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Braised Buffalo Short Ribs with Sage Polenta

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Short Ribs

4 buffalo short ribs (about 1 pound each)
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound carrots (peeled)
2 large white onions (quartered)
4 large cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
1 cup tomatoes (chopped)
2 cups beef stock
2 (12-ounce) bottles of dark beer
1 small dried chili, such as arbol or cayenne
1 ounce dried mushrooms (chopped)
1 tablespoons puréed chipotles in adobo
4 large pitted prunes
1-½ tablespoons tomato paste
8 ounces small fresh mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 375°. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and brown them evenly in the oil in a flameproof casserole or ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. When dark golden brown, add the carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaves, tomatoes, beef stock, and one bottle of beer, mixing well. Cover tightly and place in the oven for 2 hours. Make sure the lid is on tight and liquids do not evaporate. After braising for 2 hours, remove from the oven, take the ribs out of the stock, and let the juices run through a sieve into a bowl.

Discard the cooked vegetables. Skim the fat off the surface of the braising juices and return the juices to the pan. Return the ribs to the pan and add the chili, dried mushrooms, puréed chipotles, prunes, tomato paste, fresh mushrooms, and the remaining bottle of beer. Place the pan on top of the stove over very low heat with the lid on tight. Cook for 1 hour. Skim the fat off the surface of the rib sauce before serving.

Sage Polenta:

2 cups water or chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup stone-ground cornmeal or high-quality polenta
2 tablespoons heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoons fresh sage (chopped)

Bring the water to a strong simmer in a heavy saucepan over high heat and add salt. Add the cornmeal in a steady stream, incorporating with a whisk to prevent lumps. Reduce the heat and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook the polenta, stirring for 8 to 10 minutes until a thick porridge forms. Add the heavy cream, butter, cheese, and sage and stir to incorporate.

To Serve

Serve 1 buffalo rib over the polenta. Spoon the sauce on top. You can also refrigerate the dish; it will keep for up to 3 days.

Makes 4 servings

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