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short ribs polentaInstead of the slow cooker, I took out my Le Creuset French oven. I was in the mood for something hearty this Sunday. It’s been a week of decorating for the holidays and it was time to sit back and relax, and get ready to hibernate. With all the decorating, there must have been a lot of wine consumption. I didn’t realize I my [liquor] cupboard was bare. I needed to get the ribs started (Sundays are consumed with volleyball during the winter). I opted for some apple cider.

Short ribs are a treat and will brighten up anyone’s day. And if you have leftover polenta, it’s great for breakfast.

What you need:

  • 4 lb. bone-in beef short ribs
  • 2 c all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3+ tbs EVOO
  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions
  • 1 sm bag of baby carrots (or about 3 lg carrots, peeled and cut into 1” chunks)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, stems removed
  • 4 c beef stock
  • 1 c apple cider
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 c quick cooking polenta and ingredients it calls for

What you do:

  • Season short ribs with salt and pepper.
  • Place flour in a low bowl or on a baking sheet.
  • Dredge short ribs in flour, shake off excess and set aside.
  • Heat French oven over med-high heat.
  • Add enough EVOO to cover bottom of pan.
  • Place ribs in single layer and brown on each side.
  • Repeat with remaining ribs.
  • Set ribs aside.
  • Reduce heat to med and add another thin layer of EVOO.
  • Add onions, carrots and garlic.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 min.
  • Heat oven to 375˚.
  • Add broth and cider.
  • Stir and scrape up browned bits.
  • Add tomato paste and rosemary, whisking to blend paste into broth.
  • Cover and transfer to oven, stirring occasionally, and cook for about 2 1/2-3 hours.
  • When done, remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes.
  • Remove ribs from French oven and remove meat from bone, and remove any bones that remain in the pot. Your beef will start to fall apart; shred or cut to your desired size. (I tend to remove some of the fat from the ribs, too)
  • Prepare polenta according to package instructions; consider substituting milk or cream for some of the water. (Here I substituted 1 c of water for 1 c of cream; I like my polenta to be richer and creamier).
  • Skim fat from top of braised ribs.
  • Spoon polenta into individual bowls or plates and top with braised short rib mixture.
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