I lump these two cuts together as they’re both cooked the same way, and both start with about as tough a cut of meat (hard to chew) as there is on a beef. And I like both of them with a rich brown sauce.
4 to 5 Lbs of beef short ribs or ox tails
10 Beef bullion cubes
6 1/2 Cups of water
1/2 Cup rich red wine (burgandy or cab sav)
3 Large garlic cloves
1/2 Cup peanut or vegetable oil
1 Tsp ground cumin
3 Tblsp Wondra flour (or regular flour)
Salt and pepper
Depending upon how many you have to feed, select a couple of fist sized portions off short ribs, or as many as three large chunks of ox tail per portion. There is no meat more flavorful than these two cuts, nor is any of the cuts tougher, so a long time cooking is the preferred method of tenderizing. Heat your oven to 290 degrees. Brown the ribs (ox tails) in a skillet in the oil, remove and drain. Drain the skillet but retain to deglaze later. Place the ribs (ox tails) on a rack in a roasting pan, salt and pepper generously, add an inch or so of water to the bottom of the pan, but not touching the meat. Cover with foil and place in the oven for two and one half to three hours, or until the meat is about to fall from the bone. While the meat is cooking, to make brown sauce, pour four cups of water into a sauce pan and add bullion cubes. Boil until the cubes are melted then keep hot. Add 1/2 cup of wine. Heat your frying pan again and add sliced garlic cloves, carefully brown and don’t burn. Pour the mixture into the frying pan when the garlic is ready and deglaze pan. In a 1/2 cup of water, add a tblsp of Wondra or regular flour and mix until you have a smooth mixture. Add to boiling water. Repeat until the Wondra (or flour) is all incorporated into the boiling water. Boil down until the gravy is nice and thick. You can always thin it with water if it gets too thick. When the ribs (ox tails) are fork tender, serve lathered in brown sauce. Carrots, potatoes, turnips, and any kind of cooked greens compliment this nicely. Enjoy.