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Braised Short Ribs and Celery with Celery Seed Polenta

Carmen Troesser

Servings: 4 to 6

Short ribs and celery become good friends in this braise: As the celery cooks, it flavors the beef and the sauce while absorbing some of the beefy flavor of the meat. Walnuts add extra crunch, while celery seed in both the braise and the polenta further underscores the celery flavor of the dish.


For the ribs

  • 5 lb. bone-in English-style beef short ribs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups lower-salt beef broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 Tbs. whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/4 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1 head celery, outer ribs peeled and cut on the diagonal into 3-inch pieces (to yield about 4 cups), inner leaves reserved for garnish
  • 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, large caps cut in half
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch
  • Toasted walnut oil, for serving

For the polenta

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal), such as Bob’s red Mill
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 6 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 730
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 380
  • Fat (g): 43
  • Saturated Fat (g): 16
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15
  • Cholesterol (mg): 115
  • Sodium (mg): 800
  • Carbohydrates (g): 34
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 45


Braise the ribs

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.
  • Generously season the ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 6- to 7-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat. Add half of the ribs, and brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining ribs, adding more oil if needed.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallots and butter, and cook, stirring, until the shallots begin to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another 15 seconds. Add the lemon juice and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add 3-3/4 cups broth, the wine, walnuts, mustard, and celery seeds; stir to combine.
  • Return the ribs to the pot, cover the surface with a piece of parchment, cover the pot with the lid, transfer to the oven, and braise for 2 hours.
  • Stir in the celery, mushrooms, thyme, and lemon zest. Replace the parchment, cover with the lid, and braise until the beef is very tender, 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ribs, celery, mushrooms, and thyme to a rimmed baking sheet, leaving the liquid in the pot. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup broth with the cornstarch. Stir this slurry into the liquid, a little at a time, until thickened to your liking for a sauce (you may not need it all). Return the ribs, celery, and mushrooms to the sauce (discard the thyme), and keep warm.

Make the polenta

  • In a 2- to 3-quart saucepan, bring 3 cups water and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer, and then slowly whisk in the polenta and celery seeds. Adjust the heat to medium low, and cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is tender, about 25 minutes, adding more water as needed to keep the polenta loose. Remove from the heat, stir in the goat cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper.


  • Divide the polenta among large shallow bowls or rimmed plates. Top with the ribs, celery, mushrooms, and some sauce. Garnish with the celery leaves and drizzle with a little walnut oil. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Make Ahead Tips

The ribs can be braised up to 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate in their cooking liquid (do not add the cornstarch yet). When ready to serve, reheat the entire dish gently over low heat, then remove the beef and vegetables, add the cornstarch and proceed with the recipe as written.


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