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We Cook! Mill’s Tavern Short Rib Sage Polenta

by Chef Edward Bolus, contributing writer, Mill’s Tavern

Short Rib Sage Polenta (Serves 4):

This Mill’s Tavern recipe features succulent, slow-cooked beef short ribs in a rich red wine sauce, served over a bed of creamy sage polenta. The robust, comforting dish is the ideal meal for a cozy family dinner at home during these chilly spring days! 

Prep Time: 20 minutes.

Cook Time: 3-4 hours for the short ribs; 20-30 minutes for the polenta.

Total Time: Approximately 4-5 hours.

Servings: 4


For the Short Ribs:

  • 4 pounds (lbs.) bone-in beef short ribs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot recommended)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

For the Polenta:

  • 1 cup polenta or yellow cornmeal
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage


Prepare the Short Ribs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. Season the short ribs generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven (or frying pan/stockpot/etc.) over medium-high heat. Brown the short ribs on all sides, working in batches, if necessary. Remove and set aside.
  4. In the same pot, add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  6. Pour in the red wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  7. Stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaves. Return the short ribs to the pot.
  8. Cover the Dutch oven and transfer it to the preheated oven. Cook for 3-4 hours, or until the short ribs are tender and falling off the bone.

Prepare the Polenta:

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a separate saucepan. Gradually whisk in the polenta and salt.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the polenta is thick and creamy, it should take about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the butter, Parmesan cheese, and chopped sage until well combined. Adjust seasoning if necessary.


  1. Remove the short ribs from the Dutch oven and shred the meat using two forks. Discard bones and excess fat.
  2. Serve the shredded short ribs over a bed of creamy sage polenta. Spoon some of the cooking juices from the pot over the top for extra flavor.
  3. Garnish with additional chopped fresh sage and grated Parmesan cheese if desired.


About Executive Chef Edward Bolus and Mill’s Tavern:

mill's tavern recipe

Edward Bolus is the Executive Chef at Mill’s Tavern, a fine dining establishment in a unique urban setting at the foot of historic College Hill, located at 101 North Main Street in Providence, Rhode Island, where he and his team deliver an impressive menu that combines local and seasonal ingredients in innovative and exciting new ways.

Chef Bolus’ knowledge and skills coupled with a passion for improvisation guarantees guests with a noteworthy and elevated dining experience. The Tavern’s fruits and vegetables are harvested from area farms, its chops and steaks are cut daily, and the seafood is always fresh.

Located in the century-old Pilgrim Mill’s Building in Providence, the Mill’s Tavern dining room has rustic brick walls, polished dark woods, vaulted casement ceilings and linen tablecloths that work together to impart a sophisticated yet cozy ambiance. A wood-burning oven—used in much of the cooking–glows cheerily from an open kitchen, where the bustle of busy chefs and food servers lends an energetic vibe. The sleekly designed and fully stocked bar serves a wide array of cocktails and beers, and also offers the opportunity for casual dining.

Additionally, Mills Tavern is known for its extensive and award-winning wine selection and was the recipient of Wine Spectator magazine’s “Award of Excellence” for 10 consecutive years. It was also named the best steakhouse in Rhode Island by Yelp, based on volume and ratings of reviews in 2023.

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