Polenta Short Rib Bites

Yield: Makes approx 16- 18 canapes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 4.5 hours

For the short ribs:

  • Approx 1lb beef short ribs, sinew and excess fat removed
  • ¼ tbsp salt
  • ½ tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • ¾ cup shallots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano
  • ¼ tbsp all purpose flour
  • ½ tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • ½ tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

For the polenta:

  • ¼ cup quick cook polenta
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme and parsley, chopped

To serve:

  • ⅛ cup Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • Fresh thyme leaves to decorate
  • Crispy shallots


For the short rib:
Begin by cooking the short ribs. Season the ribs with salt. Heat up a large heavy based pan on medium high heat along with ¼ tbsp olive oil. Once heated, brown the short ribs for 3-4 minutes on each flesh side, forming a nice golden brown crust and sealing in the juices. Remove from the pan and place onto a plate.

In the same pan, reduce the heat and add the remaining olive oil. Fry the onion, carrot and garlic on low to medium heat for 8-10 minutes until softened. Add the herbs half way through along with flour and tomato puree, mix well to coat vegetables and cook out for a further 2 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar, followed by the beef stock. Bring to a boil, season with black pepper and place the short ribs back into the pan. Place the lid on and slow cook in a preheated oven for 3 - 3.5 hours (325°F). Check half-way through, and adjust seasoning if needed. Cook until the meat is soft enough and falls off the bones and the sauce has thickened and reduced.

Once the short ribs are cooked, using two forks, gently shred and remove the bone. Add ½ -1 cup water to loosen the mixture if it has thickened. Sprinkle in fresh parsley and keep warm.

For the polenta:
Bring the stock to a boil in a large saucepan, then add the polenta and whisk for 5 minutes until thick and creamy and lump-free. Add the butter, herbs and seasoning and cook for a further minute. Pour into a lined baking try to approximately ½” thickness. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to set.

Turn out the set polenta from its tray onto a chopping board. Using a 2.5” round cutter, cut rounds out of the block. Pan fry the rounds in a drizzle of olive oil until golden brown.

To serve:
Place a small spoonful of the short rib onto a polenta disc, top with crispy shallot, a little crumbled gorgonzola and a sprinkle of fresh thyme.