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What to serve with short ribs for 25

Annual Christmas party coming up, and I've decided I want to make these short ribs:
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Wondering if I should serve with mashed potatoes, polenta or buttered noodles*. The rest of the menu tentatively includes:
Apps:
mini mac and cheese apps
some sort of dip/crudite/crackers
olives, cured meats

Main:
short ribs
side starch*
pasta/vegetarian entree TBD
roasted buttered mushrooms
salad of winter greens

Dessert
Gingerbread
chocolate something
blood orange tart

Thoughts?

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  1. My first thought was that polenta for 25 will involve a LOT of stirring. Of the remaining two choices, I think the buttered noodles would be the least labor-intensive, so that would be my choice given everything else you have going on.

    1. All of your starches could work. Love them all. I'm partial to polenta and mashed potatoes. For the polenta, you could make it a day ahead, pour it into a sheet pan to set it, and rewarm it gently before serving.

      1. Polenta or orzo or a risotto might be labor intensive, but you can use some of the braising liquid from the short ribs to flavor the dish, which will really make it pop.

        1. My money is on the mashed.
          It mixes well with the sauce, you have a noodle in your app and possible main, and is more "comfort" oriented than the polenta.

          1. Wow, those are some serious short ribs--very special! I'd be all over the polenta option.

            You didn't really ask, but since you offered--are you sure you want mini mac and cheese for your starter? It's the one thing that *maybe* doesn't fit in with your otherwise very nicely rounded menu. Would you like mini caprese cups? I had these at a Christmas party--little bocconcini with grape tomatoes, basil and some balsamic.You could skewer them, even. I think they served them with a small round of bread, too.

            Other thoughts? I wish I was invited! :) Please let us know how the ribs turn out.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kattyeyes

              the mac and cheeses were a special request by a friend, and has now become a bit of a "thing" at the party. So they go in every year, even when they don't fit (and I always make a huge batch of mac and cheese, and freeze half of it for future dinners).