Fat Tuesday: Spicy Braised Short Ribs and Bleu Cheese Polenta

Sweet Jesus! These short ribs killed! I mean, the meat… it wanted to stay on the bone, but it could not. I LOVE short ribs. There is a lovely little restaurant in my home town called Centrale. They make this dish and it’s where I fell in love with it. If you ever find yourself in the Central Valley, I would consider this as a destination for a fantastic meal. The food is beyond beyond, the beverages are tits for days! If you are lucky enough to have Lis as your bar tendress, your visit will undoubtedly be superb. I make my short ribs a touch more spicy than I remember theirs being and I go ape-shit with the bleu cheese in the polenta. I served them with rosemary roasted Brussels sprouts and the meal was perfect. Thankfully, we had friends over which gave me a reason to make such fine faire as well as gave me a means to test the TGIF beverage for this Friday! Thankfully, Greg Camp and his lovely wife, Gina were willing test subjects! By “test” I mean, we got drunk and sang sings in my back yard until 2am… Life with The Rock Star turns out that way sometimes. I wouldn’t have it any other way either! To recreate this meal would be easy! To recreate the evening, might be a bit more work 😉

You will need the following:

  • 6 good quality beef short ribs
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped and cooked very crisp
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • S & P

Directions:

  1. In an oven safe Dutch oven, cook bacon crisp until all fat is rendered. Remove bacon and set aside, leaving fat in the pan. IMG_2430IMG_2431
  2. Liberally salt and pepper the short ribs and then dredge in flour until completely coated. IMG_2432IMG_2433
  3. Heat the bacon fat on high heat. Add short ribs to the Dutch oven, searing them for about 40-50 seconds on each side. Remove to a plate. IMG_2434
  4. Add carrots, onion and garlic and sauté until soft. Add wine and use a wooden spoon to help deglaze the pan. Gently scrape all of the bacony vegetable bits from the bottom to add flavor. Once deglazed, add beef stock and pepper flakes, bring to a boil. IMG_2440IMG_2436
  5. Place short ribs back into the pan with rosemary and place into a 325 degree oven for two and a half hours. Just leave it be and let the magic happen. Slow and low, that is the tempo. IMG_2471IMG_2472
  6. After the ribs have done their oven time, remove them to the fridge for another two hours. During this time, the fat will rise to the top and solidify which will make it very easy to spoon away. An hour before you’re ready to serve, simply pop them back into the oven and heat them up.
  7. This would be a perfect time to add vegetables to the oven for roasting. You can put them on the top rack and make your oven perform double duty! I used Brussels sprouts which I halved, drizzled with olive oil, dusted with garlic powder, S & P and topped with a few sprigs of rosemary. You may use whatever suits you!

Polenta

Prepare polenta according to package directions. Once fully cooked, remove from heat and stir in bleu cheese until smooth and creamy. I used an entire container of Castello to four cups polenta as prepared. IMG_2429

Use as much or as little as you prefer. Don’t like bleu cheese? Use parmesan or nothing at all. Whatever strikes your fancy, babe!

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To serve; spoon polenta onto the plate and top with a short rib. Spoon the sauce over top and add your vegetable. This meal is rustically beautiful and will knock the pants right off of your guests. A few choice cocktails and it’s time for the pants off dance off! Enjoy this, my lovelies. We certainly did. Swearing Mom out.

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