braised short ribs with the most simple polenta in the world

The other day Roth and I decided we'd spend much of our Saturday cooking together.  When she threw out the idea of Short Ribs it was confirmation yet again of how great it is to have a foodie friend who doesn't mind spending a whole evening in the kitchen.  Making a tart?  Sure.  Polenta? Sure.  Short ribs.  Yes.  We made all of the above- roth taking control of the cherry tart and had an excellent relaxing evening. 

The recipe came from the one and only Pioneer Woman with some of our own twists. 

  • 8 whole Beef Short Ribs
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
  • Pancetta, Diced- about 1/4-1/2 cup.
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 whole Carrots, Diced
  • 2 cups Red Wine
  • 2 cups Beef  Broth (enough To Almost Cover Ribs)
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
Preparation Instructions- thanks to PW.
Salt and pepper ribs, then dredge in flour. Set aside.
In a large dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until complete crispy and all fat is rendered. Remove pancetta and set aside. Do not discard grease.
Add olive oil to pan with the pancetta grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove ribs and set aside. Turn heat to medium.
Add onions and carrots to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape bottom of pan. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.
Add broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole) to the liquid.
Put on the lid and place into the oven. Cook at 350 for 2 hours. 

Check the meat.  Our ribs were smaller and they were tender and falling off the bone.  If yours need some more loving, reduce the heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Remove pan from oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes, lid on, before serving. At the last minute, skim fat off the top of the liquid. (Can also refrigerate mixture, then remove solid fat from the top.)  This was a crucial step as they were a bit fatty.  We didn't refrigerate ours as we were too hungry and it was nearly 9 pm.  I might just remove the ribs onto a shallow serving dish, strain the juices, then reheat to reduce the flavor a bit next time.  As delicious as ours were, I think I'd do that step to get some of the grease out and concentrate the flavors a bit more. 

Serve 2 ribs on bed of creamy polenta, spooning a little juice over the top.

on that note- let's talk about Polenta...

I haven't made it from scratch and have never been super attracted to this seemingly healthy side that comes in a roll.  Well, did you know if you boil 4 1/2 cups of water and add in just about 1 cup of corn meal and stir constantly you'll get polenta?  Maybe you knew that.  News flash to this midwest girl.   Reduce the heat so it's not boiling, stir until it's thick and water has evaporated.  Add in 1-2 tbs butter and then....add in some goat cheese- about 4 ounces- to your liking, and serve under the short ribs.  Yum!


  1. my polenta always comes out lumpy and gross when i make it on the stove top...i use the same water/corn meal ratio and bake it in the oven!

  2. iiinteresting. we whisked ours constantly so there weren't really lumps- butter and cheese probably helped too. How long do you end up baking it for?

  3. Anonymous2/19/2010

    Laura, Kate taught me to do in the stove, too. Easiest thing ever! Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Take it out, stir in a few pats of butter and cheese if you like, and put it back in the oven for 10 more minutes.

    MUCH better than that constant stirring nonsense...

  4. look at you ladies- full of ideas. I'm sold. I'll try it again your way. :)