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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: 619 kcal

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

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  • 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

  • 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.

Crockpot Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta |

Eat up.

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  1. 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!!!

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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?



  6. 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!!

  7. 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!

  8. Today was a snow day in Virginia, so I decided to make this recipe. It was delicious and I will definitely make it again. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. I saved this recipe for a rainy day, but since here in So Cal we’re in the middle of a drought decided not to wait for rain. Tonight’s the night! And about the failed meatballs I’ll tell you what my brother told me years ago about skiing: If you don’t fall you’re not trying! The fail just shows you’re trying. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Tieghan,

    I never comment or post on blogs, however I have been following you for a while I had no choice to comment because I literally JUST took my last bite of this dish… I AM SPEECHLESS!! You knocked mine and my husbands shoes and socks off!! I just want you to know that. I look forward to recreating many of your dishes, you are very talented! Keep up the good work, I know it can be tasking but you have a food lovers gift 🙂

  11. Hi there,

    This sounds like a delicious recipe ! I don’t have a slow cooker, can I use a Le Crueset pot instead ? and what would the cooking time be in the oven ? Thanks !!!

    1. HI!
      Yes, you can use you Le Crueset pot and the cooking time would be about 3 hours or until the ribs are falling off the bone. Cook at 350 for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Ribs should be fork-tender and falling off the bone.

      Hope you love this meal!

  12. Ugh I hate when something doesn’t turn out, and when it’s inedible — the worst!! Looks like you more than made up for it though, this looks to die for!

  13. You should start calling these posts, “another reason why Laura needs a crockpot”. Seriously, no fair. Short ribs are one of my favorite foods ever! They are so flavorful and tender, if cooked right. You should try oxtail next!!

    1. Ha! If I had endless amounts of cash flow I would totally send you one, but in all seriousness I know you know how to make these just as good in your dutch oven!

      Oh and wait, what the heck is oxtail?!? Still learning over here! 🙂

  14. This happens to me sometimes too. Sometimes the food is unrevivable that I have to toss it to the trash. What a waste of money and time when that happens but also a learning experience. I am glad this one is a success for you. It does look really delicious.

  15. Wow these look amazing! I was just looking for new, creative slow cooker recipe and this is definitely a must try on my list! And really, short ribs and polenta… you can’t go wrong 🙂

  16. Girl, WHERE do you come up with these recipes??? I swear your brain is a gold mine of food concoctions. Keep it coming! I now check this blog daily to see if I can attempt whatever wonderful creation you’ve come up with. These ribs are DEFINITELY getting made soon!

  17. These look and sound great! I love short ribs but rarely stray from the standard red wine braise. I think the addition of pomegranate to a dish like this is genius! Plus, they might be the most beautiful food on the planet.

  18. Oh. my. goodness. Those short ribs look like if I just STARED at them long enough they’d fall apart without a fork. So mouthwatering, Tieghan! I wish I had your sense of flavor pairings, just brilliant!

  19. wow, what unique and awesome flavors!! this is beautifully presented and something I’d LOVE to give a try!

  20. Wowow!! I totally do the same thing as your dad, adding hot sauce to everything. It used to offend my wife, but she understands by now. However, I’ve been in that exact same situation before, where before I know it I’ve eaten the whole thing before hot sauce! A miracle!! This looks so creamy and delicious. The melt in your mouth entree to end all melt in your mouth entrees. Yum!!

  21. I just recently made short ribs for the first time and fell in love with them. It’s unbelievable how much flavor they have. This recipe is a winner. Pinned.

  22. I almost wanna dislike you for being sooooo good, LOL! Your taste is totally up my ally, I am ALWAYS excited to see what you make and I think I am making this! I never ever bought short ribs, I know they are fatty but ohhhhh soooo good! Thanks for this amazing recipe! So creative!

    1. Awe!! Thank you, Sophia! I love your daily comments, they are always so nice! 🙂

      I really hope you love this dish!

  23. Oh girl, I love how adventurous you are in the kitchen! Trying new foods is by far one of my favorite parts about food bloging! These short ribs look absolutely perfect, and the creamy polenta? Hand it over, sister! 🙂

  24. What an interesting combo. Can you believe I’ve never bought a pomegranate yet? Love the beautiful color it gives.

  25. Wow, that dish looks like it came out of a restaurant, it’s beautiful! I bet the little pops of pomegranate give it a wonderful brightness. Mmm.

  26. I hear ya, I have fails quite often. They suck and then you make something like these short ribs and all is right again! My husband would go ga-ga if I made these for him. Looks fantastic Tieghan!

    1. Thanks Caroline!! I feel like I have been having fail after fail these days! I need a good day tomorrow to make things all right again! LOL!

      Thanks Again!

  27. Yum Yum this looks delicious. Love the use of pomegranate. Next time you make it, if you can find pomegranate molasses or grenadine use that in the sugar. Makes ribs super sticky with a slight fruity note.

  28. Oh girl, short ribs are the best. This looks so good. And the addition of pomegranate, yumm!