I had big ambitions yesterday of making a delicious Sunday night dinner – Luscious Oven-Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta (recipes below). That was until we got home for the grocery store and I realized that the recipe called for marinating the short ribs for 6 hours. Moved onto plan B for dinner last night (Chicken and Rice Soup from Mad Hungry) and the original dinner became Monday’s dinner.
Moment of gratitude was knowing that I would be able to be home for 4 hours on a Monday while the ribs braised away in the oven. This is a recipe that will make your whole house smell divine.
* 1 onion, finely sliced
* 4 garlic cloves, smashed
* 1 leek, cleaned and finely chopped
* 1 carrot, finely chopped
* 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 cup red wine
* 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 3 1/2 pounds short ribs
* 2 to 3 Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters (optional – I opted for polenta recipe below)
* 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1. Mix all the ingredients except the meat and potatoes in a 9- x 15-inch roasting pan. Add the ribs and rub all over with the marinade. The meat should fit comfortably in a single layer in the pan. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours or up to overnight. Occasionally turn the meat over in the marinade. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Braise the short ribs for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, reducing the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit after an hour. Turn the ribs over. Add the potatoes in the last 40 minutes of cooking. Add water to the pan if too much liquid evaporates. You want to end up with glistening ribs in a reduced glaze.
Creamy Polenta from Nancy Silverton’s A Twist of the Wrist
3 c. milk (I used non-fat although recipe calls for whole, I find it creamy enough with non-fat milk)
15 fresh thyme sprigs
2 large garlic cloves, grated or minced
2 tsp kosher salt (I use a bit less as I am always trying to limit extra sodium in dishes)
1/2 stick (4 TBSP) unsalted butter (yes, I do use all the butter as it keeps it creamy)
To make the polenta, combine the milk, thyme, garlic, and salt in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the milk for about 5 minutes to steep the thyme. Remove the thyme sprigs and add the polenta in a slow, thin stream as you stir with a whisk to prevent the polenta from clumping. Bring the polenta to a low boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook it for about 5 minutes, whisking it often, until it thickens to a loose, porridge-like consistency. Turn off the heat, stir in the butter and cover.
Top the polenta with finished short ribs and some of the decadent sauce from the short ribs pan. Enjoy.