Beef Short Rib & Mushroom Mac & Cheese

Beef Short Rib & Mushroom Mac & Cheese

This is my second recipe for Kitchen Conversations by Land O Lakes. The assignment was to modernize a vintage recipe and my first thought was for my love of mac and cheese. Everyone has their tried and true family favorites, but we like to find new ways to keep them fresh and exciting. Growing up, we all loved macaroni and cheese, right? Last year, I had the best macaroni and cheese side dish in Portland, Oregon and when I asked, they told me they used both sharp cheddar and parmesan cheeses.

So when I started to make this recipe, that’s where I started. This is my ultimate recipe because it combines my love of mac & cheese, mushrooms and my obsession with beef short ribs.

Land O'Lakes Kitchen Conversations Panel

I recently traveled to Austin and participated in a dinner hosted by Land O’Lakes and got to hang out with some pretty awesome bloggers! Pictured left to right are Becky from the Land O’Lakes Test Kitchens, Maria, Sommer, Ree, me and Brenda. We chatted about butter the the vintage recipes we modernized!

Beef Short Rib & Mushroom Mac & Cheese

First, cook the elbow macaroni (you can use shells if you want to). I undercooked the macaroni and boiled them for only six minutes. Set aside to cool while you’re making your roux and cheese sauce.

The beginning of every roux is butter, I used Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter in Half Sticks, or 4 tablespoons of butter. Love these half sticks because you can just throw them into the pan and don’t even have to mess with re-wrapping! It’s super convenient! The middle picture is right before I added the two cheeses.

Beef Short Rib & Mushroom Mac & Cheese

Before baking, I added a layer of cheddar cheese on top. Yummy! (You can bake the mac & cheese separately from the mushrooms and short ribs to give your family and friends a choice. Curtis doesn’t like mushrooms but he likes beef, so that’s what I did.)

Beef Short Rib & Mushroom Mac & Cheese

But I didn’t stop there. This is about modernizing a vintage recipe, right? Adding beef short ribs and mushrooms adds a lot more time to this recipe, but it’s so worth it. To make it vegetarian or shorten the cooking time, you can omit the short ribs.

Before braising the short ribs, I cut the meat off the bones to make it easier to cut up later, but I put the bones in the pot with the ribs in the pot to add flavor. I’ll tell you one thing, while the short ribs were braising, it smelled so good. It was hard not to sample them when they came out of the oven!

Beef Short Rib & Mushroom Mac & Cheese

My favorite way to cook mushrooms is to use both Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter in Half Sticks and soy sauce. It makes the most flavorful mushrooms! Add these mushrooms to your next homemade burger and you’ll thank me!

Beef Short Rib & Mushroom Mac & Cheese

And in less than 15 minutes, the mushrooms are done.

Beef Short Rib & Mushroom Mac & Cheese

This recipe tasted amazing and I devoured both of the ramekins after I finished photographing them! The extra time is well worth it, but making the mac & cheese straight up without any additions takes less than an hour.

Beef Short Rib & Mushroom Mac & Cheese

Be sure to check out the Land O’Lakes giveaway!

If you make any of recipes and decide to share them on instagram or twitter be sure to tag me @thelittlekitchn and use the hashtag #thelittlekitchenrecipes! I love seeing your posts and photos!

Beef Short Rib & Mushroom Mac & Cheese Recipe

Yield: 6 to 8 Servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes (or 10 minutes without the short ribs)

Cook Time: 3 hours (or 20 minutes without the short ribs)

Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes (or 30 minutes without the short ribs)


Braised Beef Short Ribs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 pounds beef short ribs, bones removed from meat

1 carrot, washed and chopped (peeling optional)

1 celery, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup red wine

1 dried bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cups low sodium chicken broth (or 1 15-ounce can)

2 teaspoons soy sauce

Mac & Cheese

16 ounces uncooked macaroni pasta

1 half stick (4 tablespoons) Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter (and extra butter for greasing the baking dish)

1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup 2% milk

salt & pepper

1 cup extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded (plus more for topping)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded


2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter

1 tablespoon soy sauce

16 ounces baby bella or white button mushrooms, washed and sliced


Braised Beef Short Ribs

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a Dutch oven or other heavy, oven-safe pot with a lid over medium-high heat and add oil. Add short ribs and the bones and brown each side for about 3 to 4 minutes. Work in batches to avoid crowding the beef. Remove beef to a plate and set aside.

Add carrots, celery and onions to pot and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until onions have softened. Mix every so often with a rubber spatula. Add garlic and cook for 60 seconds, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add wine slowly and use rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the pot. Allow the wine to simmer and reduce for about 1 to 3 minutes.

Add chicken broth and salt and pepper. Add bay leaf, thyme, oregano and soy sauce. Mix together and then add short ribs and the bones back to the pot. Bring broth to a boil for a couple of minutes. Cover the French oven and place on the middle rack of the oven and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours (turn the short ribs over halfway through), until the meat shreds easily.

Remove the short ribs and the bones and place on a plate to cool. Slice the beef against the grain and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Note: I find it much easier to slice the beef when it's been refrigerated. Braising the beef short ribs can be done a day or two ahead of time. Just refrigerate the beef after it has cooled and slice and cut the beef when you're ready to make the mac & cheese. To reheat the beef, just add the chopped pieces to a nonstick skillet and cook on medium until heated through.

Mac & Cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Boil macaroni about 4 to 5 minutes less than the instructions on the packaging calls for. Drain pasta and set aside to cool.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Make a roux by adding flour and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Stir constantly and cook the roux for 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in heavy cream and milk slowly, being sure to break up the roux. Continue whisking and cooking on medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and add both cheeses. Mix until the cheese is melted all the way through. Add cooked pasta and mix thoroughly to ensure every piece of pasta is evenly coated with the cheese sauce.

Spread pasta in a 3.5-quart buttered baking dish. Add a layer of cheddar cheese on top. Place baking dish on a foil-lined baking sheet and place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 28 to 30 minutes.


Melt unsalted butter in a medium nonstick pan and heat on medium. Add soy sauce and mushrooms to pan. Constantly stir mushrooms and cook for 8 to 12 minutes. A lot of water will appear in the pan as the mushrooms cook down; allow that to cook down and then brown the mushrooms.


Serve macaroni and cheese in little ramekins or small bowls and allow everyone to choose how much beef and mushrooms they want with their portions.

From The Little Kitchen

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Disclosure: The Little Kitchen has partnered with Land O’Lakes for an exclusive endorsement of Land O Lakes® Butter for their Kitchen Conversation blogger program. This blog post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes. I always share my own honest opinions and only work with brands that I love.

41 Responses to “Beef Short Rib & Mushroom Mac & Cheese”

  1. 1
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — June 13, 2013 @ 10:52 am

    I have to admit that this is the best looking mac and cheese I have EVER seen! Mushrooms and short ribs = crazy good! I loved being at this Land O’Lakes dinner with you, sharing our modernized vintage recipes!!


  2. 2
    Angie | Big Bear's Wife — June 13, 2013 @ 11:25 am

    I can’t get over how amazing these look! ooo yum! I love mac and cheese, mushrooms and short ribs, so I KNOW we’d devour this in a heart beat! I also love the Land O Lakes half sticks! I’ve always got them in the fridge!


  3. 3
    Samantha @FerraroKitchen — June 13, 2013 @ 11:40 am

    Perfect comfort food!! LOVE this!


  4. 4
    Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet — June 13, 2013 @ 11:55 am

    Sometimes in life you NEED a recipe. This is it sister. Holy delish! I can’t wait to make this. It was so fabulous to finally meet you at BHF. You are amazing. xoxo ~H


  5. 5
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — June 13, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

    This is my kind of dinner! I would totally enjoy every last bite.


  6. 6
    Amanda @ MarocMama — June 13, 2013 @ 1:06 pm

    I hate you for sharing this recipe -ok not really I love you lots for it! I am drooling looking at the screen and am now going straight to my kitchen to make this for lunch!


  7. 7
    sweetsugarbelle — June 13, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

    Meeting you was the absolute highlight of my tips. I only wish we lived closer together!


  8. 8
    marcie@flavorthemoments — June 13, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

    This looks unbelievably good! I’ve had short rib risotto before and loved it, but this looks even better.


  9. 9
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — June 13, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

    What a delicious spin on mac and cheese!


  10. 10
    Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste — June 13, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

    Woah baby! Pass me a plate, please!


  11. 11
    Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke — June 13, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

    That looks so amazing!!! I was at BHF, but am only a sometimes foodie blogger!


  12. 12
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — June 13, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

    Hey Julie! It was so fun to get to see you at the Land O’Lakes party–and I will definitely be making this in the near future! It looks ridiculously good!


  13. 13
    Rachel Cooks — June 13, 2013 @ 9:13 pm

    Oh my gosh — this is three of my favorite things all in one. Amazing.


  14. 14
    Tieghan — June 13, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

    Hold the phone! This is incredible! Amazing! Must make ASAP!


  15. 15
    shelly (cookies and cups) — June 14, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    This might be the perfect food. Seriously.


  16. 16
    Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas — June 14, 2013 @ 9:44 am

    When I saw this at the dinner presentation my heart skipped a bit! This recipe is pure brilliance!


  17. 17
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — June 14, 2013 @ 10:39 am

    What a genius idea – I love short ribs and mushrooms, they are the perfect way to modernize a recipe!


  18. 18
    Kristen — June 14, 2013 @ 11:10 am

    This recipe has just about everything I love in it! So good!!


  19. 19
    cassie - bake your day — June 14, 2013 @ 11:23 am

    Holy cow, girl! I could not love this more. So creative! So happy to see you this past week, you are a doll. Looking forward to next time!


  20. 20
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — June 14, 2013 @ 11:48 am

    Holy mouthwatering! This looks AMAZING, Julie!


  21. 21
    Carla @ Carlas Confections — June 14, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

    I LITERALLY just stuffed my face with breakfast and I am already wishing I was eating this! It looks amazing Julie! :)


  22. 22
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — June 14, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

    I love any and all mac n cheeses. This looks ridiculously tasty Julie!


  23. 23
    Kelly Stilwell — June 14, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

    That looks so delicious! And to hang out with Ree Drummond! Wow! So jealous :)


  24. 24
    addie | culicurious — June 15, 2013 @ 10:01 am

    oh this recipe looks delicious, Julie! I love the combo you’ve used here. Short ribs and mac n cheese PLUS sautéed mushrooms? I DIE! 😉 oh yes, and I WANT :)


  25. 25
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — June 15, 2013 @ 10:27 am

    Ooh, I love mushrooms in my mac & cheese. This looks awesome!


  26. 26
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — June 16, 2013 @ 11:03 am

    I could totally get on board with this version of mac and cheese!


  27. 27
    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion — June 17, 2013 @ 7:27 am

    Love short ribs, love mushrooms, love mac and cheese… we can now be food BFF’s


  28. 28
    Suzanne — June 17, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

    O.M.G. Three things I love – mac & cheese, short ribs, and mushrooms! You’re a genius, Julie.


  29. 29
    Ruby @ The Ruby Red Apron — June 17, 2013 @ 7:46 pm

    Amazing! Everything sounds delicious in this modern take on mac & cheese!


  30. 30
    Stephanie@Henry Happened — June 18, 2013 @ 3:47 am

    my mouth is watering! I love the idea of using mushrooms, but most of all, I love that you used parmesan!


  31. 31
    Cheryl — June 18, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

    I loved the regular macaroni and cheese recipe. I’m allergic to mushrooms so I don’t eat anything with them


    • Julie Deily replied: August 6th, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

      So glad you liked it, Cheryl!


  32. 32
    Nutmeg Nanny — June 20, 2013 @ 11:12 pm

    Oh wow! This looks incredible :) such a brilliant recipe!


  33. 33
    Jenny @ BAKE — June 23, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

    Mushroom mac and cheese sounds epic! I’m going to have to try that next time I make it!


  34. 34
    Lovelle — July 2, 2013 @ 10:38 am

    I tried this recipe over the weekend, I didn’t too much are for the mac and cheese (too hooked on my moms) however the short beef ribs were great! I just moved into my new place so I didn’t have all of my kitchen appliances ready yet so instead of putting them in a dutch oven, I poured them into my slow cooker and set them on high to cook over night for 9 hours. When I woke up on Sunday Morning, my GOD! These things were incredibly tender with the most delicious flavors. Will definitely be making these ribs again… Next time I will add some quartered potatoes in the slow cooker to make it one complete meal in one! Thanks for the delicious recipe.


    • Julie Deily replied: August 6th, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

      Lovelle, that’s awesome! So glad to hear! I love making short ribs in my slow cooker too!! :)


  35. 35
    Liz — July 5, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

    Lovely recipe. Thank you and have a great weekend!


  36. 36
    Kelly — August 5, 2013 @ 11:11 am

    My boyfriend will love this! Thank you!!! He loves mac and I love short ribs and veggies (with soy sauce). Great idea :) I have similar little dishes that are for a fondue set that I always use to eat out of cause it’s the perfect portion. You’re site is great! I’ve been checking out recipes all morning.


    • Julie Deily replied: August 6th, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

      Hi Kelly, thanks for the kind words! :)


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