A balsamic braise makes everything better.Gather Journal Balsamic Braised Short Ribs
Slow and steady wins the race. An unhurried braise—three luxurious hours of oven time—translates to fall-off-the-bone tender meat. A bed of silken polenta and traces of balsamic round out the hearty affair.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Pat ribs dry and trim off any excess fat. Season well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add ribs and brown well. Meanwhile, wrap thyme and juniper in a bit of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine; set aside.
Transfer ribs to a plate and pour off all but 2 Tbsp fat from pot. Cook carrots, celery and shallots until browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in vinegar and wine and deglaze. Add bundled thyme and juniper and return ribs to pot. Add enough water so liquid comes about two-thirds of the way up the ribs. Bring to a simmer, then cover meat directly with a piece of parchment and a tight fitting lid. Braise in oven until meat is very tender, about 2½ to 3¼ hours.
Carefully remove ribs to a plate. Discard vegetables and thyme bundle. Skim fat from sauce. Reduce sauce over medium high heat until slightly thickened. Season.
Cook polenta according to package directions, stirring in mascarpone or butter if using. Serve ribs and sauce over polenta.
Note: Short ribs are even better when made a day ahead. After braising, cool ribs to room temperature then chill overnight. Reheat about an hour in a 350°F oven.