Beef short ribs with cheddar polenta

Success!

These braised short ribs completely make up for my short-rib failure this past spring. Not only were they absolutely delicious, but way less high-maintenance than the previous recipe.

Seared and then braised with ancho chile powder, Worcestershire sauce and onions, the dish develops a rich broth to go with fall-off-the-bone meat. It pairs perfectly with a flavorful cheesy polenta made with garlic and thyme.

I used an Emeril Lagasse recipe, although I changed it a bit based on consumer reviews and my own tastes (for example, it does not need a whole gallon of water. We’re not making soup!). I recommend making this for Sunday supper because it cooks for three hours.

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs. beef short ribs

2 T ancho chile powder

2 T olive oil

1 T soy sauce

1 dried ancho chile

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

4 cloves garlic, smashed

6 T Worcestershire sauce

6 T light brown sugar

2 T kosher salt

8 c. water

Method:

Season both sides of the ribs with chile powder and refrigerate at least one hour, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat large Dutch oven over medium. Add oil and sear ribs on all sides, in batches, if needed. With all ribs in the pot, add soy sauce, ancho chile, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, kosher salt and water. (Note: I added a glug of red wine, just because.) Bring to a simmer and adjust the seasonings to taste (add more salt). Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook until the ribs are tender and fall from the bones, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Skim fat off top (or cool, put in fridge and remove fat the next day – this only gets better a day later!)

Meanwhile, make polenta:

1 1/2 c. water

2 c. milk

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 bay leaf

2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 c. fine-grained corn meal

4 T unsalted butter

1/2 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, combine water, milk, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and whisk in corn meal. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until it thickens, 20-25 min.

Add butter and stir until melted. Add cheeses and stir well. Adjust seasonings to taste, remove bay leaf.

To serve, on big plate or even a large bowl, scoop big portions of polenta, then add a couple beef ribs and finish with the beef broth. Sprinkle with parsley for garnish.

This made about six servings for dinner, with a small salad and bread on the side. Perfect for entertaining, or when you need something comforting on a cold day.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

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