About a month ago I got a text from my Aunt Penny saying “Look out Seattle…Aunt Penny is coming to town!!” The second I found out she was coming, I started thinking of all the fun places we could go, things we could see, and (most importantly) the food we could eat. When I asked Penny what she wanted to do while she was in Seattle she gave me a few general ideas like see some of the Seattle landmarks, go on a hike, and eat at some good restaurants (we think alike). There was one thing, however, that she was very specific about. She wanted me to cook at least one meal for her. Ithinksomeonemissesmelivingwithher, what do you think? So as any good hostess would do, I planned our weekend accordingly.
And lastly, I cooked dinner on Penny’s last night in Seattle. So let’s talk about this meal. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but this was one of the best meals I have ever made. It was the type of meal that you take one bite and it’s so good you can’t even think…you just taste. I know it seems that I’m being dramatic about this but trust me on this one…it’s good stuff. I don’t often make meals more than once, but I’m already thinking about when I can make this again (would next weekend be too soon?).
The short ribs require very little “hands-on” time, and besides remembering to season them and let them sit (in the refrigerator) overnight, they are pretty simple. They were perfect for our Saturday afternoon, when Penny and I were in the mood to lounge around my apartment (the hike and wine tasting were exhausting!), and the oven did the cooking while I cooked the rest of the meal. By the end of the two hour cooking time, the ribs were falling off the bones and ended up so tender. It was a miracle that I got one of the strips to stay on the bone while transferring them from the pan to the plate. And I can’t even begin to describe how amazing my apartment smelled…
Then there was the Gorgonzola polenta. I could write a chapter of a book about how much I loved this polenta, but this is a blog and not a book so I’ll keep it short. The creamy texture of the polenta was a perfect pairing with the tender short ribs and the Gorgonzola cheese and the cabernet sauce were a match made in heaven.
This meal was definitely one to remember and would be perfect for a big dinner party, a Sunday night family dinner, or a romantic cozy dinner for two.
- 4-5 lbs meaty beef short ribs, bone-in
- 1/2 tbsp dried rosemary (or 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped)
- 1/2 tbsp dried thyme (or 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped)
- 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 750-ml bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp all purpose flour
- One day in advance: Arrange ribs in single layer in 9x13" baking dish. Sprinkle with rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper over ribs.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- On day of: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in heavy wide ovenproof pot (or large skillet if you don't have ovenproof pot) over medium-high heat.
- Working in batches, add ribs and cook until browned on all sides. This took about 4 minutes per side. Add more oil as needed for next batch.
- Transfer ribs to large bowl and pour off drippings from pot and discard.
- Add wine to pot and bring to simmer. Scrape up any browned bits.
- Return ribs and any accumulated juices to pot/skillet and bring to a boil.
- If using an ovenproof pot, cover and transfer to oven. If using skillet, transfer ribs and wine to casserole dish.
- Braise until meat is very tender and almost falling off bones, about 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, transfer ribs to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Cover tightly to keep warm. Skim any fat from the top of braising liquid (I didn't do this step and still turned out fine). If using casserole dish, return braising liquid to skillet. If using ovenproof pot, return to stove.
- Boil liquid until reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes.
- Whisk in butter and flour to liquid.
- Keep whisking over medium-high heat until sauce thickens very slightly, about 2 more minutes.
- Serve ribs on top of gorgonzola polenta (recipe below), and top with cabernet sauce.