Barolo-Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Asiago and Sage Polenta

Brett McKee

McKee’s at 139B, Charleston, SC

This hearty dish comes from Brett McKee's Italian-inspired steakhouse menu at Charleston's Oak Steakhouse.


Braised Short Ribs:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds flanken-style short ribs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced very thin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup Barolo wine
  • 1 cup canned whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1/2 cup veal or beef stock
  • 1/4 bunch thyme
  • 1/4 bunch rosemary
  • 1/4 bunch oregano
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups polenta
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 2 leaves sage, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of thyme, leaves removed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


To prepare the short ribs, preheat oven to 375ºF. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and cook on both sides until brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the Dutch oven and set aside. Add carrots, celery, onions, and garlic to the Dutch oven and cook until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine, tomatoes, and stock and stir, scraping the sides and bottom of the pot to pick up any caramelized bits. Add the thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Bring the braising liquid to a boil and add the ribs. Cover the Dutch oven and place in the preheated oven until the ribs are very tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When the ribs are done, take the Dutch oven out of the oven. Gently remove the ribs and transfer to a plate. Strain the braising liquid and discard the solids. Add the strained liquid to the Dutch oven and boil for about 10 minutes, until it has reduced by a third. Return the ribs to the pot. If serving immediately, cover until serving time. If serving later, let cool and place in the refrigerator.

To prepare the polenta, bring the milk to a slow boil. Slowly add the polenta, whisking constantly to avoid lumping. Continue whisking and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until very thick. Add the chicken stock while whisking the polenta constantly. Mix in the parmesan, Asiago, sage, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon some polenta onto a plate. Place a serving of short ribs on top. (If the short ribs have been in the refrigerator, warm them in a 300ºF oven until heated through.)


4 servings