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short ribs on a white plate sprinkled with carrots and parsley
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5 from 7 votes

Braised Short Ribs (No Wine!) with Creamy Polenta

This gluten free recipe is a perfect family meal for fall. The non alcoholic sauce is rich and flavorful, even without wine or vinegar. See options to make this meal whole30.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 689kcal
Author: Alicia


Non-Alcoholic Short Ribs

  • 3 lbs bone-in beef short ribs You can get your butcher to make these for you. If they're on the small or fatty side, I'd recommend getting more pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large shallots chopped
  • ½ cup carrots chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup organic apple juice no additives
  • 2 cups stock or broth can be homemade or clean store bought

Creamy Polenta

  • 1 cups milk
  • 2 cups broth or stock
  • 1 cup polenta I used Bob's Red Mill
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese I like Vermont Creamery, but you could also use a clean cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste


  • Pull short ribs out at least 10 minutes before you intend to start cooking and season them with kosher salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a heavy dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat on med-high for a minute or two. Sear about 1 minute per side on all sides of your short ribs, until they're nice and brown. You may need to do this in two batches so you don't crowd your pan. If you put too many in at one time, they won't brown nicely.
  • Remove short ribs from dutch oven and set aside. Pour out any excess oil so only around 1 tablespoon remains. Add shallots and carrots and saute for a minute or two, till soft. Then add garlic, brown sugar, and thyme. 
  • Return the short ribs to the pot and pour in apple juice and stock/broth. Bring everything to a boil and then cover with a sturdy lid or tight foil and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 2 to 2 ½ hours. These can also be left longer if needed. It's tough to ruin short ribs.
  • FOR THE POLENTA: 10 minutes before you pull out the short ribs, bring the milk and broth/stock for the polenta to a boil in a medium pan. Slowly whisk in the polenta a little bit at a time and continue whisking as it slowly thickens - about 15-20 minutes. You want it to be a mild simmer while you whisk, not a boil, so you may need to adjust your heat accordingly. Keep warm until ready to serve. If it gets too thick, you can add a little water, broth, or milk to thin out.
  • Pull the short ribs out of the pot and skim any excess fat off the top of the liquid mixture. Simmer the liquid 5-10 minutes until thickened if it hasn't already thickened up. Then return the short ribs to the pot and coat with sauce.
  • Stir the mascarpone and butter into the polenta and season with salt and pepper. Serve the short ribs on top of the polenta with a little sauce.


  • Pulling the short ribs out a little earlier to take the chill off will help them to sear better. 
  • To make these short ribs Whole30 compliant, simply omit the sugar and honey.
  • Calorie count contains the polenta and short ribs. 


Serving: 12oz | Calories: 689kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 675mg | Potassium: 1196mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 3123IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 7mg