Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta


I’ve been dreaming about short ribs for the past couple of weeks. I think it’s because I’m in need of a lazy day. I thought that when both of my kids were in school full-time I would have all this free time to find myself. That hasn’t quite happened for me yet. So I decided to schedule my lazy day for last Sunday. I wasn’t going to do anything that required me to do something, except cook. No lazy day would be complete without a slow-cooked, comforting, soul-satisfying meal. That’s where my dreamy short ribs come in. I asked my husband it he would be interested in some lazy day short ribs and he looked at me with those lovely gray eyes and said, “I love you.” I guess that’s a “Yes!”

God must have really wanted me to have my short ribs because when I got to the market they were half price. The Lord was definitely looking out for a sista. I got my ribs and left the store with my head held high, whistling “Today I don’t feel like doing anything…” And for that beautiful moment in time life was perfect. Once I got home, however, my day was not as lazy as I thought it would be. There was still laundry, homework, vacuuming, school projects, coupon clipping, and a whole bunch of other stuff that shouldn’t be in a lazy day. However, I was looking forward to preparing my scrumptious short ribs.

I used my favorite recipe that is a combination of recipes from the Zin Restaurant near Sonoma, California and Cook’s Illustrated.  I wasn’t really in the mood to experiment with a new recipe, I needed something tried and true to salvage my lazy day. This recipe is so flavorful and yummy. I used meaty boneless short ribs and cooked them low and slow in a rich, luscious sauce.  The hardest part was waiting for them to get done. I prepared a pot of creamy, cheese polenta to accompany my succulent ribs. The smell coming from my kitchen was so beautiful that it woke my husband up from his nap. (He fully embraced Lazy Day.) When he came into the kitchen, he smiled at me and said, “I really love you.” He’s so cute.

Even though my lazy day was anything but, I got to spend it at home with my family which was pretty cool. And after dinner, my husband took over and I enjoyed a lazy evening, and this was all I really needed.

Braised Short Ribs, adapted from Zin Restaurant and Cooks Illustrated
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 1/2 lbs boneless beef short ribs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1pablano pepper, seeded and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
3 cups barbecue sauce
1cup beef broth
4 large carrots, peeled and cut crosswise in 2-inch pieces
4 sprigs thyme
1bay leaf
Creamy Polenta

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels.  Mix the salt, pepper, seasoned salt and garlic powder in a small bowl and sprinkle over all sides of  the meat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add half the ribs and cook, without moving, 3-5 minutes on each side until well browned. (If the pot begins to smoke, turn down the heat.) Transfer the meat to a plate and repeat with the remaining ribs.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions, peppers and celery.  Cook the vegetables until tender, about 7 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook one additional minute.

Increase the heat to medium-high, add the wine and simmer, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Simmer until the wine is reduced by half, about 8 minutes.  Stir in the barbecue sauce, broth, carrots, thyme and bay leaf.  Add the beef and any juices on the plate.  Cover the pot and bring to a simmer.  Transfer the pot to the oven and cook 2 to 2 1/2 hours, turning the meat twice with tongs during cooking, until the meat is tender and a fork slips in and out of the meat easily.  Transfer the ribs and carrots to a serving platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a fat separator, discard the solids. (Be sure to press the vegetables against the strainer with the back of a spoon to release as much liquid as possible.)  Allow the sauce to settle, then strain off the fat.  Pour the sauce into a serving bowl.  Spoon some of the sauce over the ribs and carrots.  Serve the remaing sauce on the side. Serve the ribs with Creamy Polenta.







One thought on “Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

  1. Now, this sounds delicious! Whenever I watch cooking shows like Top Chef or Food Network Star I get this hankering to try braised short ribs and polenta (but never together). They never seemed accessible, however, until now. Who knew polenta was like grits? (You, obviously!) We’ll eat any grit-related food, especially if it has cheese in it. This is going to be a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for us this week. Any suggestions on stretching this to feed 8?

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