These creamy and rich Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta make the perfect romantic meal for Valentine’s Day or any special occasion!
Now that Dustin and I have been together for so long, I’ve learned a lot of great lessons about life, love, and happiness.
Since food is such a big part of our lives (duh), we’ve shared many, many memories during those past years around food – making it, eating it, planning it, preparing it, and so on.
It may surprise you to know that Dustin was actually the main “chef” in our home when we first started dating. I had helped my mom here and there in the kitchen while growing up, but Dustin had a passion for recipe planning and savoring food that I had never seen before.
Over time, though, especially with the help of this blog, I have become the main cook in our home, but Dustin still helps out quite a bit.
My introduction to recipe creation and getting comfortable in the kitchen all started back in 2009.
While I was home on maternity leave with Jordan, I would plan out our family’s dinners and make them for when Dustin came home from work… you know… all domestic like.
It was pretty awesome.
I discovered a whole new way of being creative and artistic with food, all the while sharing something special with my family. It was amazing.
Back then, I followed a lot of Ina Garten, Alton Brown, and Giada De Laurentiis recipes from the Food Network, as I had yet to discover the world of food blogs and amazing people, like The Pioneer Woman, Steamy Kitchen, Cookin’ Canuck, and Joy The Baker.
There was a lot to learn.
In fact, it was over a delicious Valentine’s Day dinner of homemade Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta that both Dustin and I realized I could start a food business.
This conversation, as we both swooned over creamy polenta, slightly tart with goat cheese and smooth like butter, topped with tender, moist, and rich red wine braised short ribs, turned into starting a personal chef service, called Sweet Pea Chef, that would later transform into this blog. Yay.
This short ribs and polenta meal was the beginning of a lot of great stuff and we could feel it.
Fast forward to 2019.
The blog’s now been up for years and I’ve shared all sorts of recipes – even prepared food LIVE on television, over the internet, and have had my recipes and videos shared millions of times across the world. Holy smokes – that makes my heart race just thinking about it!
But, you know what? It all started with this amazing meal I’m sharing with you today.
This braised short ribs recipe with creamy polenta started everything. It showed me I could make amazing food and that it wasn’t even that difficult. It showed me how deep the flavor could become from braising meat in red wine – that a tough short rib, over time and with a little love, could be the most delicate, rich, and amazingly flavored thing you’ve ever tasted.
Combine that with the creamy goat cheese polenta and you’ve got yourself one amazing meal.
It gets me thinking about this amazing short ribs recipe and the story and journey it started.
Try out this recipe yourself, see how amazing it is, and get started down your own journey with the ones you love, wherever it may lead.
Pair it with a glass of red wine and some candlelight, and it’s the perfect romantic dinner.
WHAT ARE BEEF SHORT RIBS?
Short ribs are a cut of beef. They are basically a small portion of the rib bone taken, usually, from brisket or plate. Beef short ribs are similar to spare pork ribs but they are typically larger and they have more meat.
I find that short ribs in the oven is the way to go with short ribs if you want the meat to be tender, juicy, and delicious.
MAKING SHORT RIBS HEALTHY
To make the red wine braised short ribs, I used:
- low sodium beef broth
- and Garbanzo flour instead of all-purpose flour.
Believe it or not, these simple changes make the braised short ribs with red wine healthy. They are still delicious comfort food though. Because yes, comfort food can be healthy. Yahoo!
WHAT IS BRAISING?
Wondering what is braising? Don’t worry, I have the answer. Braising is a cooking method that basically involves a combination of 2 cooking methods – sautéing or searing the meat at high temperature then covering the meat with liquid and allow it to finish cooking at a low temperature.
Sound familiar? That’s because braising is similar to stewing. Similar but not the same.
The difference between braising and stewing is that stewing involves more liquid than braising.
For stewing, you want to fully submerge the meat and vegetables. And the end result is meat and veggies covered by a dense but still liquidy sauce.
For braising, you can use enough liquid to cover the meat and veggies but not to fully submerge them. And the end result is meat and a dense, creamy sauce surrounding it.
HOW TO BRAISE SHORT RIBS
We’ve got the what is braising part covered but we’re still not sure how to braise short ribs.
First of all, let me tell you that if you were to ask me how to cook beef short ribs, I would always recommend braising. Because braised short ribs are amazeballs. So flavorful, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth tender, and tasty.
Here are the steps for how to cook beef short ribs:
- start by seasoning the short ribs with salt and pepper and coat them with garbanzo flour;
- then heat olive oil in a dutch oven;
- brown the short ribs on both sides and set aside;
- in the same dutch oven, add onion, shallots, and carrots and cook until they soften a little bit;
- add wine and bring to a boil;
- then add beef broth and stir;
- time to add the beef short ribs now;
- also add thyme and rosemary;
- place in the oven and braise the short ribs for 2 hours at 350 degrees F;
- reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and cook for additional 30-45 minutes.
CAN I USE BONELESS SHORT RIBS?
I know I already answered the what are short ribs question but I think it’s important to tell you if you can use boneless short ribs or not.
Despite their name, short ribs and boneless short ribs are not cut from the same section. Boneless short ribs are not true ribs, they are cut from the chuck or shoulder and, while it is technically the same muscle, the texture of the meat is different.
So, if you want to make this short rib recipe, I’d say you should stick to in bone short ribs.
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY POLENTA
As a side dish for my yummy braised short rib dish, I chose polenta. During the last couple of years, I tested a few healthy polenta recipes. Some were good, some were not that good.
If you’re just now learning how to make polenta, you’ll probably be tempted to stick to the classic recipe that involves cornmeal, water, and salt. It’s simple and easy, not gonna lie. But it’s not as creamy and delicious as mine unless you add cheese or butter after you finish the polenta. But if you do that, it’s no longer a healthy polenta recipe. However, if you follow my recipe, you get creamy and healthy polenta without butter. Woo!
Here’s how to make polenta my way:
- bring water, almond milk, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat in a saucepan;
- stir frequently to prevent the milk from sticking to the saucepan;
- pour the cornmeal into the water slowly, stirring constantly;
- whisk until polenta thickened;
- lower the heat and cover the saucepan;
- cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes;
- once the polenta is done, remove from the heat and add garlic powder, pepper, and goat cheese.
P.S. Another ah-mazing polenta recipe can be found here, too!
HOW TO REHEAT BRAISED SHORT RIBS
Believe it or not, braised short ribs actually taste better after a day or 2. So you can make them ahead and reheat them when you’re ready to enjoy the deliciousness.
How to reheat braised short ribs? Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, place the short ribs in the oven and let them sit there for approximately 30 minutes or until warmed through.
3 MORE HEALTHY BEEF RECIPES
I don’t know about you but these beef short ribs made me want to prep and cook other healthy, flavorful, and yummy beef recipes. And I will. But until then, I have to share my faves with you.
HOW TO MARINATE TRI TIP + 3 TRI TIP MARINADE RECIPES
Learn How To Marinate Tri Tip + 3 Tri-Tip Marinade Recipes and make tender and tasty tri-tip steak!
Marinating tri-tip steak is how you make delicious tri-tip. You have 3 flavors to choose from – Balsamic, Santa Maria, and Sesame Ginger. Get the recipes.
HOW TO MEAL PREP SALISBURY STEAK RECIPE
Speaking of steak, you should learn How To Meal Prep: Salisbury Steak Recipe too. It’s a such a great weeknight dinner! Healthy too!
Typically, Salisbury steak is not very healthy, I know. But this one is! And, if you want more good news, let me tell you that this recipe is great for meal prep too. Get the recipe.
HEALTHY SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW – PERFECT MAKE AHEAD DINNER IDEA!
In this short rib recipe, you learned how to braise short ribs but I think you should learn how to make beef stew as well. With this Healthy Slow Cooker Beef Stew – Perfect Make Ahead Dinner Idea!
Hearty, rich, comforting, flavorful and delicious – the Healthy Slow Cooker Beef Stew is everything you want in a stew. Get the recipe.
Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta
- 8 beef short ribs
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup chickpea/garbanzo flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 lg. carrots diced
- 2 shallots diced
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 4 oz goat cheese crumbled
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sprinkle the sea salt and pepper all over the short ribs, then dredge until coated with the chickpea flour. Set aside.
- In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Brown the short ribs on all sides, about a minute per side. Once nicely browned, remove and set aside. (If you need, you can do this step in batches so as not to overcrowd the ribs in the pot.)
- Now, add the diced yellow onion, diced carrots, and diced shallots to the same pot and cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften.
Pour in the wine into the pot and stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any bits that have stuck.
- Bring this mixture to a boil.
- Add in the low sodium beef broth and stir together.
- Add the short ribs to the pot. They should be almost completely submerged by the liquid.
- Toss some fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs to the pot.
- Cover and place into the oven.
- Braise the short ribs at 350 degrees F for 2 hours, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, until the ribs are fork-tender and the meat is falling off the bone.
- Remove the pot from the oven and allow to sit, covered, for another 20 minutes, before serving. This will allow us to make the creamy polenta.
- To do this, heat unsweetened almond milk or any milk of your choice, water and sea salt in a deep sauce pan over medium-high heat.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently to keep the milk from burning on the bottom of the pan.
- Once boiling, slowly add the coarse cornmeal, stirring or whisking constantly to avoid causing clumps.
- Now that the cornmeal is all mixed in, lower the heat, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes or so.
- Once the polenta is smooth, thick, and creamy, remove from the heat and add the pepper, garlic powder, and goat cheese, stirring to incorporate. A whisk may be necessary if mixture is too clumpy.
- To serve, add the creamy polenta to the bottom of a bowl and then top with a couple braised short ribs, spooning a little juice and fresh thyme leaves over the top.
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