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Zinfandel Braised Grass-fed Short Ribs with Orange Gremolata served over Soft White Cheddar Polenta

Zinfandel Braised Grass-fed Short Ribs with Orange Gremolata served over Soft White Cheddar Polenta

Recipe by Corporate Chef de Cuisine Phil Wright, Epicurean Group

YIELD: 4 servings

5 lbs. boneless grass-fed short ribs
1 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup tomato paste
2 yellow onions
2 ribs celery
2 peeled carrots
1 bottle California zinfandel
4 Tbsps. fresh thyme
1 cup chopped garlic
1 qt. veal stock
4 Tbsps. fresh rosemary
4 Tbsps. cornstarch
4 Tbsp. water

For gremolata:
4 oranges, zested and juiced (reserve juice)
2 Tbsps. finely chopped garlic
1 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

For polenta:
1 qt. chicken stock
4 cups polenta
½ cup olive oil
2 cups whole milk
4 cups shredded white cheddar
salt and pepper, to taste

1.    Lightly flour short ribs and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven and sear short ribs over medium-high heat on all sides. Remove browned short ribs.
2.    Add tomato paste and vegetables, begin to brown. When color looks almost black, deglaze pan with the bottle of wine and simmer until reduced to ¾ volume.
3.    Add short ribs back to pot and cover with stock. Bring to boil and simmer for 3 hours or until fork-tender. Finish stock with fresh herbs. Remove meat from stock. Puree liquid and vegetables, strain through mesh strainer and add back to pot. Mix cornstarch and water to form a slurry and add to thicken. Season to taste.
4.    For gremolata: Combine orange zest, orange juice, garlic and parsley. Set aside.
5.    For polenta: Bring chicken stock to boil and add polenta. Stir polenta regularly, for about 10 minutes or until thickened, adding oil while cooking. When polenta is thickened, add milk. Turn off flame and add cheddar cheese. Season to taste.
6.    To serve: Place a ladle of polenta on each plate, place short rib over polent and top with gremolata.

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