So, did anyone else watch American Horror Story: Hotel Wednesday night? I’ve been looking forward to it ever since they started showing promos of it and even though I like to be in bed by the time it comes on, I had to stay up and watch. I don’t know if I’m de-sensitized from watching all of the previous seasons, but I definitely was not scared. Creeped out? Yeah, sure. But even the beginning scene (I won’t spoil it!) didn’t do much for me – and I’m someone who still, to this day, gets scared just thinking about Mischa Barton under the bed in The Sixth Sense.
Anyway, since AHS has premiered, it’s gotten me excited about the upcoming Halloween season – and the things that I love most about this time of year. These citrus chile short ribs over cheesy polenta are exactly the kind of thing that I want to eat this time of year. Something cozy and comforting to eat while I’m watching one of my favorite shows is a definite must. These short ribs are rich and, of course, tender from the hours they spend braising. And the slight hint of citrus brightens up their flavor in the best way. The best part of the short ribs is that you get this really, decadent sauce that’s thick and brimming with flavor at the end, which, of course, means you need to serve this over polenta (made with lots of cheese) to make sure you get every single last drop.
- 8 beef bone-in short ribs (about 5 lbs worth)
- Vegetable shortening
- 4 chile de arbols, dried
- 4 New Mexico chiles, dried, with stems and seeds removed
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2-4 cups water (may need more - you want to cover the short ribs completely)
- 1 strip of orange zest
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup polenta
- 2 Tbsp butter, unsalted
- 2/3 cup cheddar, shredded
- Avocado, for serving
- Cilantro, for serving
- Begin by seasoning the short ribs with salt and pepper, liberally. Place on a baking sheet and let sit in refrigerator for 2 hours, uncovered.
- Pre heat your oven to 300 degrees. In a large dutch oven, heat enough vegetable shortening to coat the bottom of the pot over medium high. Sear both sides of the short ribs, about 3-4 minutes a side, until brown. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan, working in batches if needed. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Place the chile de arbols, New Mexico chiles, onions, tomato paste, and garlic in the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium high until the onions and chiles are softened and the tomato paste has darkened in color, about 10 minutes, making sure to stir often.
- Pour in the orange juice, chicken stock, water, and add the orange zest, scraping up any of the browned bits on the bottom. Add the short ribs, along with any juices on the plate, and make sure they are covered completely - you may need to add more water, if necessary.
- Cover and place in the oven and braise until the meat is tender, about 4 hours.
- Transfer the ribs to a platter and strain the liquid in a large bowl, then return to the pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes or so. Return the short ribs to the pot and coat in the sauce.
- To make the cheesy polenta, bring the milk and chicken broth to a simmer in a large sauce pan. Whisking continuously, pour in the polenta in a steady stream, to prevent lumps, and whisk until smooth. Season with salt, and cook, still whisking, until the polenta is bubbling and has gotten thick, about 4-5 minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the butter and cheddar until melted. Season with salt, if needed.
- To serve, divide the polenta among four bowls and place a serving of short ribs on top. Garnish with fresh avocado and cilantro and serve immediately.
Short ribs adapted from Bon Appetit