Braised Short Ribs with Cheddar Polenta

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Hello Friends!  I hope all of you are well since I last posted.  I had knee surgery last Monday and am starting to heal up nicely.  I am still in pain and walking on crutches but started physical therapy today so I am hoping that things will continue to go smoothly and my knee will heal.  I am anxious to get back to my active lifestyle!  Anyway, last week my mom came to stay and help me out and this week her best friend, whom I call Auntie Raven, is here!  

Last week, while restricted to my bed, I was watching the Today Show and Melissa d'Arabian was on making  braised short ribs with polenta.  I had never made short ribs before and they looked really intriguing.  Even more intriguing was that she said the entire meal was only $10!   I went online and printed the recipe and Auntie Raven and I decided to make it for dinner tonight! Instead of serving the ribs with Melissa d'Arabian's recipe for polenta, I made my polenta, but used a mixture of cheddar and parmesan to change things up a bit!  If you are not a fan of polenta you can serve this dish over rice, noodles, mashed potatoes, even bread or biscuits!  Being me, of course, I made a few minor changes to the ribs.  Here is the original recipe.  Here is what Raven and I did:

Braised Short Ribs

  • 6 lbs bone in country style pork ribs (about 8 large ribs)
  • 2 tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 carrots, chopped (if you want, you can use baby carrots, I would probably double this next time I made it because I am a carrot fan)
  • 1 large onion, or 2 medium onions chopped (to save time you could use a bag of frozen chopped onions)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small can tomato paste (6 oz.)
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Trim the fat from the meat.  Pat ribs dry and season with granulated garlic and pepper.  

Heat oil and butter in a large dutch oven or heavy duty stock pot that is OVEN SAFE.  Brown the meat on both sides, in batches if necessary, and set aside.  Add the chopped vegetables, except the garlic, and saute about 5 minutes or until onions are soft.  

Add the minced garlic and saute another two minutes stirring frequently.  Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until well combined with the vegetables, about 1 minute. 

 Add the vinegar to the pan, and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom (this is called deglazing).  Add the red pepper flakes and bay leaves.  Place the meat back in the pot on top of the vegetables.  

Pour in the chicken stock until it is halfway up the pot (you may not use all of the chicken stock).  You don't need to cover all of the meat.  Cover the pot and bring to a simmer.  Once it simmers, place the pot, cover on, in the oven.  Allow to braise in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Remove the cover and continue to cook for an additional 2 and a half hours, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half.  This will allow the meat to become tender and liquid to reduce in volume. Remove the bay leaves after cooking.

Remove from the oven, and serve meat with sauce over a bed of polenta, or  your favorite side.  This meal freezes easily.  The leftover meat is also excellent served on sandwiches, hot or cold!

This meal takes a long time to make, but it is easy because it is made in one pot.  The prep time is about 20 minutes and then the cooking time is fairly hands off.  Not only is the dish easy to prepare, it is also VERY kid  and budget friendly, thus WORTH THE EFFORT!  I highly recommend it.  I am going to give this recipe the "Daniel Favorite" rating because Daniel ate it up and asked for "MO MO PORK"  not once but TWICE!


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