It’s hard to take a good picture of a stew or braised dish. Everything looks just like a bowl of brown! Having said that, there is nothing so tasty, comforting and beautiful on a dark Winter night than classic braised shortribs served on a heaping mound of polenta.

Beef Shortribs With Polenta

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
6 Beef Shortribs
Salt & Pepper
1 Large Onion
2 stalks of Celery
2 large Carrots
3 cloves of Garlic
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 bottle=750 ml. of Red Wine (Chianti or Pinot Noir)
1 1/2 cup Water
2 tablespoons of Fresh Rosemary Leaves
1/2 cup Fresh Parsley (roughly chopped)
1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
Cornstarch Slurry (1 tablespoon Cornstarch + 2 tablespoons cold water or wine)

Generously salt and pepper the meat.
Heat a large stew pot or Dutch oven with a lid over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and the shortribs (meat side down). Brown the meat for 5-7 minutes.
Chop the onion, celery, carrot into large chunks and peel the garlic (I like the smash and peel method).
When the meat is browned remove it from the pan and set it aside.
Turn the heat to medium and add the vegetables and garlic. Saute the vegetables for about 10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and stir to combine with vegetables.
Add the wine and water. Add the herbs. Stir well to combine.
Add back in the shortribs, sinking them in the liquid until mostly covered.
Bring the pot back to a simmer and cover. Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
Add the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce.
Serve over polenta or mashed potatoes.

Cheesy Polenta
1 1/2 cups Polenta/Corn Grits (I like Bob’s Red Mill).
2 cups Milk
1 1/2 cups Water
Salt & Pepper
4 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

In a large sauce pan with a lid heat the milk and water over low heat. Once the liquid is hot and almost boiling add the polenta, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Stir in the butter. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the polenta is cooked through and smooth stir in the heavy cream and parmesan cheese.

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