Zinfandel Braised Short Ribs with Neeps and Tattie-Cakes

Neeps and tatties are a Scottish favorite I tweeked their presentation by making them into cakes to serve as a base for my red wine braised short ribs.

Zinfandel Braised Short Ribs with Neeps and Tattie-Cakes 

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  • 4 pound individually cut short ribs, about 4‑inches long each
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 slice bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, white and light greenparts washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 (750ml) bottle zinfandel wine
  • 2 cup chicken stock
  • 3 clove garlic, left whole and unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes, about 3/4 lb total
  • 2 medium rutabagas, about ½ lb total
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • vegetable oil


Make the Short Ribs:

Bring the ribs to room temperature and generously sprinkle them with salt. Then preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy bottomed cast iron Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Brown the ribs on all sides about 12 minutes total. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add the chopped bacon to the pot and cook until the fat has rendered about 5 minutes. Add the leeks, onion, carrots, celery and garlic stirring frequently until they are lightly colored. Turn the heat to medium-low and add half of the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Return the ribs to the pot and add the rest of the wine and the chicken stock, peppercorns, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs.

As the liquid slowly comes to a boil skim of any scum that rises to the surface. Once it boils Cover the pot and cook in the oven about 3 hours. The meat should be fork tender and falling off the bone. At this point remove the pot from the oven and let it come to room temperature. Refrigerate the pot over night.

The nest day remove the pot from the refrigerator and peel off all the fat that has jelled on the surface. reheat the pot to just warm and carefully remove the meat and bones, taking care to keep the meat intact. Place the meat on a cutting board and gently lift it off the bones and remove any sinews or fat. Keeping the shape of the meat intact. Place the meat in a baking dish and set aside.

Strain the remaining liquid from the pot into a smaller saucepan, pressing down on the solids to get all the liquid. Add the honey and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and reduce until a thickened smooth consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Prepare the Neeps and Tattie-Cakes:

Using a box grater, or the equivilent sized grating disc on a food processor, grate the potatoes and the rutabagas.

Combine them both in a large bowl. Season with salt and a pinch of white pepper. Toss to combine. Add flour and stir the mixture together well to distribute the flour evenly. Add egg continuing to stir and mix.

In a large saute pan set over medium heat, heat about ¼” deep of vegetable oil.

While the oil heats form the potato mixture into 3‑inch rounds that are about ½‑inch thick. Using a spatula so that the cakes do not fall apart carefully add them to the hot oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and season with more salt. 

To Serve:

Preheat the oven to 325 degress F. Pour the reserved sauce over the rib meat and place the ribs in their baking dish into the oven, uncovered to bake about 20 minutes, or until heated through. Check often and baste several times during the cooking.

This would be the time to start the neep and tattie-cakes frying as described above. Place a warm cake onto an individual low sided serving bowl. Remove the meat from the oven and top each one with 1 or 2 rib sections. Spoon alittle of the sauce into the bowl and garnish as you like. Serve warm.