The holiday season is when we pull out all the stops to impress our guests – but we don’t have to slave over a stove all day. That’s where braising comes in: a simple technique, elevated today by using dairy instead of liquid stock or red wine in these Creamy Milk Braised Short Ribs.
This post is sponsored by Hood® .
Whether you have snow on the ground or not, nothing says winter comfort food more than a hunk of gorgeous meat, braised and served in its sauce atop creamy polenta. This recipe for Creamy Milk Braised Short Ribs is the recipe I recommend making when you are having a dinner party this weekend – friends and family will be so impressed but you can be honest and tell them that the milk did all the job.
Braising is a classic culinary technique, but normally done in some sort of stock or jus. Today, we’re braising in a combination of Hood® Whole Milk and Hood® Half and Half, braising the short ribs gently.
Now, let me warn you – the milk and half & half will curdle, but fear not, you’ll just strain the curds and emulsify the sauce for one of the must luscious, creamy sauces ever. We’re braising in dairy because the lactic acid present tenderizes the meat, making it sweet and juicy. It’s a technique made famous by the talented Marcella Hazan, who shared this Emilia-Romagna technique with her audiences decades ago.
Unlike the acid in red wine, which is also used in braising, lactic acid tenderizes much slower, creating an incredibly tender cut of meat. This recipe can easily be made with beef chuck or any tough cut of beef, because the braising will convert it into fall off the bone, tender.
Using aromatics like fresh herbs, carrots, onions, and celery, we infused the Hood® Whole Milk and Hood® Half & Half with gorgeous flavors. The short ribs are seared and the aromatics are added back into the mix, where it waits for the Hood® products. Then, they are simmer altogether for about 3 hours, until the short ribs are tender. The dairy will have curdled by then and when you remove the meat, you’ll strain the curdles and blend the sauce until smooth. Gorgeously served over a creamy polenta, it’s all you’ll need to stay warm this season.
Make sure to stock Hood® products in your refrigerator – they are the base for creamy, delicious meals all season long. And don’t forget to download the Hood eCookbook for more holiday recipes.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds short ribs, bone in
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 bunch: sage, thyme, rosemary
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cups Hood® Whole Milk
- 2 cups Hood® Half and Half
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup polenta
- ½ cup Hood® Half and Half
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large braising pot over high heat, sear the short ribs in the olive oil.Turn and sear on all sides, for about 4 minutes on each side. Remove meat and reduce heat.
- Add the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic and cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid the garlic from burning.
- Place the meat back in the pot, along with the herbs, milk, and half and half. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 2.5-3 hours, over low medium heat, covered. Once tender and falling off the bone, remove the meat and set aside. Remove the herbs. Using a small strainer, remove most of the curds (no needs to remove them all). Introduce a hand blender or place liquid and cooked vegetables in regular blend and blend until smooth. Place the meat back in the sauce.
- To make polenta: simmer stock and add the polenta, whisking over medium heat so it doesn't stick. Drizzle in the half and half, season with salt and pepper, and keep warm until ready to serve.
- Serve polenta topped with short ribs and sauce. Top with fresh thyme and enjoy!