Thursday, February 25, 2010

Beef Short Ribs with Balsamic Glaze

This meal was a trial run for a new recipe ---and it is definitely a keeper.  The glaze is made with black currant juice and balsamic vinegar, and it makes this dish extra special.  Beef short ribs are less expensive than other cuts, but when cooked this way, they are heaven.  I remember first falling in love with short ribs at Union Square Cafe in NYC. 

Beef Short Ribs with Balsamic Glaze
adapted from Edible Finger Lakes calendar
Serves 6

1/4 pound bacon, diced
3 pounds beef short ribs, patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cups carrots, medium dice
2 cups celery, medium dice
12 cipollinni onions, peeled (or you could use pearl onions)
2 T. flour
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 t. dried sage (or 2 t. fresh chopped)
1 cup red wine
3 cups beef stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, cook bacon until slightly crispy. 

Remove and set aside on paper towels.

Sear ribs in batches in the bacon fat. 


Add the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the flour and herbs and cook for 3 more minutes.

Deglaze the pot with the red wine.  Add the ribs. 

Add the stock, cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours, or until fork tender.

Meanwhile make the balsamic glaze (see below).

Lower the oven to 225 degrees, remove the pot, and transfer the ribs to a cookie sheet.  Brush them with the glaze, cover with parchment paper and place them back in the oven along with the veggies.

Balsamic Glaze

1 1/4 cups balsamic
1/2 cup black currant juice (look in the organic section)
 2 T. honey
pinch of salt

In a small pan over medium heat, combine all ingredients.  Reduce by one third.

While the beef ribs are in the oven at 225 degrees---

make your green beans and instant polenta.

Place your prepped green beans (washed, ends snapped off, and broken into bite sizes) in a pot with 1/2 inch of water and cover, bring to boil on high, and cook for 4 minutes.

Uncover the beans, keep the heat on high, and continue to cook until the water evaporates, another 4 to 6 minutes. If you run out of water before the beans are done, add a little more hot water.

When they are fully cooked and the water is gone, turn off the heat, season with salt and a little extra virgin olive oil and cover to keep them warm.

Concurrently, boil water for the instant polenta.  My box required 4.5 cups of salted water.
I used instant polenta that cooks in one minute.

Stir in the box of polenta, quickly and mix well. 
Place a well of soft, creamy polenta in each plate.

Immediately, pour the rest of the pot of hot polenta into a loaf pan, and let it cool.  Cover with plastic, directly on the surface, and place in the refrigerator for future use.   It can be sliced and grilled.   

Serve the ribs over polenta.  Carefully strain some of the cooked veggies from the pot.  Add the crunchy green beans.  Garnish with the chopped bacon, if you wish.

I thought the glaze was the best part of this dish.  Tom loved the way I cooked the green beans and asked me to make them again the next day, and to be sure to post the technique on the blog. Also, the instant polenta was a surprise.  I don't know if it is a no-no to make instant in an Italian kitchen or not, but it was so easy --only 1 minute! ---and tasty.  I will buy it again.   

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