Short Rib Ragu

For dinner last night, I wanted to make something special to celebrate a birthday.  We also had a baseball game which meant we had to eat after we got home.  It would have to be prepared ahead of time so that we could eat as soon as we walked in the door.  I decided on short rib ragu over polenta.  We have been experimenting with several ragu recipes and I think this may have just taken the lead.  Previous recipes we’ve tried have used chuck steak or pork loin but last night I used boneless short ribs and an ounce of dried mushrooms.  I started the ragu at 3:00, had it in the oven to braise at 4:00 and by the time we walked in the door last night, the house smelled like Fat Clemenza was pulling 10-15 for armed robbery in my kitchen.  All I had to do was make polenta and shred the short ribs and we were sitting down in twenty minutes to this rich, hearty short rib ragu over buttery polenta.   The mushrooms added earthiness, the short ribs had a wonderful rich beefy flavor and the long braise pulled all of these flavors together.  If Fat Clemnza were in the big house making this sauce it could make recidivism look appealing.                      -Andra

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