Tuscan beef stew with portabello mushrooms over polenta

The boneless short ribs have a great rich flavor and become tender a bit faster than some other stew-style cuts. I love it with polenta, but you use a mashed potato with some grated romano.


2 tbsp oil

3 lbs beef short ribs, boneless, cut into large cubes (1-2 inches)

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

4 cloves garlic

2 white onions, diced

2 cups salice salentino or other full bodied red wine

5 large portabello mushrooms, cut into 1 inch pieces (bottom stems trimmed)

(option: 2 oz dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated in 1 cup of hot water

2 tbsp spoons tomato paste

1 cup crushed tomatoes

1-2 cups water or beef stock, if you have it

sea salt and pepper

1 tbsp  balsamic vinegar

fresh rosemary



1.     Heat pan, add some oil and brown the beef, add some salt, pepper and some rosemary. Remove beef to bowl, reserving the juices.

2.     in same oil sauté onions, until just tender. Add mushrooms. Stir. cook for about 15 minutes.

3.     add wine, tomato paste and tomatoes.

4.     Add water or beef stock and the beef, porcini mushrooms with liquid, bay leaves and rosemary.

5.     Simmer for about 1 1/2  hours. Stir occasionally and check the heat to be sure the sauce is not sticking. add a little more stock if need. taste. Add more salt and pepper, and little balsamic.

6.     serve over soft polenta. add rosemary sprig for garnish.


4 cups cooked polenta, soft:

2 cups corn meal

6 cups water

1 tsp salt

1/2 – 3/4 cup grated romano (extra for topping)

herbs, dried thyme basil, oregano

method for polenta:

1.     mix water, cornmeal and salt in medium sized sauce pan.

2.     Bring to the boil while stirring with whisk. As it starts to thicken, add the grated romano, and lower the temperature.

3.     Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir. Taste, add more cheese or salt if needed.

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