2.25.14 Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Goat Cheese Polenta
Last weekend was a glorious weekend. For the first time in, I don’t know, six weeks, we had absolutely no weekend plans. No traveling, no out of town visitors, no nothing. Now don’t get me wrong, my last six weekends were incredibly fun. From traveling to Seattle, to skiing in upper Michigan, to spending the weekend with parents, siblings, and friends - we had a blast. But having a weekend in which we had to do nothing, well there’s something pretty fantastic about that as well.
Now, just because I said we didn’t have to do anything doesn’t mean we just sat around the entire weekend by the fire, drinking hot buttered rum and watching the winter Olympics. Although that may have comprised a large portion of the weekend. Larger than I’d like to admit. But we did participate in some other activities as well. Such as learning how to curl - which was pretty great, not to mention I only slipped and fell on the ice once! And of course, there was some serious cooking going on this weekend as well. Which necessitated at least two trips to the grocery store, so there’s that too.
But all in all, I’ll admit, it was a gloriously lazy winter weekend. And although I mentioned there was serious cooking, I must confess it falls into the category of gloriously lazy winter cooking. You know what I mean. Brown up some short ribs, chop up some vegetables, throw everything in a dutch oven with some red wine and tomatoes, and pop it all in the oven. That’s it. A few hours later, you’re ready to dig into a rich ragu of deliciously tender meat and vegetables. And if that sounds good, it only gets better when you serve it atop a pile of creamy goat cheese polenta. Now that’s my kind of lazy weekend.
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Goat Cheese Polenta
makes about 4-5 servings
If you’re feeling exceptionally lazy, you can use pre-made polenta - just reheat, stir in the goat cheese and you’re good to go.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 lb boneless beef short ribs
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (such as Muir Glen)
- 1 ½ cups red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2.5 oz goat cheese
1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large dutch oven until very hot. While oil is heating, use a paper towel to pat the short ribs dry on all sides and season liberally with salt and pepper. Add short ribs to the hot oil in the pot, a few at a time so they’re not crowded in. Cook, flipping meat, until just browned on all sides, about 1-2 minutes per side. Set cooked meat aside.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
3. In the same pot that you cooked the meat, heat another Tbsp of olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter. Once butter is melted, add the chopped celery, carrot, onion, fennel, and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender and begin to cook down, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the roasted tomatoes, wine, bay leaf, salt, and pepper to the pot. Also return cooked short ribs to the pot; mix meat to it is mostly covered by liquid. Cover pot and place in oven. Cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours at 325 degrees.
5. When you have about ½ hour left of cook time for the short ribs, start making your polenta. Bring 4 cups water to a boil, add the salt, and then gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Continue whisking for a couple of minutes until cornmeal is slightly thickened, then lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, whisking occasionally.
6. Once polenta has reached desired thickness, stir in the goat cheese until it is completely melted into the polenta.
7. Remove short ribs from oven - the meat should be very tender. Break up the meat with a fork and remove bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve atop goat cheese polenta.