Coca Cola Braised Beef Shortribs with Polenta and Peas

Deliciously tender braised beef shortribs take a little more forethought than your average dinner but are pretty easy to make since most of the time they're simmering away on their own in the oven

Credit: Catherine Roscoe Barr

Slow cooked beef shortribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and the addition of Coca Cola lends a sweet twist

Braised beef takes a long time to cook, so you may want to save it for a weekend meal, but once you assemble all the ingredients, it’s easy, you just stick it in the oven and forget about it for hours

I’ve had a number of superb braised beef experiences at restaurants lately, from the Brasserie Mystere Dine Out Vancouver event where C Restaurant executive chef Robert Clark made Kronenbourg 1664 beer-braised beef, to the braised beef over polenta I tried at CinCin when celebrity chef Mark McEwan launched his new cookbook, Fabbrica.

I had been looking for a good quality cast iron Dutch oven so I could give my own braised beef a try and found a really nice one with the requisite tight-fitting lid at Winners on clearance for only $25! The making of this meal was my new Dutch oven’s maiden voyage.

The meal was inspired by the braised beef and polenta recipe in my Fabbrica cookbook but mostly made up by me because I wanted to try braising with Coca Cola, which I had heard was delicious, and I took the shortcut of using my Memphis Blues BBQ all-purpose dry rub to season the meat instead of rounding up a number of ingredients.

We had a really great wine with this meal, the Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon from California, availble at BC Liquor for $21.99.

This meal serves 6

Braised Beef Shortribs


  • 6 short ribs, about 1kg
  • Memphis Blues BBQ all-purpose dry rub
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 bulb garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups Coca Cola
  • 2 cups vegetable stock


  1. Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, coat each short rib with rub.
  3. Cook short ribs until browned on each side.
  4. Remove short ribs to Dutch oven and top with pop and stock.
  5. Preheat oven to 300F.
  6. Add another glug of oil to the frying pan and cook onion, carrot and garlic for about 5 minutes, scraping up brown bits left from beef.
  7. Add vegetables to Dutch oven, cover with lid, and cook in oven for about 4 hours, or until meat easily falls off bone.
  8. To serve, remove beef and vegetables with slotted spoon and place on a mound of polenta.



  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In large saucepan, bring stock to boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and slowly stir in cornmeal a little at a time.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until polenta thickens, about 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in butter, salt and pepper.



  • 2 1/2 cups peas
  • 1 tsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In medium saucepan, bring about 4 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add peas and cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Drain and season with butter, salt and pepper.