Millcreek Farm Braised Short Ribs with Mountaineer Polenta, Onions Confit & Wild Mushrooms


From The Boneyard Collection kitchen.

Pairs well with either The Boneyard Cabernet Sauvignon or The Boneyard Red


5 lbs bone-in Millcreek Farm short ribs

flour for dusting short ribs (with salt & pepper for seasoning)

canola oil

1 medium sweet onion (ideally Walla Walla), fine chopped

2 carrots, fine chopped

2 celery stalks, fine chopped

1 medium fennel bulb, rough chopped

1 medium leek, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1oz tomato paste

15oz canned tomatoes (ideally San Marzano) crushed

3c Cabernet Sauvignon

2-4c beef stock, add more if needed to just cover short ribs

1 sachet (can use green of leek if you have it) holding 2 bay leaf, 12 or so black peppercorns, 8 sprigs of thyme tied with cooking twine

4T unsalted butter



2c Anson Mills polenta

2c half and half cream

4c chicken stock

6oz mild white cheddar – grated



6oz mixed wild mushrooms (Lobster, Shiitake, Maitake, Oyster, Beech)

3 Royal Trumpet mushrooms

12 thyme sprigs – leaves removed

Truffle Oil

salt & pepper


Onion Confit:

3 sweet onions (ideally Walla Walla but can use Mayan)

½c water

8T unsalted butter

1 sachet (can use green of Leek if you have it) holding 1 bay leaf, 12 or so black peppercorns, 6 sprigs of Thyme tied with cooking twine.


Beef –

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Heat in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed large pot enough canola oil to just coat the bottom of the pan.  Coat the short ribs in the seasoned flour & shake off any access.  Add immediately to the hot oil (do not let sit with flour) & brown on all sides.  Pull the short ribs back out of the Dutch oven & reserve on a plate.

Add the onions, carrots, celery, leeks & fennel to the Dutch oven & sauté until the onions are just translucent.  Add the garlic & sauté until just aromatic.  Add the tomato paste & continue to cook for 1 minute stirring.  Add the tomatoes & cook one more minute, mashing the tomatoes to break them up slightly.  Add the Cabernet Sauvignon, beef stock & short ribs.  Only use enough stock to just cover the ribs.  Add the sachet (note:  if you use enough kitchen twine, extend one end out of the Dutch oven or tie the end to a handle to retrieve after cooking).  Bring to a simmer & then place in the preheated oven for 3 hours.  Check to make sure ribs are fork tender.  You can also check this at the 2 & 2.5 hour mark to make sure not to overcook.

Remove the sachet.  Put ribs on a plate to rest.  Blend the braising liquid with an immersion blender to make a sauce.  Add 4T of unsalted butter & stir to melt.  Taste for seasoning & adjust as necessary.  Place ribs back in sauce to continue to rest until ready for plating.  The ribs are even better day two.

Polenta –

Heat cream & stock until just about to boil then turn the heat down to a simmer.  Slowly add the polenta while whisking rapidly.  Turn heat down to med-low, cover & allow the polenta to cook stirring occasionally to ensure it does not stick.  Once the polenta is cooked, stir in 2/3 of the cheese.  Pour polenta into a greased Pyrex (or similar) dish to settle & top with remaining cheese.  Once the polenta has settled, heat in over at 450° until hot & cheese is well melted.  Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing into squares & serving.

Mushrooms -   

Cut each mushroom type separately to best show the character of the mushroom.  For the Royal Trumpets simply cut in half vertical & then cut X incisions on the flat side.  Heat just a bit more olive oil & butter to cover the bottom of a skillet.  Sauté each mushroom type separately since their cooking times very.  With each add a pinch of the thyme leaves.  You may need to add a touch more oil & butter between as the mushrooms absorb a lot.  For the Royal Trumpets make sure the pan is screaming hot & sear on the flat side to get a great dark brown almost crust on them.  Blend together all the mushrooms except the Royal Trumpets & toss with a little truffle oil, salt & pepper.

Onions Confit –

Slice the onions about ½” thick.  Heat the butter & water almost to a boil.  Lower the heat to med-low & add the onions & sachet.  Cover with parchment paper directly on top of the cooking onions & liquid.  Allow to slowly cook for about 2 hours stirring occasionally.  They should get soft & sweet, but not brown.

Plating –

Place 1/6 of the onion confit in the center of the plate.  Top with a square of the polenta just off center.  Spoon a layer of the mushroom mixture over the polenta & top with one rib.  Drizzle a little of the braising liquid sauce of the rib to fall on the mushrooms & polenta as well.  Finish by topping with 1 of the ½ Royal Trumpet Mushrooms flat side up & season with fleur de sel (or other high quality salt if you don’t have this).


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