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Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

Eitan Bernath, the 19 year-old cooking phenom, shares this warm, rich High Holiday dish.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours
Serves 4 people


For the Short Ribs

2 tablespoons vegetable
3 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 3-inch long pieces
10 shallots, peeled
6 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine
6 small bay leaves
4 large sprigs thyme
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For serving, divide polenta equally in the bottom of 4 bowls and top with short ribs and shallots. Spoon sauce over the top and serve immediately.

For the Polenta

4 cups stock or alternative milk
1 cup polenta
3 tablespoons vegan butter
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. In a large Dutch oven on medium high heat, add the oil. Season the beef ribs with salt, and sear on each side until golden brown, 4-5 minutes per side. Be sure to work in batches and not crowd the pan. Once seared, transfer the short ribs onto a plate and repeat until all have been seared.
2. Reduce heat to medium and add shallots and garlic. Stirring frequently, cook until shallots are lightly golden, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the aromatics and stir to combine. Cook until flour is a hazelnut color and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Be sure to continuously stir the shallots and garlic to ensure the flour does not burn.
3. Once the flour has cooked, add red wine, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil and gently scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, then reduce to a simmer. Add short ribs and any juices back to the Dutch oven and cook until the short ribs are fork tender and the bone becomes more visible, 3-3 1/2 hours. Stir every 30 minutes to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid. Set aside.
4. For the polenta, add the stock or milk to a medium saucepan on high heat. Bring to a boil and then gradually sprinkle the polenta over the liquid, whisking constantly to fully incorporate. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the polenta is soft and 25-30 minutes, whisking every minute or so, to ensure the polenta does not stick to the bottom. Remove from the heat and stir in butter. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed. The polenta will cool as it thickens.
5. For serving, divide polenta equally in the bottom of 4 bowls and top with short ribs and shallots. Spoon sauce over the top and serve immediately.

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