Braised Short Ribs and Polenta
This recipe is one that slow cooks, falls off the bone, and impresses even the pickiest eaters. The first time I ever made this recipe for my boyfriend he took one bite, shot his head around to look at me and said "WOW... I knew that you could cook.. but I didn't know that you could cook like this." This recipe is one of my all time favs for that very reason.
I created this recipe through a combination of other short rib recipes that I had seen in cook books and on the internet. I tried all different kinds of recipes before I settled on this version. My version is simple, yet satisfying. Filled with fresh herbs, simple spices and rich full bodied red wine...I mean it literally does not get better than that.
I pair these short ribs with creamy parmesan polenta. Or if you are from Louisiana (where I went to culinary school) you may call this delicious side grain "Grits". This is actually the same polenta recipe that I use for my Cajun Shrimp and Parmesan Grits recipe. It is a classic easy side dish and mixes the recipe up, rather than having classic mash potatoes or pasta.
This recipe also calls for rich aged Balsamic Vinegar. I am going to link the one that I use. You can find it at Luigis if you live in the Kern County area but for those of you who don't live in this area I would purchase it online because it really changes the flavor profile of the dish. I have tried other balsamic vinegar and it is still good but not quite at deep.
- 6-8 Bone in Short ribs. the bigger the better. I purchased mine at Woodale market in Bakersfield CA.
- Sea Salt and Black pepper to taste.
- 3 TBS olive oil
- 2 small yellow onions or 1 large yellow onion peeled. I like a lot of onion in mine but that is personal preference. finely chopped.
- 3 Carrots peeled and finely chopped.
- 3 Celery Stalks finely chopped.
- 14 Cloves of garlic minced. Yes you read that correctly. I also like a lot of garlic.
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 TBS fresh rosemary stripped
- 1 TBS fresh Thyme Stripped
- 1 Bunch of fresh Italian curled parsley chopped
- 4 and 1/2 cups of a nice rich Cabernet Sauvignon.
- 3 and 1/4th cups Beef Broth
- 4 TBS aged Balsamic
- 3 cups milk
- 1 and 3/4ths cups water
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 cup polenta
- 2 and 1/2 TBS unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan ( and yes I grate it right before adding it to the grits)
-Black pepper to taste.
1. Pre heat oven to 335F or if you have convection 325F.
2. In a food processor add salt, rosemary leaves, fresh Thyme and black pepper. Make a rub and rub all over the short ribs. Let it soak in the seasoning for at least 20 min.
3. While they are sitting chop your onion and carrot.
4. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven. In two batches ( 1 batch of 3 or 4 at a time) brown all four sides of the short ribs on high heat. Do this until a brown crust has formed and then immediately remove and set them side.
5. Keep the fat and oil in the pan and add the onion, celery and carrot.
6. Sauté until tender.
7. Add the Red wine and slowly scape any thing stuck to the bottom of the pan. Once everything is scraped add the Balsamic.
8. Simmer until the wine has reduced by half the amount and doubled in thickness.
9. Add beef broth and a little water if needed to the reduced wine. Stir this together until it is all one mixture.
9. Slowly add the short ribs back to the pan. They should be just barely fully covered by the liquid. If they are not fully covered add a 1/2 cup of water and a little more salt to the pan.
10. Cover with the lid and Bake in oven for around 3 to 3 1/2 hours. About one hour in turn the ribs over in the pan and after the first hour check on them about ever 30 min. - if you have smaller short ribs they may cook much faster than the recommended cook time. You will know that they are finished when you poke them with a fork a few times and they start to fall apart.
11. Remove them from oven and let cool While you cook your Grits.
12. Before serving take the lid off of the pan and transfer back to the oven for 15-20 min. this will brown them a second time and make sure they are perfect temperature for serving.
POLENTA AND PLATING INSTRUCTIONS.
1. Bring Milk and water to a boil
2. slowly add polenta, whisk together carefully until it thickens. This will take between 2-5 min and you need to whisk the entire time you are waiting for it to thicken.
3. reduce heat and let it simmer for around 15-20 min. It should thicken a little more but you dont want it to be too thick when you serve. It will get spongy and dry if you let it thicken too long. You want it to remain and little creamy as you plate it.
4. Stir in butter and parmesan before serving.
5. Spoon polenta into bowl. Place 1-2 short ribs per each plate, then spoon red wine juices and veggies over everything.