Oct 5, 2018

Citrus Chili Braised Short Ribs with Carrots and Charred Corn Polenta

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 3 hrs 50 mins
These short ribs are braised in a citrusy, chili based broth until they are falling off of the bone.

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Braising is the method of cooking meat at a low temperature for a long period of time in a tightly sealed container. It’s forgiving and it allows for tough cuts of meat to break down and become tender and juicy. These short ribs are braised in a citrusy, chili based broth until they are falling off of the bone. The flavor of the chiles de arbol used in this recipe is an underlying one, as it doesn’t hit you all at once but is more of an aftertaste.

My favorite way to serve braised short ribs is over cheesy polenta and for this recipe I added charred corn to give it so more texture. The combination of the creamy polenta with the tender meat and slightly spicy liquid from the braise make for a comforting fall or winter dinner, perfect to warm up in cold weather.

Citrus Chili Braised Short Ribs with Carrots and Charred Corn Polenta

What Are Short Ribs

As the name implies, short ribs come from any part of the lower rib cage section of the cow, often called the plate. It would be the equivalent to spare ribs of a pig. Ask your butcher to cut them English style, which means the ribs are cut parallel to the bone, with one bone per piece. I like to portion one short rib per person. They typically keep their shape while cooking, so plating the bone with the meat makes for a remarkable dinner presentation.

Why Braise Short Ribs

The primal cut of meat is a tougher cut so it’s the perfect pairing for the method of braising. While it’s risen in price and popularity in recent years it’s fairly widely available. For this recipe I prefer to buy them with the bone attached. Not only does the marrow from the bone add to the flavor, it also makes for an impressive presentation. I portion about one short rib per person.

Chili Braised Short Ribs with Carrots in staub dutch oven recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Short Ribs – I use bone-in beef short ribs in this recipe though boneless can be substituted as well. When purchasing short ribs, look for well-marbled, short ribs with a good meat to bone ratio. They’re one of my favorite cuts of beef because when they are cooked slowly over a long period of time, they retain a meaty, beefy flavor and the collagen melts into the sauce all in one pot.
  • Chilies – This type of pepper from Mexico is similar to cayenne and adds brightness and heat to the dish. If you can’t find chiles de arbol, dried Thai bird’s eye chilies are a good stand-in. Guajillo chilies are made from drying mirasol chiles and have a medium heat and are added to the braise for their subtle fruity flavor.
  • Polenta – Polenta is like a creamy Italian porridge made with a type of cornmeal. The difference between cornmeal and grits and polenta is pretty slim so if you want, you can just use medium or coarse ground cornmeal and call it a day. But if you really want to know the difference between grits and polenta, then you will find that the it is in the type of corn that is used and how fine the grind.

Chili Braised Short Ribs with Carrots and Charred Corn Polenta recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

How to Make This Citrus Chili Braised Short Rib Recipe

  1. Sear the short ribs. Season the short ribs all over with salt and pepper then dust with flour. Heat a 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Working in batches, sear the ribs on all sides. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining ribs.
  2. Sauté the aromatics. Heat oven to 325ºF. Return the pot to medium heat and add the onion and celery and sauté until tender. Stir in the tomato paste followed by the coriander and cumin.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil on the stove. Add the short ribs back to the pot along with the carrots, chilies, lime, orange zest and oregano. Pour the orange juice and stock into the pot and bring to a boil then cover and move the pot to the oven.
  4. Braise the short ribs in the oven. Cook, turning the ribs occasionally, until the meat is fork tender, about 3 to 3½ hours.
  5. Strain the cooking liquid. Transfer the short ribs and carrots to a large baking dish and cover with foil to keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl then return the liquid to the pot.
  6. Reduce the cooking liquid. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened and reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper. Add the ribs and carrots and turn to coat.
  7. Make the polenta. n a large saucepan bring the chicken stock, 3 cups of water and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta then turn the heat down to low and continue to cook, stirring constantly until the polenta is smooth and thick. Stir in the cheese until melted.
  8. Char the corn. Over a gas stove with the heat on medium, add the ears of corn to the grate directly above the burner. Turn the corn occasionally until charred all over. Remove to a cutting board and cut the kernels off the cob. Stir into the polenta mixture.
  9. Serve. Divide the polenta among pasta bowls and top with braised ribs, braising liquid and carrots. Serve immediately.

Chili Braised Short Ribs with Carrots and Charred Corn Polenta recipe from cooking with cocktail rings closeup

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these

Citrus Chili Braised Short Ribs with Carrots and Charred Corn Polenta

braised short rib with chilies over charred corn polenta in a white serving bowl on a grey napkin
Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 50 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the chili braised short ribs:

  • 4 pounds English-style bone-in beef short ribs, cut between the bones (about 4 ribs)
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 pound young whole carrots, peeled
  • 6 dried chiles de arbol
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles
  • 1 lime, halved
  • thick cut strips of orange zest from 1 orange
  • 4 sprigs oregano
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 cups chicken stock

For the charred corn polenta:

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups polenta (not quick cook or instant)
  • 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 2 ears corn, husks removed

Instructions:

For the chili braised short ribs:

  • Season the short ribs all over with salt and pepper then dust with flour. Heat a 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Working in batches, sear the ribs on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining ribs.
  • Heat oven to 325ºF.
  • Return the pot to medium heat and add the onion and celery and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste followed by the coriander and cumin.
  • Add the short ribs back to the pot along with the carrots, chilies, lime, orange zest and oregano. Pour the orange juice and stock into the pot and bring to a boil then cover and move the pot to the oven.
  • Cook, turning the ribs occasionally, until the meat is fork tender, about 3 to 3½ hours.
  • Transfer the short ribs and carrots to a large baking dish and cover with foil to keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl then return the liquid to the pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened and reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the ribs and carrots and turn to coat.

For the charred corn polenta:

  • In a large saucepan bring the chicken stock, 3 cups of water and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta then turn the heat down to low and continue to cook, stirring constantly until the polenta is smooth and thick, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cheese until melted.
  • Over a gas stove with the heat on medium, add the ears of corn to the grate directly above the burner. Turn the corn occasionally until charred all over. Remove to a cutting board and cut the kernels off the cob. Stir into the polenta mixture.

For serving:

  • Divide the polenta among pasta bowls and top with braised ribs, braising liquid and carrots. Serve immediately.

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  1. 5 stars
    This was amazing. A beautiful mix of citrus and spicy. I love the charred roasted polenta, it added a little sweet crunch. We usually fall back on your Red wine short ribs and wanted to try something a little different. This hit all the tastebuds! Can’t wait to have it again.