These rich and delicious Beef Shank Ravioli with Zinfandel Red Wine Reduction are worth the time and effort. They have an absolutely wonderful taste that reminds us of our trip to Northern Italy. This is one of those recipes that will absolutely WOW anyone you make it for and tastes like it should be on a fancy restaurant menu.
Red Wine Braised Beef Shanks
The beef shanks are first braised for a few hours in red wine before creating the filling. You could make the beef shanks for a stand alone meal if you want to as well, but we take the extra step to make these into ravioli.
Another option is to make the braised beef shanks for dinner one night then take the leftovers and make the ravioli filling from there. But if you decide to do this recipe beginning to end for the ravioli, you may have extra filling depending on the size of the beef shanks that you are able to find. Beef shanks are generally on the large side, but that is OK, the filling is not terribly difficult to make, but it is time consuming. Once it is made, use what you need and freeze the rest for future use.
We prefer beef shanks in this recipe over short ribs. This is because the shanks have an extraordinarily beefy flavor without being as fatty as short ribs. But beef short ribs are outstanding in this recipe if you'd like to explore that option.
Zinfandel Red Wine Reduction
This sauce requires patience. Trust us on this one. Sure, you could reduce the sauce on medium or even higher heat and it would finish faster, but the flavors will not have a chance to develop as much and the sauce simply won’t be as good. Period.
The key to this sauce is to allow the wine to reduce slowly over about 30 minutes until there are only a few tablespoons, then add the stock, strain and reduce again until it thickens to the desired consistency. Then mounting the reduction with butter creates a luscious and rich sauce that is perfect to drizzle over the ravioli.
Once the sauce is done, you’ll be so happy you took the extra time to make it perfect! And generally, we are assuming that anyone who makes this lengthy ravioli recipe likely isn't too concerned about 30 minute meals. This is a weekend project type of recipe, but it is completely worth every minute!
What to Serve With Ravioli
Usually, when we make ravioli, especially a very hearty ravioli like this Beef Shank Ravioli, we are eating it as a main course. If anything, we will serve this recipe with a side of crusty bread to soak up all the sauce.
Here are some other recipes that would be good starters or sides for this ravioli dish:
- Easy Bruschetta with Marinated Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar
- Whipped Ricotta with Pesto and Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Parmesan Herb Asparagus with Prosciutto and Pine Nuts
If you are enjoying a lighter, less heavy, cheese-filled ravioli as a first course, you could serve a meat dish as the second course. Here are some of our favorite meat dishes to serve with ravioli:
- Chicken Piccata with Caper Lemon Butter Sauce
- Saltimbocca alla Romana
- Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Juniper Red Wine Sauce
We hope you enjoy this recipe for Beef Shank Ravioli with Zinfandel Red Wine Reduction. If you give it a try, leave us a comment below, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
Looking for more recipes like this? Check these out!
- Lobster Ravioli with Lemon Cream Sauce
- Beer Braised Short Ribs
- Mushroom Ragù with Parmesan Polenta
- Pork and Shiitake Mushroom Ragù
Looking for more Italian recipe inspo?
If you want even more Italian-inspired recipes, check out our cookbook, Mangiamo, filled with 60 original recipes!
Beef Shank Ravioli with Zinfandel Red Wine Reduction
For the Beef
- 2 large bone-in beef shanks (about 2 lbs. total)
- 2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large carrot, medium diced
- 2 stalks celery, medium diced
- 1 medium onion, medium diced
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 4 bay leaves
- 10-12 thyme sprigs
- 10-12 parsley stems
- 1 bottle zinfandel wine (or other full-bodied red wine)
- Beef stock or water – as needed
For the Filling
- Finely chopped beef (from above)
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano
- Pinch nutmeg
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium shallots, finely diced (35g)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 10 juniper berries, gently cracked
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 teaspoon whole green peppercorns
- 2 cups zinfandel wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 9 tablespoon (127g) unsalted butter
- Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- fresh thyme leaves (optional)
Make the Beef
- Preheat the oven to 325°F
- Rub the beef shanks all over with the salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high to high heat until it just starts to smoke. Immediately add the beef shanks and sear for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove the beef shanks to a plate and turn the heat to medium.
- Next, add the carrot, celery, and onion and cook in the oil and rendered beef fat for about 3-4 more minutes. Pour a little red wine into the Dutch oven and deglaze, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Return the beef to the Dutch oven and nestle the shanks to the bottom. Add the remaining ingredients, including the rest of the wine. The beef should be almost covered. If not add a little water or beef stock.
- Cover the Dutch oven and place in the preheated oven. Check a couple of times to make sure the liquid isn’t evaporating completely. If it does, just add a little stock or water. Cook for a total of 3-4 hours or until the beef is very tender. There should still be enough liquid to cover the beef shanks by at least ⅓ by the end of the cooking time. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Remove the beef shanks to a cutting board when cooled (discard the vegetables and liquid). Remove the bones and any large chunks of connective tissue and fat. Chop the beef with a knife and set aside in a mixing bowl. To the beef, add the remaining filling ingredients and set aside. This can be made in advance, and the extra can be frozen for future use.
Make the Pasta Dough
- Follow the instructions to make a double recipe of Multipurpose Pasta Dough and roll out into sheets to make ravioli.
Stuff the Ravioli
- Fill each raviolo with enough of the filling mixture according to the size of ravioli you are making. Since this is a very rich ravioli dish, we prefer to do 2x2 inch ravioli, but making larger ravioli works here too. Seal the ravioli and set aside in a single layer on a lightly floured sheet tray. (Click HERE for a more detailed post on making ravioli).
Make the Sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the shallot and cook over medium heat until it starts to brown. Add the garlic for about 45 seconds until it is fragrant, but not browning. Turn the heat to low and add the juniper, rosemary, peppercorns, and wine. Cook for about 30 minutes on low heat or until there is about 4 tablespoons of liquid left in the pan.
- Next, add the stock and stir. Strain the solids from the pan and return the liquid back to the saucepan. Cook the mixture down until there is about ¾ cup of liquid left in the pan (about 25-30 minutes).
- Once reduced, stir in the balsamic vinegar and salt and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
- To finish the sauce, remove from the heat and whisk in the butter – one piece at a time. The sauce should be silky and deep maroon in color. Taste and add salt if needed. This can be reheated VERY gently on low right before serving the ravioli if needed, but DO NOT bring to a boil or your sauce will break.
Cook the Ravioli
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and gently drop the ravioli into the pot. Gently cook until the pasta is al-dente (about 2-3 minutes). Gently remove with a spider or slotted spoon to a serving bowl or individual bowls/plates. Drizzle some sauce over the ravioli and serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano and thyme leaves (optional).
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