October is coming to a close, and thanks to daylight savings time, it will soon be dark when we get home from work. Tomorrow is Halloween, and our kids are anxiously awaiting the trick-or-treating extravaganza while parents give up feeding kids anything of nutritional value (for one evening).
Fall weather also brings more fall recipes: hearty dinners like stews, pot roasts and mashed potatoes. This recipe is a new twist on these classic comfort foods, featuring succulent short ribs and creamy polenta.
For those who aren’t familiar, beef short ribs are large and have more meat than their pork counterpart, spare ribs. Short ribs are one of the most flavorful cuts of meat around, and hours of low and slow cooking make them extremely tender and juicy. Luckily, a slow cooker makes this braising method easy and hands-off.
While adding coffee to the braising liquid may not seem intuitive, give it a try. You’ll be surprised at the nuance it brings to meaty short ribs, and the flavors will allow for a break from standard gravies and red wine sauces. Served over polenta, you’ll have a rich and satisfying meal with almost no effort. (But look at the photos and trust us, it looks like you labored over this meal all day.)
Creamy polenta is the perfect accompaniment to this dish, as it acts a base for absorbing savory sauces and adds its own sweet and subtle corn flavor. Again, it’s similar to the classic mashed potato, easier to prepare and saves you from falling into a starchy rut. Look for instant polenta at your grocery store, as it’s specially designed to cook in just one minute, making it a quick and comforting part of any meal.
Marinating the ribs ahead of time really adds flavor to the finished dish. Feel free to use that last cup of leftover coffee. Once the ribs marinate several hours or overnight, all you have to do is pour them into the slow cooker. The slow cooker does all the work, so it’s perfect for an impressive Sunday dinner for guests, but also easy enough for a weeknight meal.
Marinate, pour and cook - that’s it. When you come home from work your kitchen will have the most delicious aroma.