Braised Beef Short Ribs & Oxtail with Mashed Rutabagas



Braised Beef Short Ribs & Oxtail with Mashed Rutabagas

Boneless short ribs make perfect, fork-tender individual portions, but they don’t have the same full-bodied flavor as bone-in ribs. So when we braise them, we like to throw some oxtails into the mix. As they cook, the oxtails release gelatin that gives the sauce a satiny, tongue-coating richness and the intense meatiness you get when you braise a bone-in cut. Veal stock is worth seeking out for this dish; you can find it in the freezer section of a well-stocked market. We deliberately wrote this recipe to give you lots of leftover meat. The short ribs freeze beautifully, and the shredded oxtail meat and sauce is wonderful over pasta.

Braised Beef Short Ribs & Oxtail with Mashed Rutabagas


For the short ribs and oxtail:
5 lb boneless beef short ribs (ask your butcher for a 2-inch cut, portioned into 5 large pieces)
3 lb beef oxtail, cut into 2-inch-thick sections
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
2 celery stalks, cut into large dice
1 large yellow onion, cut into large dice
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups full-bodied red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 qt veal stock or beef broth
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
8 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
Maldon sea salt, for garnish
For the mashed rutabagas:
1 1⁄2 lb rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter


To prepare the short ribs and oxtail: Remove the short ribs and oxtail from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 300°F about 15 minutes before you are ready to begin cooking the ribs.


Pat the short ribs and oxtail dry with paper towels and season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Place a large sauté pan over high heat for 2 to 4 minutes, until the pan begins to smoke. Add the oil and, working in batches to avoid crowding, add the short ribs and sear, turning as needed, until golden brown on all sides. As each batch is ready, transfer to a roasting pan.

Meanwhile, toss the oxtail pieces in the flour, shaking off the excess. When all of the short ribs have been browned, add the oxtail to the pan and sear, turning as needed, until browned on all sides. Add the oxtail to the roasting pan with the short ribs.

Pour off all but 1 to 2 tablespoons excess fat from the pan and return the pan to medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and continue cooking, stirring, for about 2 minutes longer, until the vegetables are nicely caramelized. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring to dislodge any browned bits from the pan bottom, then cook for about 4 minutes, until the wine is reduced by half. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the roasting pan with the beef and add the peppercorns, parsley, thyme, and bay leaf. Tightly cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil.

Place the roasting pan in the oven and braise the beef for 3 to 31/2 hours, until fork-tender. Let the beef cool in the braising liquid, then refrigerate overnight.

The following day, preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the beef from the refrigerator, uncover, and skim off the fat from the surface. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes to reheat slightly.

Meanwhile, begin preparing the mashed rutabagas: In a 3-qt pot, combine the rutabagas, 2 qt water, and 2 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, until very tender (rutabagas take longer to cook than potatoes). Drain well and pass through a food mill or ricer into a medium bowl. Add the butter and 1 teaspoon salt and mix well. Keep warm.

To finish the short ribs and oxtail: While the rutabagas cook, using tongs, transfer the meat from the warm braising liquid to a cutting board. (Leave the oven on.) Trim the short ribs, removing any excess fat. Pick the oxtail meat, discarding the bones.

Strain the braising liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a large, wide pot. Place over medium heat and cook, skimming off any fat as it rises to the surface, until reduced to a sauce consistency that coats the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes if using veal stock or 20 to 30 minutes if using beef broth. Season to taste with kosher salt.

Add the trimmed short ribs and picked oxtail to the reduced sauce in the pot. Reheat over medium heat, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, turning the ribs occasionally in the sauce to moisten and form a glaze.

To serve: Spoon one-fourth of the mashed rutabagas on each individual serving plate. Top each portion with a short rib and spoon some of the sauce with the picked oxtail meat over the top. Garnish with the Maldon salt and serve immediately.