Since I have started writing this blog I have tried a lot of new foods.
Short ribs are one of those foods.
Until recently, I had never made them, but I am pretty sure they are my new go to food. Basically, I have already made them twice in the last two weeks and no one has complained. They are just that good.
But you know what is not good? So not good that I honestly cannot stop thinking about how bad it was! Which means I have to tell you about it.
Yesterday I think I made one of the worst tasting things I have ever made. It was so bad I am still getting the shakes just thinking about it. I attempted to try to make lentil meatballs. And I did. They looked great, stayed together and really looked like a true meatball….
Ugh. They were terrible. So bland, so dry. Just awful
I know a lot of people have been really successful at making lentil meatballs, but I am not one of those people.
Never again. I just do not have the courage.
I make a lot food, and yeah I have fails, but by fails that normally only means not blog worthy. These were so bad that they went down the garbage disposal. Around here that means they were really really bad. I usually just use the mass amount of people we have running throughout our house as human garbage disposals, but trust me, I knew no one, not even a hard-core vegan would want one of these meatballs. I have no idea where I went wrong, but I went wrong big time.
Oh, and I promise to all the fourteen people who are spending three weeks with us over Christmas, I will stick to what I know and try hard not to mess up the tacos.
Although, now that I think about it, I messed those up real bad one time too. Think a whole recipe for homemade taco seasoning for one pound of ground chicken. Yeah, no one could choke those down either.
But anyway, this meal (thankfully) is good. Really, really good.
This meal is so flavorful. Like OMG sooo sweet and a little sour with a touch of spice!
I mean, I did not even pile on any cheese. If you are a regular reader, or hang around our house at all, than you know it is a very rare occasion when cheese is not added to dinner. Plus, there was not a drip of hot sauce in sight! Again, hot sauce is pretty much a staple at the dinner table. They add it to everything around here. I know a lot of people might take this offensively, but my dad just really likes hot and saucy foods. Every night we will sit down for dinner and he’ll say, “where’s the sauce”?
I made risotto the other night and as soon as we sit down I hear, “there’s no sauce? Well, can I at least put hot sauce on it then”? Yeah, this is what I deal with every single day.
Point is, there was no extras added to this. Just some fresh pomegranate arils, that’s it.
The only bummer about this crockpot meal is that you kind of have to sear the meat before adding it to the crockpot. I think it really adds an extra layer of flavor, but if you’re really not into it you can just throw everything in there and go. Just make sure to cook the meat longer.
Oh, and there is creamy polenta. Creamy mascarpone (Italian cream cheese, and it is awesome!) polenta. It is totally fall comfort food at it’s best. You are going to love it.
Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Short Ribs with Creamy Mascarpone Polenta
Serving Size: 4 (depending on how meaty your ribs are)
- 3 pounds beef short ribs (or more if the ribs do not look meaty)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- good pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 large onion, sliced very thin
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 4 carrots, chopped (peel if desired)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- the arils from one pomegranate (here is how to [deseed a pomegranate | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/deseed-pomegranate-pictures/]), plus more for garnish
- Creamy Mascarpone Polenta
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup polenta (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2-4 tablespoons butter (your preference)
The night before or the morning of, heat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high-heat and add the olive oil. Add the ribs to the skillet and sprinkle with salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Sear the ribs on all sides for about 1 minute per side. Remove the ribs and place them in the crockpot bowl.
To the bowl add the onion, garlic and carrots. Sprinkle the brown sugar over everything and then add the pomegranate juice, soy sauce, thyme, rosemary, cayenne and parsley. Sprinkle the pomegranate arils over top. Cover and cook for about 8 hours on low (5-6 on high), or until meat is falling off the bone. If you can, rotate short ribs once or twice during cooking. During the last 30 minutes of cooking remove the lid and crank the crockpot to high to let the sauce thicken up a bit.
Meanwhile, make the polenta. Pour the chicken broth and milk into a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is soft and thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep warm and then just before serving, stir in the mascarpone cheese and butter, season with salt and pepper. If the polenta seems a little thick you can add a tablespoon of butter or extra milk.
Serve the ribs atop a bed of polenta and spoon the sauce overtop the ribs. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds.