The short ribs are braising, the polenta is bubbling, the meatballs are browning, the squash is softening in the oven…

I love those hours just before an event where I am in my zone in the kitchen, finishing up each dish and taking in all of the tastes and aromas. I know that soon the room will be buzzing with hungry people and lots of energy!

This cocktail party was especially fun because it was in celebration of my Men’s Cooking Classes at Flirting With Flavors… We had a full house with some of my favorite guys….

And thanks to my friend, Ramona, we had a great pinot grigio to pair with our hors d’oeuvres..

Braised short rib on parmesan polenta

Celery root soup with pear and pancetta garnish

The short rib on parmesan polenta was a huge hit so I want to share the recipe with you! I think it would be a great dish for you to serve at home over the holidays.
If you live here in NYC I recommend you use DeBragga for your butcher. Their beef is the very best quality and I always call them when I want to make sure I have the best meat for my events.


 Serves 6

5 lbs beef short ribs (8 to 12 ribs)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

2 cups flour
1 cup medium-diced onions
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
4 cloves chopped garlic

1 cup dry red wine
1 cup canned tomatoes
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large braiser or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper, then toss them in flour. Add ribs to the pot and cook until brown on all sides, about 12 minutes total. Remove the pan from the oven and add in the onions, thyme, garlic, red wine, tomatoes, and beef broth. Cover pan tightly with foil and lower temperature to 325 degrees.

Cook about 3-4 hours or until meat is fork tender. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with salt and rosemary.


 Serves 6

3 1/2 cups stock

1 bay leaf

Salt and black pepper

1 cup polenta

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Chives, finely chopped for garnish

In a large, heavy saucepan, combine stock with bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Bring to a strong simmer and slowly (carefully because it will spit at you) add the polenta, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low, stirring often with a large wooden spoon, until the polenta thickens, about 25 minutes.

Add the butter and stir until melted. Add Parmesan, and stir well. Adjust seasoning to taste, garnish with chives, and serve right away.