RSS

Tag Archives: polenta recipe

A Perfect Shout Out for Cooler Weather – Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

As much as summer may be trying to hang on here in the last few days of September, there have been some very cool nights here lately, making it feel much more like fall now. It is nice to have the window open in the evening to feel the cool air instead of the air conditioning. It is also a great sign that cooking more things like soups, stews and braises is right on the horizon. I have already started in on making some fall like dinners when I have had the chance to. One meal I particularly enjoy is short ribs. Unfortunately, as is the case with many of the meats that you find for sale today, short ribs tend to be very expensive, particularly if you are looking to feed several people. I had purchased some as part of a package of fresh meat I had purchased from Bishop Farms at a farmers market not that long ago so I had more than enough on hand to feed the three of us. I had been saving this recipe that I had found from Williams-Sonoma for braised short ribs with a creamy polenta and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 pounds bone in, individual-cut short ribs

4 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 carrots, diced

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups red wine

3 cups beef stock or broth

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

1 bay leaf

1 cup milk

1 1/3 cups quick-cooking polenta

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving

 

Preheat the oven to 325°. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the short ribs with 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt and the pepper. In batches so you can avoid overcrowding, and the short ribs to the pot and cook, turning occasionally, until the short ribs are browned on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer the short ribs to a separate plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and heat it. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Sprinkle in the all-purpose flour and stir it well. Slowly stir in the red wine, then the beef stock. Stir in the tomato paste, rosemary and bay leaf. Return the short ribs to the pot. The short ribs should be barely covered with liquid. If not, add hot water as needed. Bring the liquid to a boil. Cover the pot, place the pot in the oven, and cook the short ribs, moving the position of the ribs every forty-five minutes or so to be sure that they are covered with liquid and are cooking evenly, until the short ribs are very tender, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Transfer the short ribs to a deep serving platter (do not worry if the meat separates from the bones; this should happen), and tent the platter with aluminum foil to keep the short ribs warm.

Let the cooking liquid stand for five minutes. Skim off the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid and discard the fat. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is reduced by about one-fourth, about 10 to 12 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Return the short ribs to the pot.

Just before serving, make the polenta: In a heavy saucepan, bring 3 cups of water, the milk and the remaining 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to a boil over high heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, whisking often, until the polenta is thick, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Divide the polenta among warmed serving bowls or plates, top the polenta with the short ribs and the sauce and serve at once.

A meal like this involving short ribs is pretty elegant and since it takes quite a lot of time to cook, it is likely something you are going to want to save to use for a Sunday dinner or another meal on the weekend. The recipe itself is fairly basic but the short ribs take on a great deal of flavor and as the fat in the short ribs starts to break down the meat becomes more tender and succulent. The gravy adds just the right touch to the short ribs and tastes great when served over the polenta. If you did not want to have polenta, you could just as easily substitute mashed potatoes or even rice if you prefer, but the polenta seems to go really well with this type of meal. This is a great one to do when you are having people over as the recipe indicated serves six. I did halve the recipe so it was better suited for just three of us and we still had some leftovers. The leftover short ribs are great to use for a whole bunch of different meals. You can easily remove the meat from the bones and shredded and use the meat for things like tacos or put it back in the sauce and just serve it over rice or pasta. I served this with some Brussels sprouts and some homemade bread to complete the meal.

That is all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

img_0562

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 28, 2016 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Simple and Satisfying – Butternut Squash Polenta with Sausage and Onion

I always seem to forget about polenta. It’s not something I do on purpose, it’s just not a dish that I think of very often to make and then I realize just how versatile and great-tasting it can be. Sean was just saying to me the other day that we had not had polenta in a long time and he was right. I couldn’t even remember the last I made it and we always have some around the house to make. Polenta, much like it is with rice, oatmeal, grits and the like, is so great because you can add lots of things to it to bring out even greater flavors. That’s what I really liked about this particular recipe from the New York Times for butter nut squash polenta with sausage and onion. It makes great use of one of my favorite fall vegetables by incorporating it into the creamy polenta, adding another great layer of flavor and texture to the polenta itself.

Butternut Squash Polenta with Sausage and Onion

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed

1 bay leaf

1 cup fine polenta (not quick cooking)

1 cup seeded and peeled butternut squash, coarsely grated

3 tablespoons butter

Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed

1 1/2 pounds sweet or hot Italian pork sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

2 teaspoons minced rosemary

2 onions, peeled, halved and sliced into 1/4-inch half moons

1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)

Rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional)

In a large pot set over medium-high heat, combine 4 1/2 cups of water, the kosher salt and the bay leaf. Bring the water to a boil and then slowly whisk in the polenta. Stir in the butternut squash to the polenta. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the polenta and the squash are very tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. If the mixture is getting too thick while cooking, add a little bit more water to the pot to thin it out. Stir in the butter and the black pepper. Taste the polenta and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if it is needed.

While the polenta cooks, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the Italian sausage, the rosemary and the fennel seeds (if using). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is golden and cooked through, about 7 to 10 minutes. You can cook the sausages in batches if necessary, adding more olive oil to the pan if the pan looks dry. Transfer the sausages to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Add more olive oil to the skillet if it looks dry and then add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Return the sausage to the pan and stir it together with the onions to heat the sausage through. Spoon the polenta into bowls and top it with the sausage and onion and garnish with the rosemary sprigs if you like.

It’s a very simple meal that packs some great flavor and is very satisfying. I love the way the squash and the polenta worked together here and it gave the polenta great texture and color. The sausages went really well with the polenta and the whole meal only takes about 30 minutes to cook. If you have polenta left, it sets really nicely when it is chilled and you can cut it into squares and saute it up as a side dish for all kinds of meals if you like. This is a great easy meal for a busy weeknight when you want something quick to put together and I think it would work well with just about any type of fall squash that you might want to use.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

IMG_0720

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 17, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Pork, Vegetables

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 
Jennifer Probst

a little bit naughty a little bit nice

Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

simple cooking recipes

a blog to share with you the best

%d bloggers like this: