•I used to be intimidated by short ribs. Never ate them before and sure didn’t know how to cook them. I saw a recipe for them every other week on that glorious food channel so I knew they had to be good. And polenta, what the heck is that? Sure never had that growing up. It’s cornmeal cooked to the consistency of the old childhood favorite, cream of wheat, and can be flavored with anything. The luscious ribs served on top of creamy warm polenta topped with the pan juices, blue cheese crumbles, and bacon……what are you waiting for?
Heat oven to 350°. Salt and pepper ribs, then dredge in flour. Set aside.
In a large dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy and all fat is rendered. Remove and set aside in fridge, will sprinkle on top at the very end. Do not discard bacon fat.
Add olive oil to pan with the bacon fat, and raise heat to medium high. Brown ribs on all sides, you are looking for a crispy brown, about 1 min per side. Do not over crowd the pan, cook in batches if necessary. Remove ribs and set aside.
Add onions, carrots, celery, black pepper, salt and red pepper flakes to pan and cook for 2 min. Add garlic and cook 1 min more. Pour in the beef stock and scrape bottom of pan to release all the bits of favor.
Add the coke (or red wine), bring to a bubble and cook 2 min.
Add ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add thyme to the liquid. Add water if needed.
Put on the lid and place into the oven. Cook at 350° for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 325° and cook for another 30 to 45 min. Ribs should be fork-tender and falling off the bone.
Remove pan from oven and allow to sit on the counter, keeping the lid on for at least 20 min so everything has time to relax.
Time to work on the polenta-In a large pot, bring the chicken stock and water to a boil. Add cornmeal to the pot in a thin stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. No way could I take a picture of this until I grow that extra arm. I did get a picture of the cornmeal box so you know what to look for and next to it is what my dear hubby wanted instead =)
Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 15 min. Add salt, and extra tablespoons of water as needed.
When polenta is done, stir in butter and pepper. Stir in cream.
Stir in the blue cheese crumbles. Check seasonings, add salt to taste.
Before serving skim off some of the fat on the top of the liquid. Serve 2 ribs on bed of creamy blue cheese polenta, spooning a little pan juice and veggies over the top. Sprinkle with with reserved blue cheese crumbles, parsley and the crumbled bacon….if it survived all day in the fridge without being snacked on♥Enjoy