TC Recipe: Braised Short Ribs with Chocolate Jus and Polenta

February 20 2012

By Mikayla Summers, extern from the Culinary Institute of America
Suggested Pairing: 2009 NxNW Columbia Valley Merlot
Serves 4

Braised Short Ribs with Chocolate Jus

The lovely tannins and mineral element of this earthy Columbia Valley wine played a key role when deciding a meal to pair with it. This wine is sturdy enough to stand up to the intensity of the sauce while the mild acidity cuts through the richness of the short ribs. The addition of chocolate enhances both the earthy and red fruit aspects of the wine. This is especially nice served with roasted root vegetables and sautéed greens or asparagus.


  • 2 lbs short ribs, bone in
  • 2 tsp blended olive oil
  • ¼ C all-purpose flour for dredging
  • ½ oz pancetta, diced
  • ½ C onion, chopped
  • ¼ C celery, diced
  • ¼ C carrots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1½ t tomato paste
  • ¾ C red wine
  • 1½ C beef or chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp peppercorns, whole
  • 4 tsp bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

  • 1½ C polenta
  • 6 C water
  • 3 T butter
  • 2 tsp salt


Short Ribs
Heat the blended oil in an oven-safe heavy bottomed pot. Add the diced pancetta and cook over medium low heat until evenly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Dry off the short ribs and season generously with salt and pepper, then dust them very lightly with flour, shaking off any excess. Raise the heat to medium high and brown the short ribs on all sides, then remove from the pan. Sauté the onions, celery, and carrots in the same pan until caramelized. Add the garlic and tomato paste and sauté 4 more minutes. Add the red wine and simmer for 2 minutes, scraping up the brown bits. Add the short ribs and pancetta back into the pan with the bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns and cover completely with beef stock. Cover and cook in a 375 degree oven 2.5-3 hours, until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

Chocolate Jus
Once the short ribs are cooked, allow them to cool 15 minutes, then remove them from the pan. Strain the liquid into a saucepot and bring to a simmer. Reduce until thickened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the chocolate and cinnamon, season with salt and pepper.

Bring the water to a boil in a heavy pot and add a very large pinch of salt. While whisking, slowly pour in the polenta in a steady stream. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring regularly, until the polenta is tender; about 25-30 minutes. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper.