Recipe Friday: Lon's at the Hermosa Short Ribs

Written by Marilyn Hawkes Category: Recipes Issue: November 2017

Braised beef short ribs with cheesy polenta cake. Photo courtesy Lon's at the Hermosa.
When there’s a fall chill in the air, executive chef Jeremy Pacheco of Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn prefers to eat his meals outdoors and his meats to be braised. “It’s comfort food and as it gets cooler, you want some heartier food.” Enter braised beef short ribs – a staple on Lon’s menu as well as on Pacheco’s home table.

When preparing the short ribs, Pacheco advises seasoning the meat generously so that it penetrates the beef. “It’s a fairly thick cut of meat and you can’t season the inside,” he says. Another tip: Be sure to use a hot pan to initially sear the meat because that will help seal in the flavor.

Until recently, Pacheco served the short ribs with creamy polenta, but this year he’s offering a cheddar polenta cake, which he says adds a nice texture. “You cut into the polenta and the cheese curds just ooze out once it’s cooked.”

You had us at cheese curds. Actually, you had us at braised meat.

Braised beef short ribs
32 oz. boneless short ribs
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. paprika powder
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion
2 celery stalks
2 carrots, peeled
2 cups red wine
3 cups veal stock (or beef broth)
3 cups chicken stock
4 parsley stems
2 sprigs of thyme
3 bay leaves

Season short ribs all over with salt, pepper and paprika powder. Heat oil at medium high heat in a heavy pan and add short ribs. Sear short ribs on all sides and remove from pan. Add onion, celery and carrots. Saute for 4 minutes and add tomato paste. Allow tomato to caramelize for one minute, deglaze with red wine and reduce wine until almost dry, add veal stock and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, add short ribs back to pan, add parsley, thyme and bay leaves and cover for another half hour. Remove short ribs from sauce, strain vegetables from sauce and serve in 5 oz. portions.

Cheddar polenta cake
2 cups water
½ cup Hayden Mills polenta
2 tsp. salt
4 oz. AZ Farms Cheese cheddar cheese curds
½ cup roasted corn kernels
1 qt. canola oil

Heat water in a heavy bottom pot, add salt and stir. As water just comes to a simmer, slowly whisk in the polenta. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring to keep polenta from sticking. Keep polenta on low heat until thick and cooked through – about 30 minutes, then add roasted corn and remove from heat. In a greased muffin tin, place a small amount of the cooked polenta. Place cheese curds inside and top with more polenta. Place in refrigerator to set up over night. When ready to eat, place oil in a pot and heat to 325 degrees. Fry the polenta cakes until golden brown, about 4 minutes.