Tag Archives: short ribs

Won’t You Please?: Slow Cooked Short Ribs atop a tower of Watercress, Polenta, and Ragu

Hi there,

Could I ask you to do me a favor? What if I say please? I’ll trade you a yummy, delicious recipe in exchange?

Nominations are now open for Saveur’s 2012 Best Food Blog Awards and I would be so thrilled to see Shut Up & Cook make the list. It’s admittedly stiff competition with winner’s from last year such as SmittenKitchen, 101 Cookbooks, and my personal fave, Orangette, but I think we’ve created something pretty special here and I’ve love to have your help going for it.

How cool would this be?!?

Right now they are simply accepting nominations so all that’s required is 5 easy steps:

  1. A visit to their nominations page.
  2. Entering this url: http://www.shutupandcook.wordpress.com
  3. Selecting which three categories you think best fit (perhaps Best Cooking Blog, Best Piece Of Culinary Writing, and Best Food Humor Blog?)
  4. A short reason why you’re nominating this blog.
  5. Your name, email, and three little clicks to “opt out” of their promotional offers.

Would you please? I would be so grateful.

And with that…let’s get back to the food. And not just any food mind you…a tower of deliciousness. That’s right…a tower. This past weekend was perfect. Productive enough to feel self-righteous and relaxed enough to actually re-charge.  The whispers of Spring are in the air and with that came a funny longing for a few more winter meals, served by a roaring fire with a great bottle of wine.

Nothing to me says winter deliciousness like a slow roasted meat in a red sauce, so I set out to see what I could come up with. And I have to say…this was AMAZING!  It’s one of those meals where each of the individual parts is good…but put them all together…and wow. You’ve got something great. Since you make this largely in the slow cooker it’s perfect for a Sunday when you’re wanting  to be out and about, yet come home to a truly indulgent meal.

Slow Cooked Short Ribs served atop a Tower of Watercress, Griddled Polenta Cakes, and Sausage Ragu

Short Rib Tower!

Serves 8

Short Ribs and Ragu:
2 TB Olive Oil
8 bone-in short ribs, patted dry, and sprinkled with salt and pepper (about 2 lbs)
1 lb loose italian sausage (best you can find)
1 cup celery, finely diced
1 cup carrots, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
2, 28 oz cans of Whole San Marzano Tomatoes, slightly smashed with a masher or food mill
1 cup of dry white wine

2 cups milk
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 cup cornmeal/polenta
2 TB vegetable oil

1 bunch watercress washed and dried, stems removed
1 cup finely grated fresh parmesan

  1. In a large slow cooker add the cans of tomatoes and white wine. Put on high and begin to allow to warm up.
  2. In a large, high-edged skillet add the olive oil and, working in batches if necessary, brown the short ribs over relatively high heat until golden on all sides, or about 8 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
  3. In the same pan add the sausage, and cook on medium, stirring to break up, until beginning to brown. Add the celery, onion, carrots, and garlic and saute until vegetables are  beginning to get tender and omit that oh-so-good smell. About 5 minutes. Add all into the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4-6 hours until short ribs are falling off the bone and fork tender.

    Love all the different colors.

  4. Remove the short ribs from the slow cooker and transfer all the ragu to a large pot. Increase the heat to medium, and reduce until thickened to a true ragu (almost goopy), about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the short ribs back in until heated through.

While the meat is slow cooking make the polenta:

  1. Bring the water, milk, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Slowly whisk in the cornmeal/polenta, and stir constantly until thickened and smooth, about 5 minutes. Spread into a 9×9 glass baking dish and put in the refrigerator to cool and set, at least 30 minutes.

Assembling the TOWER! (isn’t that just fun to say?)

Assembling the goodness..do it quick so everything stays hot!

  1. Remove the polenta from the fridge and using a glass, cut circles out of the firm polenta. Add the remaining oil to a non-stick pan and over medium heat grill until golden brown on each side, about 6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, evenly divide the watercress among the plates in a small circle.
  3. When ready put the grilled polenta cakes on the watercress, add about a 1/4 cup of the thickened ragu, top with one short rib, and generously top with grated parmesan.
  4. Prepare to fall in love.


Filed under Comfort Foods, Entertaining, Make ahead, Seasonal Cooking, Uncategorized

Me overreact? Never. Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine

Lucky the Dog

Lucky the Dog

I have, at rare instances in my life, been told that I’m prone to overreacting.

It began when I was three years old and was so terrified by the Wizard of Oz, that I instituted a strict moratorium on the word “witch” in our house for a number of months. The word could not even be said or I would fly into hysterics, shrieking and crying. My older brother quickly realized the power of this spoken word and would chase me around the house quietly saying “wwwwww……water! wwwwww….washing machine! wwwwwww….wish.” I found it highly traumatic.

A few years later when my friends and I were hanging out in our early tweens ( a term that did not yet even exist) I had the brilliant idea that we should all go around the room and state what we “hated” about each other. I’m not sure why I thought this was a good idea. Perhaps I thought it would be cathartic. The girls informed me that sometimes I made a mountain out of a molehill and that was something they didn’t care for. I immediately began adamantly defending the accusation, demanding for examples of where I’d blown things out of proportion.

So, it will come as no surprise, that the other day when I thought our older dog Lucky was dying I burst into tears, came home from work, and spent the day following him around, quietly weeping, and taking pictures and videos of him with my phone. (Note, the videos are all punctuated by a soundtrack of me sniffling, and hiccupping, so I don’t think they will be particularly comforting down the road.) When we called the vet and demanded an explanation of what could possibly be wrong that would render him so lethargic, so uncomfortable, so dying our very straightforward vet reminded us that we have a geriatric dog, who’s terminally ill, and effectively three-legged. Okay…well, besides that…I wondered.

Rest assured that Lucky made a dramatic recovery (this dog is on his 19th life), although the vet’s admonitions still ring soundly in my mind, so I’m trying to resign myself to the reality that we’re talking weeks not months here. As a result, Lucky the Dog has been deemed king of the roost. There are dog beds scattered all over the house, water bowls in every particular corner, and Lucky has been allowed to sleep in our bed, stretching out to his heart’s content. The result is sleepless nights for me, contorted in ridiculous positions so as not to disturb him, waking up each morning feeling slightly haggard and guiltily resentful. I’ve been informed this is much what having a newborn is like.

I’ve always been a firm believer that food is an excellent substitute for sleep. So the other night, I got cooking.

These braised short ribs from Food and Wine, are quite delicious, although I think they would have been better if cooked for closer to three hours versus the recommended two.  Food and Wine pairs this with egg noodles, although I personally think mashed potatoes might be better.

Cook these when life seems to be falling apart, you haven’t slept in days, and need some glimmer of a reminder of a time when you were totally on top of things.

Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine
From Food & Wine , incidentally, one of my favorite cooking magazines

Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine

Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large celery rib, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
2 cups veal or chicken stock
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Four 2-inch-thick, flanken-cut short ribs with bone (2 3/4 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Buttered egg noodles, for serving


  1. In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery and carrot, cover and cook over moderate heat until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 3 minutes longer. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the wine and veal stock and bring to a simmer.

    Sauteeing Vegetables

    Sauteeing Vegetables

  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Season the ribs with salt and pepper, add them to the pan and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until they are well browned, about 15 minutes.

    Salt and Peppered Short Ribs

    Salt and Peppered Short Ribs

  3. Transfer the short ribs to the casserole. Partially cover and cook over moderately low heat until very tender, about 2 hours. (E.M – Two was really the bare minimum I would recommend, three would be better).
  4. Transfer the ribs to a plate and remove the bones. Strain the sauce into a heatproof measuring cup and skim off the fat. (E.M – Discard the vegetables). Return the sauce to the casserole and boil until reduced to 2 cups, 10 minutes. Return the meat to the sauce and simmer over low heat until heated through. Serve the ribs with egg noodles. (E.M – Or mashed potatoes).


Filed under Comfort Foods, Pasta, Uncategorized