sauce and meat and 5 layers of pasta—at this point, you should have used all the meat but still have about 3/4 cup of sauce and 1/4 cup of Parmigiano left. Spread the remaining sauce evenly over the top and then sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is browned and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve sprinkled with additional Parmigiano, if you like. 

Make Ahead Tips

You can braise, shred, and refrigerate the short ribs up to 2 days ahead. Keep the sauce and meat separate in airtight containers. Skim off any fat that has congealed on the surface of the sauce.

You can assemble the lasagne up to 2 days ahead of baking it. Tightly wrap the baking dish in plastic and refrigerate it. Let the lasagne come to room temperature before baking it.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 480; Fat (g): fat g 22; Fat Calories (kcal): 190; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 9; Protein (g): protein g 25; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 43; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 780; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 145; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I've made this lasagna a few times and it is excellent and very flavorable. I love to make lasagna, freeze them and have them on hand as the main dish for a party. This lasagna, the squash one, and the classic one by Melissa that all appeared in the same issue are outstanding. I've made them all multiple times and get rave reviews. Thanks for sharing Melissa.

As written, I give it four stars. It was quite good and creamy; my husband and son loved it. If I made it again I would try the following changes: braise the ribs as shown, adding 2-3 Tbs chopped sun-dried tomatoes and instead of the bechemel, do a ricotta or cottage cheese layer (at my husband's request.) Overall very good.

Sublime! A fair amount of work, but everything can be done ahead of time, so an excellent dish for company. I did sauce on day 1, noodles and assembly on day 2, and baked on day 3. Homemade pasta is a critical component -- it's silkier and more delicate than store bought. If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer, the pasta rolling attachment makes the job much easier. Note this recipe made about twice the amount of pasta required -- and I even had enough meat and sauce to add one more layer than called for. To avoid waste, not to mention unnecessary work, next time I will use 3 eggs and 1/3 less flour.

This is hands down bad. It has all the right beginnings but ends badly. I've been a magazine subscriber for a long time and have never had a recipe turn out like this. I did not change a single thing. The porcini was overwhelming and overpowered everything. Very disappointed !

A friend made this for my husband and I after he had surgery. What a hearty and comforting meal! I have saved the recipe and will definitely make in the future. Our friend suggested serving with a little bit of horseradish cream sauce, which we did, and it added the perfect amount of zip.

This was truly exceptional! It is a lot of effort, but none of the steps are tricky, and the result is just tremendous! Can't wait to make it again for company and show off!

Very good, but quite different than your traditional cheese/tomato lasagne. I made this along with the 4 cheese tomato one in the same article for a party of 13. Both were loved, but people were really divided on which they liked more. I made the sauce two days ahead of time and had two extra pairs of hands helping with the noodles which made this pretty simple for the impressive results.

Excellent recipe. We've made it four times now, and it has been consistently good. I do twice the carrots and celery, and 2 full cups of the crushed tomatoes. It is a full day type of project, but so worth it. My lactose intolerant friends have no problem with it! Will continue to make this again and again. My husband loves making the pasta from scratch, although he's become partial to Anne burrell's recipe for pasta dough.

Just the right amount of sauce in my case. Did the short ribs the day before (which was great for separating the fat). The flavor is very earthy & rustic. For the amount of time this takes and the wonderful ingredients, I expected this to knock our socks off. It didn't. We all felt it was missing something---another "layer" of flavor. I'm wondering if a light sprinkling of fresh parsley & lemon zest right before serving might do the trick.....?

Very good recipe overall but I would have to agree with the other reviewer that it needs more tomato. The sauce didn't seem like enough. Other than that it was excellent. The dried mushrooms were a nice touch (although they were a little expensive for me) but still worth it. I increased the meat a little bit but wished I put more meat on it; I just really like braised short ribs. Maybe mine were too fatty, I don't know. It takes a little time to make this but its well worth it.

It was very good and fun to make pasta from scratch. Its very light compared to the typical cheesy lasagna. Next time I might add a bit more tomato (and/or other acid) to kick up the favor.

This was delicious. Made it for a dinner party for 5 of us and sadly no leftovers. Next time I would braise the short ribs the day before in the crock pot because even after three hours mine weren't overly tender. I would also double the sauce next time as it didn't have quite enough to cover the top so had to spread it a little thin. Still delicious though and worth the effort. Especially if you can braise the ribs a day ahead!!!

Loved this recipe. Split it up and made short ribs one day, bechemel and homemade pasta next day. I think the homemade pasta made it. Great flavor. Some work but worth it. Made it for my best friend for a Christmas present they loved it. Will save and make again.

This is WONDERFUL!! Have made this lasagne twice. My entire family loves it! I did cheat and use pre-made pasta with fewer layers.

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