- 6 pounds short ribs
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 large yellow onions, peeled and diced
- 3 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and diced
- 6–8 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, tied tightly together with butcher’s twine, plus 2 more for garnish
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano peeled tomatoes in heavy purée
- Cooked stone-ground polenta (see note)
- 1 cup Taleggio cheese (optional for polenta)
Pat dry and season the short ribs with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat until oil is shimmering. Carefully place the short ribs into pan and sear until browned on each side.
Remove the short ribs and add the onions, peppers, garlic, fresh thyme and season with salt. Sauté the vegetables until soft and the onion is translucent, about 15 minutes.
When the vegetables are soft, add the short ribs back to the pot along with the wine and chicken stock. Cover and simmer over low heat with lid on until tender, approximately 2 to 2½ hours.
Remove thyme sprigs and discard. Remove ribs, set aside and keep warm. Turn heat to high and boil uncovered to reduce the sauce by ⅓ and concentrate flavors, approximately 7 minutes.
Press tomatoes and their purée through a food mill into a mixing bowl or crush the tomatoes with a spoon. Add them to the sauce and let simmer for 10 more minutes.
Check sauce for seasoning. Serve ribs in warm, wide shallow bowls atop creamy polenta. Ladle sauce over and around ribs and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves to garnish.
Note: Cook stone-ground polenta following package instructions. At the restaurant, we never use instant polenta—we prefer the taste and texture of the coarser stoneground polenta. Whichever you choose, this dish will work, but be prepared to stir at the stove for 45 minutes to an hour for the noninstant polenta. (It’s the perfect job for a willing helper.) We like to stir grated Taleggio cheese into our polenta for some rich tanginess and depth.
About this recipe
WINE PAIRING: Mastrojanni, Rosso di Montalcino 2014, Tuscany, Italy. Treat yourself and your guests to a luxurious wine when enjoying a sumptuous meal of short ribs and polenta. The bright acidity quenches the palate while cutting through the richness of the sauce. The tannins and fruity aromas of ripe Bing cherries and red currants with flavors of balsamic, bitter orange peel and hints of bay leaf are just a few flavors you’ll find in this complex and stunning wine from Italy.
—Kate Miceli, Bottles Fine Wine, Providence