For the short ribs: Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke slightly, place the short ribs in the pot and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast on all sides until well browned, about 15 minutes total. Remove from the pot and reduce the temperature to medium.
Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the same pot and add the celery, carrots and onion and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the wine and raise the heat level to high, bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the rosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine and add the bundle to the pot.
Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the pot and add the beef stock. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the pot and simmer until the meat is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Discard the herbs and skim the excess fat. Continue to cook the vegetables and sauce over medium heat for 20 minutes until reduced to the desired consistency. Put the ribs back in the pot and heat through.
For the polenta: Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and very slowly whisk in the cornmeal polenta, whisking constantly to make sure there are no lumps. Switch to a wooden spoon and add the salt and pepper and simmer, stirring almost constantly, until the polenta thickens, about 30 minutes. When the polenta is thick and difficult to stir, quickly turn off the heat, add the grated cheeses and fold together. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan thoroughly while combining.
For the mission fig glaze: Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepot over low heat and saute the shallots until just translucent, a few minutes. Add the vinegar and herbs and increase the heat to medium-high. Reduce by half, stirring constantly. Add the figs, sugar and wine and further reduce by a third, continuing to stir throughout. Remove from the heat when you have about 3/4 cup liquid remaining. Pour the glaze through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl, discarding the solids.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot or skillet over medium-high heat.
Thoroughly wash the kale and remove the stems. Tear the leaves into large bite-size pieces and dry them, either in a salad spinner or on paper towels.
Drop 5 to 7 pieces of kale in the hot oil and fry until crisp, 60 to 90 seconds. Drain on a wire rack set over paper towels and season with kosher salt while hot. Repeat with the remaining kale until all the pieces are crisp.
To serve, spoon some polenta on each serving plate. Place a hot short rib from the cooking liquid on the polenta and spoon over some of the reduced liquid. Drizzle with the fig glaze. Top with some crispy kale.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Angelo Elia, Executive Chef and Owner, Casa D'Angelo Restaurant, Ft. Lauderdale, FL