Last night, my spouse and I hosted 20 lovely friends at an intimate gathering to thank them for their charitable support of our beloved synagogue. As a special thanks, I cooked up a multi-course meal, and one of the showstoppers of the night was this dish – Braised Short Ribs served on a bed of luscious polenta. This dish is adapted/modified by me from Daniel Boloud’s recipe which appears on the website SeriousEats. If you have never checked out SeriousEats, I highly recommend it. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is a food hacker genius and his hard work on cracking recipes is much appreciated by me!
Here are the steps and ingredients required to make this dish…time is also your friend here as I began to prepare the dish 3 days before serving. For this dinner I prepped enough braised short ribs for 20 people; for the recipe below I am providing the appropriate quantities for 4-6 servings.
- 4 lb. bone-in short ribs
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 stems of fresh thyme
- 2-3 cups dry red wine
- 1 cup ruby port
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 ounces of double concentrated tomato paste
- 2-4 cups of good quality chicken stock – preferably low-sodium
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- Dutch oven – I highly recommend this although in a pinch you could also use a slow cooker
- Sheet pan with rack
- Place the ribs on the rack in the sheet pan and liberally sprinkle with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and paprika on all sides
- Let the meat rest uncovered on the rack in the fridge overnight
- Heat up your dutch oven on the stovetop (if you don’t have this, a regular frypan will do) until very very hot, and add the vegetable oil, then sear off the meat on all sides.
- Place the seared beef ribs to rest on a plate; then drain off some of the rendered beef fat (short ribs are a fairly fatty cut)
- Add the mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery) to the dutch oven and cook on medium heat until the veggies sweat and soften.
- Add the garlic and the tomato paste, and continue to cook until the tomato paste begins to slightly carmelize.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 325 degrees and place your rack low enough in the oven to accommodate the size of your dutch oven. (Or turn your slowcooker onto high and let it get hot).
- Put the ribs back into the dutch oven, and gently mix the veggies around and over the beef.
- Pour in the red wine and the ruby port and 2 cups of chicken stock.
- Toss in the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
- Bring the dutch oven to a gentle simmer on the stovetop, then cover tightly with the lid and place in the oven.
- Let the meat slowly braise for at least 3 hours. Check on it once an hour to baste the meat and if the liquid level gets very low add more stock. The meat does not need to be fully covered with liquid, but make sure that the lid of the dutch oven is sealing in the liquids so that the meat is gently steaming inside the dutch oven.
- Remove the dutch oven from the oven and chill the contents overnight.
- The next day, remove as much of the solid fat as possible from the top of the ribs, and carefully remove the bones from each short rib. They should slide out easily.Also remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
- Gently reheat the braised ribs covered in the same dutch oven in the oven on low heat (300 degrees) until thoroughly hot. Depending on quantity, this can take at least 30-45 minutes.
- While the braised ribs are cooking, start on the polenta.
- When the polenta is completed, use a large platter or serving dish and ladle the polenta in, then add the short ribs and sauce. Bon Appetit.