Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Parmesan Polenta

By Patrizia Cucca

When I was a little girl, there was one thing that I wanted to do more than anything; cook. Watching mom cook was always something I wanted to try and now that I can, I just can’t get enough. There are so many different things to try and no matter how I feel, I want to cook. Here are some of the reasons why I love to cook. 1) STRESS RELIEVER if there is one thing that will not make you stressed is cooking. I love creating something out of what seems to be little and then eating something delicious. 2) TRYING NEW THINGS whether it may be a different style of cooking, or even just a different version, there are endless possibilities. 3) TEACHING and LEARNING some of my friends have very little cooking experience and others have a wealth of experience. I love learning new recipes and teaching some of my own. 4) MAKING UP MY OWN RECIPES there are always different ingredients in the house that can be made into almost anything. Finding a new dessert or dinner based on what you have in the house and making new creations. 5) GOOD AT ANY TIME, ANY DAY no matter the day, time or place, it is always a good time to cook. If you are sad or happy, if it is a dreary day or a sunny day, there is no bad time to cook. It is simply always there for something to do. 6) BETTER THAN ANY OTHER FOOD going out to eat, is a nice treat once in a while, but making your  own food is much better and always much healthier for you. Nothing beats home cooking. 7) HAVING FUN! whether you are with friends or family, or just cooking alone, there is always a certain joy in cooking. The satisfaction of having something you made with your own hands and the compliments from others, well nothing beats that. When I was a little girl, there was one thing that I wanted to do more than anything; cook. Watching mom cook was always something I wanted to try and now that I can, I just can’t get enough. There are so many different things to try and no matter how I feel, I want to cook. Here are some of the reasons why I love to cook. 1) STRESS RELIEVER if there is one thing that will not make you stressed is cooking. I love creating something out of what seems to be little and then eating something delicious. 2) TRYING NEW THINGS whether it may be a different style of cooking, or even just a different version, there are endless possibilities. 3) TEACHING and LEARNING some of my friends have very little cooking experience and others have a wealth of experience. I love learning new recipes and teaching some of my own. 4) MAKING UP MY OWN RECIPES there are always different ingredients in the house that can be made into almost anything. Finding a new dessert or dinner based on what you have in the house and making new creations. 5) GOOD AT ANY TIME, ANY DAY no matter the day, time or place, it is always a good time to cook. If you are sad or happy, if it is a dreary day or a sunny day, there is no bad time to cook. It is simply always there for something to do. 6) BETTER THAN ANY OTHER FOOD going out to eat, is a nice treat once in a while, but making your  own food is much better and always much healthier for you. Nothing beats home cooking. 7) HAVING FUN! whether you are with friends or family, or just cooking alone, there is always a certain joy in cooking. The satisfaction of having something you made with your own hands and the compliments from others, well nothing beats that. Here is an impressive plate of food to bring to the dinner table! Braised short ribs are the perfect dish for entertaining, not only do they make the whole house smell like a fancy restaurant kitchen for hours, but they are easy to make in large batches and they are incredibly forgiving. Get the braise in the oven hours before your guests arrive and you’ve got plenty of wiggle room to make an appetizer, have a glass of wine, and pull the braise out of the oven right when you want to serve dinner. Also, like most braises, Braised Short Ribs are even better a day after you’ve made them. This recipe will serve six to eight people.Now it is time to start planning your next dinner party. Ingredients:Braised Short Ribs: 8 Bone-In Short Ribs (English cut), 4 Tbsp. Cooking Oil, 1 medium chopped Onion, 5 ribs chopped Celery, 4 chopped Carrots, 1 litre Red Wine (any variety), 3 cups Unsalted Beef Stock, 6 springs Thyme, Parmesan Polenta, 3 cups Milk, 2 cups Water, 1/2 tsp Salt, 1 cup Polenta, 2 tbsp. Butter, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan CheeseInstructions :1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees 2. Generously season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper 3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add short ribs and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer short ribs to a plate and return pan to heat 4. Add onion, celery and carrots to hot pan. Sauté to let the vegetables begin to soften and pick up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 4 minutes. Add red wine and stir, scraping up any more browned bits that remain in the pan. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 2 minutes. Add stock and thyme sprigs. Add short ribs back to the pan. (Note: The short ribs should be mostly covered with liquid, with just the tops uncovered. Add a bit more stock or water if more than half of the short ribs are uncovered.) 5. Place the lid on the pan and transfer to the oven. Cook, covered, until the meat of the short ribs easily falls off the bone, 3 to 3.5 hours. Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes. The following step is optional or you can simply jump down to make the polenta 6. Optional: If you’d like to make a pan sauce, run the cooking liquid through a strainer (discard any solids from the vegetables and meat) and return the liquid to the pan. Simmer until the pan sauce reduces significantly, about 10 minutes. If you’d like a thicker gravy-style sauce, whisk 2 tbsp. of flour with 1/4 cup hot water and add that to the simmering pan sauce 7. While the meat rests, make the polenta by bringing milk, water and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. While whisking the liquid, slowly add polenta. Continue whisking until the polenta begins to thicken, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to a low simmer and continue simmering until the polenta is thick but still creamy, about 20 minutes. Stir in butter and parmesan cheese until fully incorporated 8. Spoon polenta into serving plate and top with the short ribs and cooking liquid or sauce. Enjoy!

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