Slow Cooker Short Ribs & Cheesy Polenta

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Short Ribs
3 pounds extra-lean boneless short ribs
3 tsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
2 cups chopped carrots
1 medium fennel bulb, cored and cut into thin wedges (optional)
1 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Cheesy Polenta
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup coarse ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup beef stock
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Short Ribs
1.Prepare a large slow cooker with a removable plastic cooking bag or with nonstick spray
2.Trim short ribs of any excess fat
3.In a large zipper bag add in flour, salt, pepper & boneless short ribs and shake bag to cover the short ribs with flour
4.In a large pan heat olive oil over medium heat
5.Remove short ribs from the zipper bag and shake off any excess flour and add into the pan, making sure to not crowd the pan (I had to work in 3 batches)
6.Sear the short ribs on all sides and then set aside
7.Add meat to the slow cooker
8.Add onions, carrots and fennel (if using) and put on top of meat
9.In a small bowl combine red wine, tomato paste, stock, garlic, rosemary, salt & pepper until combined
10.Pour over meat and veggies
11.Cook on low for 9-10 hours, or high for 4-6 hours, until the meat is tender

Polenta
1.Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan
2.In a small bowl combine cornmeal and beef stock
3.Slowly add cornmeal mixture to boiling water, stirring constantly
4.Cook and stir until mixture returns to a boil
5.Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 25-30 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain a slow boil
6.Add in additional water, or beef stock, if necessary
7.When polenta is thick and creamy stir in cheese until combined

To Serve
1.Spoon polenta (or mashed potatoes or rice) into a shallow bowl (about 1/4 cup) and top with meat and veggies and a little cooking liquid

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