This is an Emeril Lagasse recipe that was featured on “Good Morning America” back in 2003 that I still enjoy making today, especially the day after Thanksgiving when we’ve had our fill of turkey and we’re ready for some beef. And this is a hit with guests because the house smells as good as the dish tastes. I noticed from the Emeril Lagasse Web site that the recipe has been adapted even further then when it was featured over seven years ago, but I still enjoy it just like it was presented then. I’ve adapted the prep a bit by using a zip-top bag to marinade the ribs which makes clean up a snap.
Here are some pointers on shopping and prepping to make this dish. Most meat departments will have beef short ribs already cut into about 5-ounce portions, so don’t concern yourself with having to cut your own beef short ribs. If not, simply ask the butcher to do it for you while you wait. You can also purchase the Emeril Lagasse Essence in most grocery stores’ spice section, but it’s easy to make at home because you’ll have most all of these spices already in your spice cabinet. If not, buy the balance of the spices that you still need. This Essence recipe makes a lot more than you need for this particular recipe, so if you’re not planning to use the balance in future recipes then cut the recipe down accordingly. I’ve even broke it down to an optional quarter of the amount (provide below). I’ve also found it difficult to find dried ancho chili peppers in most traditional grocery stores or even some specialty stores, but I can always find them in area Food Lion stores which tend to carry a larger selection of Mexican food products. If you don’t want to make cheddar polenta, then just make some great ol’ Southern cheese grits.
Braised Short Ribs and Cheese Grits
- 1 rack beef short ribs (2 ½ pounds), cut into 5-ounce portions
- 1 tablespoons Emeril’s Original Essence (recipe below)
- 2 quarts water
- 2 cups yellow onions
- 5 gloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 dried ancho chili peppers
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Cheddar polenta or cheese grits
Emeril’s Original Essence
- 5 tablespoons sweet paprika
- ¼ cup salt
- ¼ cup garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons cayenne
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons thyme
Emeril’s Original Essence Recipe (Quartered)
- 3.75 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoon thyme
Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and blend well.
- Store in an airtight container in your spice cabinet for up to 3 months.
Directions for Ribs
I find it much easier to place the ribs in a zip-top bag seasoned with enough Emeril’s Essence to coat both sides (approximated 3 tablespoons or more to desired taste) and refrigerate at least 6 hours. This makes for easy turning of the meat in the spice bag during the course of the six hours and for easy clean up.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the remaining ingredients (except polenta) in a large, heavy roasting pan and bring to simmer in oven. Once again, add additional seasoning to taste, but the Essence on the short ribs will more than flavor the dish. Remove the short ribs from the zip-top bag and add to the pot. Cover and cook in the oven until the ribs are tender and the meat falls from the bone, about 4 hours.
Remove from the oven. To serve divide the polenta among four bowls. Place one to two ribs on top of each polenta serving and top with cooking liquid.
I prefer to serve my homemade coleslaw as a side dish. The coleslaw complements but offsets the spiciness of the dish.