Half-and-Half Short Ribs with Escarole, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips with Parmigiano

This meal goes way beyond ordinary meat and potatoes. Deep rich flavors are develped in short ribs slowly braised in two wines, veggies and herbs. Prepare a day ahead to serve the next day with potatoes and escarole.


For the Half-and-Half Short Ribs:

  • About 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 6 large beef short ribs, about 14-16 ounces each
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 3-4 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • An herb bundle of parsley and rosemary
  • A few juniper berries (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups ruby port
  • 2 cups Barolo or other dry red wine
  • 1 quart veal or beef stock

For the escarole:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated
  • 2 flat filet anchovies (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 heads escarole, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock

For the roasted garlic potatoes and parsnips:

  • 2 bulbs garlic, ends cut to expose the cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cubed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2-2 cups half-and-half or milk
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


For the Half-and-Half Short Ribs:

Heat the oven to 325ºF.

Heat the oil, three turns of the pan, in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil smokes, add three ribs at a time and deeply brown on all sides before removing to a plate. When all of the meat has been browned, add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, bay, herbs and juniper berries (if using) to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and partially cover. Cook the vegetables for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar. Add the port and wine and reduce by half. Add the stock and settle the meat back into the pot, bone-side up. Cover and roast for 2 1/2-3 hours, until very tender.

Cool the ribs to remove the fat. (Making them a full day-ahead of time is best.)

For extra crispy ribs, remove from the braising liquids and roast in a 400ºF oven on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes.

Strain the skimmed sauce and pour over the meat when you serve.

Alternative: Serve with pickled onions or sautéed red pearl onions and horseradish cream sauce alongside.

For the escarole:

Heat the EVOO over medium heat with crushed garlic. Stir the garlic until light golden and fragrant, then remove. Melt the anchovies, if using, into the garlic-infused oil. Add the onion and cook until tender, 10-12 minutes. Wilt in the greens and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the stock and keep warm at a low simmer.

For the roasted garlic potatoes and parsnips:

Heat the oven to 400ºF.

Dress the garlic bulbs with a drizzle of EVOO and the rosemary sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the bulbs in foil and roast until tender and sweet, 40 minutes. Let cool to handle.

Place the potatoes and parsnips in a pot and cover with water; bring to a boil and cook to tender. Drain and return to the hot pot.

Mash the potatoes with the roasted garlic cloves, salt and pepper, half-and-half or milk and Parmigiano Reggiano.

To hold the potatoes for a long time, set the potato pot into a larger pot with 1 inch of simmering water. Keep the potatoes covered and stir occasionally.

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