Short Rib Ragu with Polenta Croutons

This short rib casserole recipe gets better with time because the flavors in the red wine ragu have time to meld.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Bake Time:
2 hrs 15 mins
Cool Time:
30 mins
Chill Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 3 pound boneless beef short ribs

  • Salt

  • Ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced (1-1/2 cups)

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery (2 stalks)

  • 1 14 ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth

  • 1 ½ cup dry red wine, such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon

  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 8 ounce package cremini mushrooms, quartered (thickly slice larger caps)

  • 1 recipe Firm Polenta

  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or basil (optional)

Firm Polenta

  • 2 ½ cup water

  • 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal

  • 1 cup cold water

  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. In a 6- to 8-quart oven-going Dutch oven heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Brown ribs, half at a time if necessary, in the hot oil, turning to brown all sides; remove ribs and set aside. In the same Dutch oven cook onions and garlic for 2 minutes, adding another 1 tablespoon of the oil if needed. Add carrots and celery; cook about 5 minutes more or until vegetables are tender.

  2. Return ribs to Dutch oven with the vegetables. Stir in broth, wine, tomato paste, and thyme sprigs. Bring to boiling. Cover; bake for 1-1/2 hours. Stir in mushrooms. Bake, uncovered, for 45 to 60 minutes more or until ribs are tender and sauce is slightly thickened. Cool for 30 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

  3. Transfer rib mixture to a large airtight container; cover. Chill for at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.

  4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 3-quart rectangular baking dish; set aside. Using a spoon, remove any fat from surface of the sauce. Spoon ribs and sauce into prepared baking dish. If desired, cut short ribs into smaller portions. Run a thin metal spatula around the edges of the Firm Polenta in the loaf pan. Remove polenta loaf from pan and cut into 1-inch cubes. Arrange cubes evenly over the ribs and sauce in the baking dish. Brush the cubes with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake, uncovered, about 1 hour or until ribs and sauce are heated through and polenta is lightly browned. If desired, sprinkle with parsley.

Firm Polenta

  1. In a medium saucepan bring the 2 1/2 cups water to boiling. In a medium bowl stir together cornmeal, the 1 cup cold water, and salt. Slowly add cornmeal mixture to the boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture returns to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 25 to 30 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring frequently and adjusting heat as needed to maintain a slow boil. Pour into an 8x4-inch loaf pan. Cover; chill at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

593 Calories
41g Fat
26g Carbs
22g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 593
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 41g 53%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 86mg 29%
Sodium 716mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 9.4mg 47%
Calcium 50.5mg 4%
Iron 3.4mg 19%
Potassium 865mg 18%
Folate, total 28.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 2.4mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.4mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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