Short Ribs: 2 tablespoons olive oil 3-4 pounds individual bone-in short ribs Salt and pepper 1 medium onion, chopped 3 carrots, diced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1/3 cup flour 2 cups red wine 3 cups beef broth Water, as necessary 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary 2 bay leaves
Polenta: 1 cup milk 3 cups water 2 teaspoons salt 1-1/3 cups quick-cooking polenta 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Add the short ribs to the saucepan in batches to avoid crowding. Cook the short ribs for 5-6 minutes, turning until browned on all sides. Transfer the ribs to a plate and set aside.
Add the onions and carrots to the saucepan and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to brown slightly. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and stir to combine it well with the onions and carrots. Add the wine, beef broth, tomato paste, rosemary, and bay leaves.
Return the short ribs to the saucepan. The ribs should be barely covered with liquid, if not, add some water as needed. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover the saucepan and place it in the oven. Cook for 2 to 2-1/2 hours until the short ribs are very tender. Turn the ribs a few times during the roasting time and also check that they are still covered with enough liquid. Remove the ribs from the cooking liquid and place on a plate. Some of the ribs may separate from the bones; that is to be expected.
You can now cover the ribs with foil to keep them warm or place them in a container and refrigerate them if you will be serving them later or the next day. Let the cooking liquid stand for 10-15 minutes to allow the fat to rise to the surface. Skim the fat off and discard it. Alternately, place the liquid in a container and refrigerate it. The fat will solidify on the surface after a few hours and you can easily discard it.
When ready to serve, return the cooking liquid to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly. Discard the bay leaves. Return the short ribs to the saucepan and cook for 10-15 minutes until heated through.
To make the polenta: In a large saucepan, combine the milk, water, and salt; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, whisking often, until the polenta is thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.
To serve, divide the polenta among individual serving bowls; top with a couple of the short ribs and some of the sauce.
Beef short ribs generally require a long cooking time in order to break down the connective tissues in the meat and make the meat tender. But when they are cooked properly, as in this braise, the meat becomes extremely tender and flavorful. Serve the short ribs over creamy polenta or mashed potatoes for true comfort food.
Serve short ribs or any braised meat with garlic bread on the side; it's great for soaking up the juices or gravy from the meat.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Split a loaf of Italian bread lengthwise into 2 pieces. Place the bread, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Stir together finely minced fresh garlic and softened butter. Spread over both pieces of bread. Sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley over the top. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden brown.
NOTE: Some people cringe at the idea of using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, but for this recipe I find that it works eqaully as well. Simply spread the butter over the bread, sprinkle generously with garlic powder, add the Parmesan and parsley, and bake.
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