If you asked me what the perfect, most-romantic, make-my-heart-go-aflutter meal looks like, it would be this. Sumptuous short ribs, braised for hours in a coconut and chile infused sauce and perched atop a blanket of soft polenta is exactly what my mouth craves on cold, winter evenings. Paired with a bold, full-bodied glass of red wine it is absolute perfection.
This is seduction on a plate. I’ve oftentimes made this just for myself to enjoy for several days but it’s even better shared with someone you love. Turn on some sexy music, dim the lights, and celebrate life. Savor every morsel.
- 3 1/2 pounds bone-in, beef short ribs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder (i love to use new mexico chile powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 jalapenos, deveined and deseeded, if desired, and minced (i like to keep about half the seeds)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 – 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
- zest and juice of 2 limes
- fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup medium-grain polenta (i love bob’s red mill)
- 2 tablespoons good butter, like kerrygold
- 8 ounces neufchatel cheese, room temperature
- preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- season the beef with the salt, chili powder, and black pepper. in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil. add the beef and cook until browned on both sides, about 4-6 minutes; you may need to do this in two batches. add the garlic, jalapenos, ginger, shallot, and cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until everything is intoxicatingly fragrant and golden, about 2 minutes.
- pour in the coconut milk, lime zest and juice, and 1/2 cup water; stir. bring liquid to a simmer, then cover and transfer the pot to the oven. cook the meat for an hour and then turn the meat over. continue to cook for another 1 – 1 1/2 hours, or until the beef is very tender and begins to just fall off the bone. serve over creamy polenta and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro. devour with large glass of full-bodied red wine.
- in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, add the water and salt. let this come to a boil and slowly add the polenta, stirring. drop in the butter. stir and lower the heat to a simmer. let this cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. turn off the heat and tumble in the neufchatel cheese; stir into the polenta. taste for seasonings. serve hot!
short ribs adapted from melissa clark’s recipe in her cookbook: cook this now
polenta adapted from elise bauer at simply recipes
in her original recipe, melissa clark uses boneless beef short ribs. i’ve made this using both the boneless and bone-in variety. while they both yield delicious results, i always lean towards bone-in because i love the presentation as well as the boosted flavor and viscosity the bones provide for the sauce. if you opt to use boneless, you need only use 2 pounds of beef short ribs rather than the 3 1/2 pounds i have listed.
// Other cozy-up, wintery things