Need a date-night-in recipe idea for Valentine’s Day? Slow Cooker Beer Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta are are delicious and super easy!
When I was in grad school, I spent a semester living in Seattle for a clinical rotation. I had never really lived in a city with amazing restaurants (sorry Iowa and Nebraska), and so Seattle felt like a whole new world of food was in front of me. Not only were there great restaurants, but also amazing markets with the most beautiful produce, flowers, and meats. I was in food heaven!
One weekend during my time there, my aunt came to visit me. We had a whole list of things we wanted to do, including visit wineries, go out to eat, go hiking, and (her personal addition to the list) have me cook dinner for her. You see, I lived with her for another clinical rotation and loved cooking her family dinner, and she was missing my cooking.
I’m not sure why I chose to make short ribs for us, as I’d never had them before, but a recipe for wine braised short ribs with gorgonzola polenta caught my eye. It ended up being an amazing meal, and since then short ribs have been on my “short list” of favorite foods.
While I typically make them in my dutch oven, braising them in the oven for a few hours, I tried them in a slow cooker a few months ago and loved the results. They were just as tender as making them in the oven and so much easier!
This time, instead of making them with wine, I switched it up with beer. I used a dark porter, and loved how they turned out! Along with the beer, the short ribs are cooked in a mixture of onions, celery, thyme, tomato paste, brown sugar, and dijon mustard. So much flavor!
Since the short ribs have quite a bit of flavor, I kept the polenta pretty simple with just some chicken broth, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. With a splash of heavy cream at the end, the polenta is rich, creamy, and smooth!
These Slow Cooker Beer Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta are so easy that it could really be a weeknight meal, but is fancy enough for a date-night in (Valentine’s Day, anyone?) or a small dinner party!