2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery hearts, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 bottle red wine such as cabernet sauvignon
4 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Add them to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned and crusty, about 20 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a large, enameled cast-iron casserole.
Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the skillet and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft and lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes. Add the wine, thyme sprigs and bay leaves and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour the vegetables over the ribs. Add the chicken stock and bring back to a boil. Cover and transfer to the oven and cook for 1 ½ hours, until the meat is tender. Uncover and braise for 45 minutes longer, turning the ribs once or twice, until the sauce is reduced by half and the meat is very tender.
Remove the meat and transfer to a cutting board, portion the meat and transfer to a clean baking dish. Strain the sauce into a heatproof measuring cup and skim off the fat. Pour the sauce over the meat.
To serve place a spoonful of the funche in the enter of a large deep pasta bowl, place the meat on top of the creamy funche and spoon the sauce on top, garnish with a few thyme sprigs and serve.
3 cups chicken stock or water
1 cup coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup half and half
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bring the stock a simmer in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the cornmeal and cook over low to medium heat until the cornmeal begins to absorb the liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the half and half, and stir frequently until the funche thickens to the consistency of mashed potatoes, about 15 minutes.
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. To keep the polenta warm before serving, cover the surface with plastic wrap and place in double boiler at very low heat. If the funche gets to thick, thin with water or stock to maintain desire consistency.