Monday, August 4, 2014

Ancho Chile Back Ribs With Creamy Polenta



This dish is simply delicious! The ancho chile sauce pairs very well with the creamy polenta. I grew up a southern girl and refused to eat grits. Polenta and grits are pretty much the same thing. I wish I hadn't been so stubborn as a child, they are addictive! Any leftovers will be a yummy treat in the morning! I found the recipe for the ancho chile spice rub over at www.djfoodie.com, I modified it slightly, but it's a definite keeper. The chile sauce recipe came from www.gourmetfood.about.com, the only thing I changed was I used dried ancho chiles. Beef short ribs would have been my first choice for this dish, since they are more meaty, but my local grocer was out at the time. I won't keep you waiting any longer, let's get to it!


Ingredients:
For the ribs:
  • 5 lbs beef ribs (short or back ribs)
  • 2 tablespoons ground dried ancho chiles (same chiles I used in the sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro or 1/4 cup fresh
 Polenta:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup gluten free polenta or corn meal (polenta is a little coarser in texture)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
Preheat your oven to 275F.
Combine all of the ingredients for the spice rub and liberally apply it to the beef ribs.
Place the ribs on a broiling pan and cook for 2 1/2 hours uncovered.

While the ribs are cooking, make the chile sauce and set aside. Beautiful isn't it?

When the ribs are almost done, heat the chile sauce and beef broth in a dutch oven or pan large enough to accommodate all of the ribs and 4 cups of liquid. 

Add the ribs to the pot coating them with the liquid. Sprinkle the cilantro over the ribs then turn down the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer in the braising liquid for an hour and a half.
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If you don't have a Dutch Oven you are missing out! They can accommodate large recipes and last forever! Though quite pricey, they have so many uses!  I even make artisan bread in mine from time to time. It keeps the bread surrounded by steam while it bakes resulting in a nice crispy crust. You can find a large selection of Dutch Ovens by clicking on the photo above.
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In the mean time prepare the polenta. Add the milk, water and butter to a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Stir in the salt and whisk in the polenta/corn meal very slowly as not to create any lumps.

Whisk this mixture constantly for several minutes, then turn the heat down to low and loosely cover.

Cook for 40-45 minutes until very thick and creamy. Make sure to stir the polenta several times as it cooks. If you wish, when the polenta has finished cooking, stir in the Parmesan cheese and the sour cream whisking until smooth.


To plate this dish, place a good heaping spoonful of the polenta in the center of the plate and top with several beef ribs and drizzle some of the chile sauce over the top. Enjoy!


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