Short Rib Chili

Winter isn’t so bad when you a giant bowl of short rib chili served over cheesy polenta…

Short Rib Chili by Nutmeg Nanny

Winter around the O’Neill household involves LOTS of soup, stews and chili. Normally I stick to our favorites – beef barley soup, white bean soup with sausage and kale and of course chili. Our basic chili is delicious but not over the top or super unique. So lucky for you I finally broke down and tried something new. Yeah, I should really swap up my chili making because this bowl of deliciousness was ahhhhhmazing! Especially since I served it over cheesy polenta. Chili and polenta – BFF’s for life!

Now if you have never cooked with short ribs before I guess I should be the one to break the news to you. It’s the most delicious cut of meat ever BUT it’s a little fatty. I know, fat. Bummer. So with that said it does need to be skimmed after it’s time in the oven but it’s all worth it. Trust me, when your sitting on your couch devouring this dish your going to forget all about that time you skimmed fat…


You’re still reading………..right?

Short Rib Chili by Nutmeg Nanny

Now, I was asked to come up with crazy delicious chili for the totally awesome folks at MuirGlen and Bob’s Red Mill. I was thrilled when they asked and there was no way I was going to say no. Seriously, who would say no to making a chili recipe…how weird would that be? If you’re into making chili you should head on over to Facebook and check out the MuirGlen #ChiliRoundup Sweepstakes. You could win a chili kit and a slow cooker! Woot Woot!

Oh and real quick can we talk about this cheesy polenta. This stuff is legit. Like truly legit. On it’s own it’s great but once it’s paired with this chili it becomes even better. I like to think of it like a love story. The polenta is like Samantha from Sixteen candles – lovely and nice. The chili is the hunky hot guy – aka Jake Ryan. When put together we get amazingness in the form of a table top kiss while Thompson Twins serenades you in the background.

Ok, I might have lost most of my readers on that analogy. I really love that movie.

Like a lot.

Short Rib Chili by Nutmeg NannyWant even more chili recipes? Check out all these tasty #ChiliRoundup recipes!


Short Rib Chili

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes


For short rib chili:

  • 3 pounds bone-in short ribs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-1/2 cups beef stock, divided
  • 6 dried pasilla chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped

For cheesy polenta:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup course grain polenta
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces sharp shredded cheese


For short rib chili:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Debone the short ribs leaving large hunks of meat. Heavily salt and pepper the short ribs.

In a large 6 quart dutch oven add the olive oil and set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot add in the short ribs. Only cook a few pieces at a time so you don't crowd the pan. Sear each side until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Set the short ribs aside on a plate.

Once all the meat has been cooked lower the heat to medium low and add in onion. Saute for about 5 minutes until the onion starts to get translucent. Add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer until the garlic starts to get fragrant.

Add in cumin, oregano, cocoa powder and mix. Gently (careful not to burn the garlic) simmer while you prepare the chili/tomato mixture. If you mixture is too dry add just a touch of oil to keep it from burning.

In a high powered blender (I used a Vitamix) add 1/2 cup beef stock, dried chilies and 1 can fire roasted tomatoes. Process on high until completely smooth and there are no dried chili pieces. (If you blender is not high powered simply heat the dried chilies with stock over low heat until they are soft and then continue with directions)

Pour mixture into the pan along with the remaining 2 cups beef stock and remaining can of fire roasted tomatoes. Stir together.

Add ribs back to the pan along with any juices that collected on the plate.

Turn the mixture up to medium high and bring to a boil. Once boiling cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours.

After 3 hours remove the pan from the oven, uncover and remove meat with a pair of tongs. If you see any large pieces of fat remove from the meat and shred the rest of the meat with 2 forks.

You will see a layer of grease (I know it sounds gross but it's happens with fatty meat) so skim off as much as you can*. Add in the meat, stir and add to the stove over medium heat. Gently simmer on the stove until the mixture is warmed.

Serve over cheesy polenta and sprinkle with cilantro.

*Another option is to add in the shredded meat and then let the chili completely cool and store overnight in the refrigerator. The next night when you want to re-heat remove from the refrigerator and uncover. The fat that rose to the top will now be solid. You can simply just skim it off the top. This method is also great because the chili get even a million times more flavorful after it sits. Then re-heat over medium heat until hot and bubbly.

For cheesy polenta:
In a large high sided skillet add water, milk and salt. Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in polenta. Once all the polenta has been added turn the heat down to low and slowly whisk until thick. On my stove this takes about 7 minutes.

Once creamy and cooked remove from heat and stir in pepper, butter and cheese. Serve with chili.

Disclosure: I was provided compensation from General Mills to create this recipe. However, all opinions are 100% my own. 

16 Responses to “Short Rib Chili”

  1. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — January 23, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Talk about comfort food. This bowl looks amazing and would be a wonderful way to warm up in these freezing temperatures. I think I will add this to our weekend menu.

  2. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — January 23, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Dear winter, I am going to laugh in your face with a bowl of this comforting goodness to keep me warm and happy. LOVE the ida of putting chili over polenta Brandy. New life plan.

  3. #
    Happy Valley Chow — January 23, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I absolutely LOVE short ribs, probably one of my favorite cuts of meat when cooked properly. Your chili looks absolutely amazing and I love that you served it on-top of grits, what a fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  4. #
    Dawn — January 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Brandy~must try your recipe soon. Maybe for Super Bowl. Love short ribs, love polenta, viola! Match made in heaven!

  5. #
    Caroline Hurley — January 23, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Brandy…I can’t tell you how much I’m loving this! Short ribs are one of my favorite things and creamy and cheesy soft polenta is my go-to comfort food…and you put them together? It’s like heaven in a bowl! 🙂

  6. #
    Joanne — January 23, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    I’m still stuck on chili over polenta…defintiely going to become a tradition around here!

  7. #
    Shea Goldstein — January 23, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    What an amazing looking bowl of chili. I LOVE the polenta with this!

  8. #
    Liz @ Virtually Homemade — January 24, 2014 at 10:05 am

    That looks nothing short of amazing! I love the cheesy polenta base 🙂

  9. #
    Fifi — January 24, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Wow, love how it looks! I would really like to try polenta this way!

  10. #
    Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories) — January 24, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    I’ve seen short ribs with polenta on menus here and there, but never made anything like it at home. This looks absolutely amazing…definitely going on my must try list.

  11. #
    Wendy | Around My Family Table — January 25, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Why have I never thought to have polenta with my chili?!?! Brilliant! And using short ribs….that must make the chili amazing!

  12. #
    Terra — January 28, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    This recipe is truly gorgeous. My husband and I would go crazy for it, and devour the whole pot full:-) Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

  13. #
    Dee — March 29, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    I am going to attempt to use the sous vide to cook my ribs. Any thoughts on how to adapt this recipe?

    • nutmegnanny replied: — March 30th, 2014 @ 10:17 am

      Hi Dee! I’m honestly not sure how to adapt using sous vide cooking. If anything I would say you could make the base, simmer and then add the ribs near the end so they combine in flavor with the chili. This is all a guess on my part though. If you get it to work out please let me know what you did. I would love hear!


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