This is a dish I had several years ago, and have always wanted to replicate it. Unfortunately it took YEARS to find a good source for humanely raised, antibiotic free short ribs. But when I saw them, I bought them, and I should have bought more for the freezer!
Anyway, the dish I had so enjoyed was served over creamy polenta. There were carrots, onions, and other vegetables that had been slow cooked with the ribs in a thick velvety tomato sauce that was laid on top of the polenta, and the sauce made thick tomato-y rivets in the polenta. I remember thinking to myself that those were some of the best carrots and veggies I had ever eaten! So I did my best to do justice to this dish that stayed with me for so long.
I started by searing the ribs on all sides in olive oil in a dutch oven. Then I added nice rustic chunks of carrots, onion, garlic and a few fingerling potatoes that were lying around. Once everything was browned, and seasoned with salt and pepper and fresh thyme, I added a glass of red wine to de-glaze the pan. Then added a can of organic tomato paste, and a handful of dried morel mushrooms, and seasoned again. I threw the pan in the oven at 350F for about 2 hours. Every 30 minutes or so, I checked for liquid, and stirred everything around. If it was too dry, I added more wine. Before the final 30 minutes, I gave the whole thing a nice hearty drizzle of olive oil. At the same time, I started the polenta, and prepared it according to the package directions, but added a bit more water to make sure it retained that ultra creamy quality.
This really is a hearty, wintery meal if there ever was one. So this being the tail end of cooler weather for most of us – make it while you can! The best part about preparing this dish was the realization that making it was quite easy, and the slow cooking was what really gave the veggies such an amazing depth of flavor. This amazing dish is easily replicated and tastes like you were slaving all day in the kitchen! Enjoy!