2019 December Honorable Mention Recipe - Sun Dried Tomato Short Ribs with Cheesy Polenta

Amici miei, my friends,

Tis the season for comfort food…long-cook braises that warm up the house and remind us, especially if she isn’t with us, of grandma. I’ve always aspired to cook like all of the grandmas who have taught me over the 30+ years I’ve cooked.

This month’s Bella Sun Luci recipe contest honorable mention winner from chef Gina Bravo is, Chef Richie Says, a tribute to the Northern Italian “nonna”. Nice work chef! You’ll receive a Bella Sun Luci gift box to keep up the creative flow and maybe next year you’ll win the contest! This is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. The directions say to braise the ribs at 325 degrees for 2-2 ½ hours. I recommend 2 ½, with the ribs being bone in…so they fall off the bone.

Also, having “come from” Vicenza (I cooked there professionally two different years), polenta is a specialty of mine. Grandmas taught me how to make it. Chef Richie Says, “polenta takes 45 minutes to an hour to make smooth and creamy”. This is with traditional course corn meal. Now, there are lots of options including instant polenta, but nothing is like the “real thing”, you know, “come fa la nonna”, like grandma makes.

I hope you chefs are creative with your entries to this year’s contest and you perfect the next recipe YOU submit to the Bella Sun Luci recipe contest, happening now! Chef Richie also says: use a few of our products in your recipe, wink, and use a good amount so you’re showcasing the sun dried tomato component of the dish. This might help you win. 

Great job Chef Gina, and now, in the meantime, everybody else, please get cooking and enter your next recipe at www.bellasunluci.com soon! 

Happy cooking and recipe writing! Arrivederci, con amore,

Chef Richie

Sun Dried Tomato Short Ribs with Cheesy Polenta

Short Ribs

  • 3-4 lbs bone in beef short ribs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ cup Bella Sun Luci California Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup Bella San Luci sun dried tomatoes with Italian herbs julienne cut, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine such as Chateau Margene Cabernet Franc
  • 2 cups beef broth

Cheesy Polenta

  • ¼ cup Bella San Luci sun dried tomatoes with Italian herbs julienne cut, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Bella Sun Luci California Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cup milk
  • 2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • ½ cup Fontina cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black or red pepper to taste.


  1. Take beef short ribs out of refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature (30 minutes- 1 hour).
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Mix together salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic power and onion powder. Season meat throughly.
  4. Heat olive oil a Dutch oven over medium high heat and brown short ribs on all sides. Remove meat from Dutch oven and set aside. 
  5. Reduce heat to medium, brown onions about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sun dried tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes more. 
  6. Add wine and Worcestershire sauce and reduce.
  7. Add beef, beef broth and the bay leaf. Cover with lid. Place in preheated oven. 
  8. Cook for 2- 2 1/2 hours or until beef is very tender and easily pulls away from the bone.
  9. Bring chicken broth, milk and salt to boil and reduce to simmer.
  10. Gradually pour polenta into liquid while whisking.
  11. Continue stirring for 15- 20 minutes until mixture has thickened. 
  12. Remove from heat, add sun dried tomatoes, butter, olive oil and cheeses. Season with more salt or pepper if desired. Stir until combined. 
  13. Serve polenta immediately after cooking with the short ribs and some of the cooking liquid from the meat. 


Chef Richie

About Chef Richie

As corporate chef for Bella Sun Luci, Richard "Chef Richie" Hirshen, whose culinary career spans more than 30 years, plays an instrumental role in product development, recipe creation, and cooking demonstrations.

Read Bio