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Since I have started writing this blog I have tried a lot of new foods.

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta |

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.

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta |

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

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta |

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.

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta |

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.

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta |

But anyway, this meal (thankfully) is good. Really, really good.

Thank God.

And easy.


Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta |

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.

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta |

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 Polenta |

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Short Ribs with Creamy Mascarpone Polenta

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours 25 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 750 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


  • 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 plus more for garnish, here is how to [deseed a pomegranate |]

Creamy Mascarpone Polenta


  • 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.
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Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta |

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  1. 5 stars
    SO GOOD! Made this dish because I was feeling like making something fun and different. The flavor profile of the pomegranate sauce and caramelized onions created such a sweet and savory addition that complimented both the short ribs and polenta. I cut the carrots into bigger chunks and they really absorbed the sweetness of the sauce. I used cream cheese instead of mascarpone for the polenta and it was nice and creamy. Overall, I highly recommend!

  2. 5 stars
    Make this! This was amazing! I switched it up by cooking sweet potatoes on top as you show in a similar recipe in one of your books. Served the short ribs over mashed sweet potatoes with browned butter and thyme. Wonderful! This was also easier than expected as I seared the ribs in the stove top safe pan that came with my crockpot- it contains some of the splatter. I just drained the excess fat before beginning the slow cooking. Do not skip the pomegranate seed garnish as they add great flavor.

    1. Hi Susan,
      Happy Wednesday!! Thank you so much for making this recipe and sharing your review, I am so glad it was delish! Thanks for sharing what worked well for you! xT

  3. Hi there,
    Just got your cookbook and noticed the recipe in the cookbook is slightly different than this one. Which do you recommend? What do you think about serving it with roasted pureed cauliflower instead of sweet potatoes (lower carb)? Thanks!

    1. Hey Deb,
      I love both, so you can’t go wrong with either recipe, roasted cauliflower mash would be a great idea! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    I very rarely comment on recipe blogs BUT I made this tonight and Oh wow!!!! I was soo scared I was going to mess it up but everything came out absolutely amazing!!! The flavors in this dish were absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    THIS WAS SO FREAKING GOOD!!!!!!! I had never had polenta, but my husband has many times when traveling to Eastern Europe for work… anyhoo, our entire family of 8 loved it all for different reasons! Even the two who didn’t want to add the pomegranate as garnish added it on my COMMAND (lol) and they LOVED it. They were surprised by the nice “crunch” and tang it added. SO good. I have exclusively made your recipes for about 3 months now minus only 3 nights total. I AM IN AWE. Thank you!!!

  6. I’ve made these multiple times and they never disappoint! My husband and I absolutely love this recipe!

  7. I have a presentation question, did you put some of the sauce in before the polenta or did you add the sauce to the rim at the end? I am making this for Christmas this year, so excited!

    1. Hey Susan! I like to plate the polenta, then add a short rib and drizzle with sauce. Let me know if you have questions. Hope you love this and Merry Christmas!

  8. Hey Tieghan!

    Do you have any suggestions for a substitute for pomegranate? Since they’re not currently in season, I am unable to find a pomegranate anywhere around where I live 🙁

    Thanks a millie!
    – AJ

    1. Hey Millie!

      You can use any fruit really. Since it is summer, I think peaches, nectarines, mangos, pineapple, blueberries, cherries and apricots would all be awesome! Let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this!

  9. Tieghan,

    Can you use the boneless short ribs for this? I bought them at the store and its in the crockpot now. Not sure what I was thinking buying the boneless. Anyhow have you done it or know if it will come out as good?



  10. Tieghan,

    Just made this dish and it was delicious. I have never eaten much polenta but you may have made me a convert.

    I recently came across this blog and I’m so impressed by your ability to take seemingly unrelated foods and ingredients and turn them into something that works so well together. Then I read about your age and, as everyone else has stated, was blown away. I can’t wait to see what lies in store from you and for you in the future.

    Also, I’m surprised that the comments on your blog are overwhelmingly from women. Many of your recipes are the kind I would enjoy and I definitely eat like a typical guy.

    The cherry on top is that we both grew up in Cleveland. I am so excited to try out many more of your recipes that I’m willing to forgive the fact that you were a west-sider.

    Keep up the great work,

    Chuck, a fan.

    1. Hey Chuck!!
      Thank you so much for the kind comment. I am so excited you like this recipe!! Very cool we are both from Cleveland. All of my extended family + oldest brother still live there.

      Thanks again!!

  11. I made this last night, but started a little late, so stuck it in the fridge overnight. Defatted it this morning reheated and my daughter made the polenta. My family and I enjoyed it for an early Sunday lunch! All of us agreed,it was delicious! We followed it up with your Oatmeal, chocolate, coffee caramel skillet cookie! (very yummy!)
    Im hoping this helps start a new family tradition of cooking/baking with my teenage daughters on Sunday mornings! We have only recently discovered your blog, and we LOVE LOVE LOVE it! So many things we want to try! Next up: your Sunday sauce/gravy!
    Thank you for a truly inspiring site!

    1. Oh!! Thank you so much! I am thrilled this recipe was a hit and so excited that you all are enjoying my site. Hope that the tradition does continue and thanks again for the kind words. It means the world to me! 🙂

      Oh and enjoy the sunday sauce!

      1. Made the Sunday sauce and my family is enjoying it tonight for dinner! It is another winner from your blog! Thank you!