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Monday, December 2, 2013

Balsamic Braised Short Ribs with Cheddar Polenta

Balsamic Braised Short Ribs
I will admit, I totally tried to pull one over on C with this dinner. He hates vinegar, not sure what the issue is there, but I am guessing it all boils down to the smell (add it to chocolate, bread, garlic, whatever smells delicious...) As soon as I served this, he asked if there was vinegar in it. He loves my usual short rib recipe, I was hoping I could pass this off as the same. I couldn't. Which meant Miss F also complained of the funny tasting carrots. The good news was that he loved the polenta. The best news was that I adored this even more than my usual recipe. I love vinegar. I don't understand not enjoying it. Growing up, we put it on all sorts of things. I poured it on broccoli, dipped crabmeat in it and even had it on my baked potato. We had a cruet that sat on the dinner table like any other condiment. If you like vinegar like I do, then be sure to try this recipe. It is amazing. Thanks to Gastronomical Sovereignty for the recipe inspiration.
Balsamic Braised Short Ribs with Cheddar Polenta

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 to 1 ½ pounds boneless short ribs
1 onion, chopped
4 to 6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup beef broth
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes

2 cups water
2 cups milk
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 cup polenta
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon pepper
¾ cup cheddar cheese

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add ribs to pan; cook approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side or until browned, turning occasionally. Remove from pan and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and carrots. Sauté 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and sauté a minute more. Add the broth, vinegar and sugar, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the tomatoes and nestle the short ribs with their accumulated juices into the pan. Cover and bake at 300° for 3 hours.

Make the polenta about 30 minutes before ready to serve. In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring milk, water, and salt to a boil. Gradually whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook 20 minutes, until creamy, lifting the lid and stirring every 3 or 4 minutes to prevent sticking. Remove pot from stove, stir in pepper and butter. Gradually stir in cheese. Serve the short ribs over the polenta.
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