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Braised Short Ribs with Crispy Polenta Coins:

Chasing complexity, for me, usually begins with diving headfirst into something I’ve never done before, but endeavoring to simplify it along the way. And not knowing how to do something is every reason to do it just to learn how. At the same time, I find myself doing similar dishes over and over, in order to improve and perfect it. Braising remains a deep passion of mine because of the complex flavors it can produce, regardless of whether you are using beef, pork, fowl, or any other wild beast. It boils Braised Short Ribs with Crispy Polentadown to going low and slow and with the right base to deliver extraordinary results. For this recipe, it was a bottle of fine full bodied cabernet sauvignon that was not sacrificed for cooking, but rather offered its mosaic nature in order to produce the richness in the final sauce. The addition of a hint of chocolate balsamic at the end also complimented this amazing dish along with the other spices and fresh herbs. Finding bone-in short ribs may sometimes be a challenge in some areas, but when on hand, the bones are another contributing factor to the rich flavors in this recipe. This will definitely be a do-over, and as always, I will continuously endeavor to seek simplicity while reinventing every step of the way.

SECRET INGREDIENT: Cabernet Sauvignon

TIP: Select a full bodied Cabernet, and don’t be shy with using the entire bottle

Braised Short Ribs with Crispy Polenta Coins

  • Beef short ribs (8 lbs bone-in, 3-inch pieces)
  • Salt & fresh black pepper
  • Smoked Paprika (2 tsp)
  • Olive oil (2 Tbsp)
  • Butter (2 Tbsp)
  • Onion (1, chopped)
  • Garlic cloves (4, chopped)
  • Carrot (3, sliced 1/2-inch thick on angle)
  • Cumin 2 teaspoons ground
  • Coriander (1 tsp)
  • Cayenne (1/2 tsp)
  • Flour (2 Tbsp)
  • Tomato paste (6 oz)
  • Red Wine (1 bottle, full bodied Cabernet)
  • Rosemary (2 sprigs)
  • Thyme (4 sprigs)
  • Parsley (4 sprigs)
  • Bay leafs (2)
  • Beef stock (2 cups)
  • Chocolate Balsamic vinegar (2 Tbsp)
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Season ribs on all sides with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.
  3. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm oil and butter. Working in batches, brown ribs briefly on all sides, than transfer ribs to a plate.
  4. In same pot, add onion, carrot, and garlic and cook, over medium heat and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in cumin, paprika, coriander, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and stir to combine and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Increase heat to medium-high and add wine. Deglaze pan to scrap up all crispy bit from bottom of pan.
  7. Tie rosemary, thyme, and parsley with cooking twine for bouquet garni and add to pan with bay leaf, then add beef stock.
  8. Return ribs and any collected juices to pot.
  9. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat, cover, and transfer to oven.
  10. Braise for 2 ½ hours until ribs are tender, stirring occasionally. Carefully transfer ribs to cutting board and let rest.
  11. Return pot to stovetop and bring sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a low simmer. Cook, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by half and thickened, 10 minutes.
  12. Add brown sugar and balsamic, and season to taste.
  13. Serve in bowl with sweet potato puree and top with crispy polenta rounds and chopped parsley.

For Sweet Potato Puree

  • Sweet Potato
  • Salt & fresh black pepper
  • Butter (2 Tbsp, room temperature)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano (1/4 cup grated)
  • Salt & fresh black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Bake sweet potato in oven for 45 minutes until tender.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Cut potato in half and scoop center into a food processor. Add butter and parmigiano and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Process until smooth.

For Crispy Polenta

  • Water (4 cups)
  • Salt
  • Corn meal (1 cup)
  • Rosemary sprig
  • Parmigiano Reggiano (1/2 cup grated)
  • Butter (4 Tbsp, divided, unsalted, at room temperature)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Lower heat to medium and slowly whisk in cornmeal until the mixture thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add rosemary sprig.
  3. Continue to simmer and use a wooden spoon to stir occasionally, until the spoon stands in the polenta, 15 to 25 minutes. Then remove from heat.
  4. Add Parmigianino and 2 tablespoons of the butter and mix well.
  5. Remove rosemary sprig, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Immediately spread polenta in a parchment lined backing pan, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula to spread evenly across pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. Using a round cooking cutter, divide polenta into small rounds (reserve unused polenta for another use).
  8. In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and then add polenta rounds. Crisp on both sides, then remove from heat and set aside.

Braised Short Ribs with Crispy Polenta

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