Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Syrah braised short ribs with grilled Brown Turkey figs

Chef Mike Shackleford
Trelio restaurant, Clovis

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Short ribs
2 lb. boneless beef short ribs, cut into 4 equal portions
2 cups flour
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1/2 bottle (1 1/2 cups) Syrah or other red wine
1/4 bottle (3/4 cup) port wine
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
3 cups beef stock or broth

1 cup chicken stock or broth
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup dry polenta
1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese
3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese

To serve
8 fresh Brown Turkey figs (or Mission figs)
6 tbsp. butter


For ribs: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Dredge ribs in seasoned flour until evenly coated. Heat a large frying pan or heavy bottomed pot over high heat. Add oil and sear ribs to golden brown on all sides. Remove ribs to a baking pan. Add vegetables to frying pan; sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add wines, bay leaf and thyme; reduce by half. Add beef stock and bring to a boil. Pour braising liquid over ribs and cover with foil. Bake for 5 hours.

For polenta: Combine chicken stock, 1 1/2 cups of the milk and cream in a large pot; heat to a boil. Mix polenta with remaining 1 cup milk and stir into hot liquid. Heat to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 1/2 hours. (Tip: Cooking at too high a temperature may cause the liquid to evaporate too quickly. If this happens, add a little water during the cooking process.) Stir in Gorgonzola and 2 tbsp. of the Parmesan and cook 30 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper; finish with remaining 1 tbsp. Parmesan.

To serve: Cut figs in half; season with salt and pepper and grill. Reheat short ribs in braising liquid. Remove ribs from pan and strain braising liquid; return liquid to pan and bring to a boil. Finish sauce by slowly whisking in cold butter, 1 tbsp. at a time. Season with salt and pepper. Divide polenta and spoon onto each of 4 dinner plates. Arrange a portion of ribs in the center. Pour about 1/4 cup of the braising sauce over. Garnish with grilled fig halves.

Serves 4

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