Thursday, December 2, 2010

Braised Short Ribs on Creamy Yellow Polenta

Snow is on the ground, the temperatures are below freezing; time for short ribs.

Short ribs are rather inexpensive and if you prepare them correctly you can serve a fabulous inexpensive dinner with them.

I start out with pancetta. This gives the dish a deep robust flavor. You could use bacon too.

Dice the pancetta into small pieces.

Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper.

Coat them on all sides with flour.

Let them sit until they are at room temperature.

Meanwhile, saute' the pancetta in a heavy pot.

Remove the crisp pancetta and leave the grease.

You might need to add a bit of olive oil too. Brown the ribs on all sides until they have a crisp brown crust.

Set them aside.

Add about 5 sliced leeks to the pot.

Add 5 diced carrots.

After the vegetables have softened, add 2 cups of red wine.

Stir it around, scraping the bottom to pick up all the bits on the bottom of the pot.

Add 2 cups of beef stock.

Add several tablespoons of beef demi-glace. If you don't have this you can add beef bouillon but watch your salt.

Add fresh rosemary and fresh thyme.

Time to pull out my frozen tomato paste.

Add several tablespoons of the paste to the sauce.

Throw in the cooked pancetta.

Place the ribs back in the pot.

Sink them down into the liquid.

Cover and bake at 325 for about 4 hours. The meat should be falling off the bones. I served mine with polenta this time but they can be served with mashed potatoes or broad noodles. They are also delicious served with a sprinkling of blue cheese over the top.