Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta

Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta 

From Cooking Light

Despite this being my 5th straight year subscribing to Cooking Light magazine, I still get super excited every time a new one comes in the mail.  I read each issue cover to cover and we usually find one or two must-make recipes.  But this year’s October issue was out of control.  I wanted to make EVERYTHING.  There was even a whole section on braised meats in which every page looked better than the last.

With that said, we usually steer clear of “light” recipes for company.  But this short rib recipe hardly looked like health food.  We decided to test it out before dinner with John’s parents, and sure enough it was so awesome we didn’t even mind eating it twice in two weeks!

We were especially surprised to find that the gremolata, which sounds superfluous at first, really makes the dish – and we aren’t even big parsley fans!  Our only change the second time around was to up the sauce to meat ratio a little because the sauce was so delectable dripping down over the cheesy polenta.  Pair this dish with a nice roasted or sauteed veggie and you’ve got a knock out meal – for company or just for yourself!



  • 2 lb bone-in beef short ribs, trimmed 5/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/8 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 1/2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine
  • 1 1/4 cups beef broth
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Gremolata Topping

  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


  • 3 cups fat free milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 5/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  4. Saute ribs, turning to brown on each side, about 6 minutes.  If all ribs can’t fit in a single layer, brown them in batches, splitting the 2 teaspoons of oil across the batches.
  5. Remove ribs and set aside.
  6. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through rosemary) to pan.  Saute 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  7. Add wine to pan and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits.
  8. Cook 13 minutes, or until liquid has reduced to about 2 cups.
  9. Add broth and bring to a boil.
  10. Return ribs to pan, cover, and bake 1 1/2 hours, turning ribs after 45 minutes.
  11. Remove ribs from pan and strain cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve, using a spoon to press all the juice out of the vegetable pulp.
  12. Return strained liquid to the pan along with flour and water, whisking to combine.
  13. Bring to a boil.  Cook 11 minutes, until reduced to about 1 cup.  Stir in vinegar.
  14. To prepare gremolata combing parsley, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  15. To prepare polenta, bring milk, water, salt and pepper to a boil in a sauce pan over medium heat.
  16. Slowly stir in polenta.  Cook 5 minutes, or until thick, stirring frequently.
  17. Stir in cheese.
  18. Divide polenta among bowls, top with short ribs, reduced sauce, and a sprinkle of gremolata.

Serves 4-6

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