Braised Short Ribs over Polenta

It was cold a couple of weekends ago so I wanted a meal that reflected how cold it was outside.  More so, I’ve been dying to try my hand at making short ribs. I had them at Top of the Hub during Boston’s Restaurant Week over polenta a couple of years ago and absolutely fell in love with the meal.  Unfortunately, a meal that takes three hours to cook, not including prep and cool down time, tends to require a little more planning than I usually allow for my meals. I eat salads at work because they are so quick and easy to prep – lettuce goes into a to-go container of some sort and tomatoes and nuts are kept at my desk. Sometimes there is cheese.  The cheese never lasts long.  It may be a little boring but its a healthy, quick and relatively inexpensive to get in some fruits and veggies at lunchtime.  This also means that when I have a large space of free time I like to cook something a little more involved or time consuming.  Just like these short ribs!

Braised Short Ribs
Finished Short Ribs

I used a Pioneer Woman Recipe for both the short ribs and polenta. I changed the type of cheese from goat cheese to gouda. Bad idea. Very bad idea. The beau commented that it tasted watery. I expected polenta to be rich and creamy. On its own, it cried for salt or herbs or something. Anything, really. Someday I will learn to follow recipes.  Until then, I’ll use what I have on hand.  I had gouda.  And it smelled strong so I gave it a chance.  I love the idea of an aged cheddar.  Maybe next time…   Fortunately, when the polenta was combined with the beef it was a nice back note to keep the meat feeling moist. No, it didn’t add much flavor wise but it was definitely a necessary part of the meal. The meat had enough inherent salt and fat to account for any that the polenta lacked. But the carrots made up for the polenta; the little pieces of carrot were little nuggets of golden sweetness. I added in about twice as many as the recipe suggested but they were this amazing sweet note against the meat and polenta. I was also afraid that I had diced them up too small.  Not at all!  They weren’t crunchy but they also weren’t mush that had disintegrated into the broth.  This meal was one meal that was well worth experimenting!  I’ll be changing the polenta recipe I use but will definitely be back for more of PW’s Braised Short Ribs!

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