Short Ribs and Oxtail with Gremolata and Green Olives

Short Ribs and Oxtail with Gremolata and Green Olives

Serves 4 to 6

Carefully braised short ribs and oxtails are extremely tender, moist, and so beefy tasting. Long, slow cooking makes the meat soft and keeps the flavorful broth clear; too fast, and the braising liquid will become cloudy. The parsley and orange zest gremolata and green olives provide contrast and balance to the creamy richness of the beef and polenta.

Four two-and-a-half-inch-long kosher-cut short ribs (about 4 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
1 1/4 pounds oxtail, in 4 pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch dice
5 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup medium-dry sherry
2 cups dry red wine
About 4 cups Chicken Stock (page 241) or beef stock, heated
3 thyme sprigs
3 parsley stems
1 bay leaf, broken into pieces
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, broken into pieces and rinsed
Creamy Polenta
1/2 cup green Greek or Sicilian olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
Parsley and Orange Zest Gremolata (recipe

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Bring the meat to room temperature. Have at the
ready a roasting pan large enough to hold the short ribs and oxtails snugly
in a single layer.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a very large cast-iron skillet or
Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the meat. Add the short
ribs to the hot oil, in batches, and brown well all over, about 4 to 5
minutes per side. Transfer to a rack to rest. Add the oxtails to the pan and
brown well all over. Transfer to the rack.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan and heat over medium
heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the
garlic and cook for 5 minutes more, until the vegetables are tender and the
onion is translucent. Add the sherry, scraping up the browned bits, bring to
a boil, and boil until thick and syrupy. Pour in the red wine, bring to a
boil, and reduce until it becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat.

Arrange the short ribs and oxtails in the roasting pan. Add the vegetables
and their cooking liquid, along with enough warm stock to come
three-quarters of the way up the sides of the meat. Add the thyme, parsley
stems, bay leaf, and porcini. Cover with a piece of parchment placed
directly on the meat, then cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.

Place the roasting pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 310°F. Cook for 2
to 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender-check for doneness by
transferring an oxtail and short rib to a cutting board: The meat should be
falling off the bones. If it isn’t, return the meat to the pan, cover with
the parchment and foil, and continue cooking until it is tender. When the
meat is done, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest, uncovered.

Strain the braising liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a saucepan,
pressing on the vegetables with the back of a spoon or spatula to release
all the concentrated flavors. Place the saucepan half on and half off a
burner and bring to a very gentle simmer over medium to medium-low heat,
skimming off the fat that accumulates on the cool side of the pan. Continue
simmering and skimming for 20 minutes, until the liquid is slightly reduced
and no fat remains.

Transfer the short ribs and oxtails to a pot, add a little of the braising
broth, and warm gently over low heat.

Serve the meat on the warm creamy polenta, with more of the braising liquid
spooned over. Garnish with the green olives and gremolata.

Servings: 4

Source: Gourmet