This is just a solid, solid dish from Kelly and Andrea. And excuse me from yelling from the cheap seats, because although it was a solid dish, I'm surprised that this was a winning dish on Top Chef. Because this is something I make at home on a normal night.
Ok, ok. I know I sound like a total jerk. It reminds me of when we used to watch the World Cup this past summer. For a few months, all of America pretended like they were huge soccer fans and scream at the TV when someone wouldn't score a goal.
"What's wrong with this guy?" We would shout as we adorned ourselves in garrish red, white and blue star-spangled gear and ridiculous Uncle Sam hat. "How hard is it to just kick it in the net?! Look at how big that thing is!"
So I know. I know. I shouldn't speak poorly of this dish. Because frankly, there is nothing to speak poorly about. Tender, rich braised short rib. Creamy polenta that is always a winner in the DiMicco/Tycher household. Crispy fried shallots. The fresh zing of gremolata. And the most delicious balsamic vinegar sauce that I could drink through a straw.
Solid dish. Like our play in the World Cup this summer. Solid. Is it enough for the wonderful din of vuvuzelas to fill my kitchen as I eat it? Maybe not, but definitely something that I will want to experience over and over again. A great, All-American, meat and potatoes dish with a twist. Like soccer. Because soccer is All-American with a twist, no? It's like... football. Without the pads. Or 300 pound men. Or the hard hitting. But they do run up and down a big field! So that's the same, right? Anyone? Bueller?
Braised Beef Short Rib, Polenta, Shiitake Mushrooms & Gremolata adapted from Top Chef
Braised Beef Short Rib:
4 (10-oz) short ribs
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 Tbl tomato paste
2 cups port
2 qt veal stock
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups polenta
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Sauce with Citrus Gremolata:
Remaining braising liquid
1 cup balsamic vinegar
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup chopped parsley
Roasted Shitake Mushrooms and Pearl Onions:
1 cup pearl onions, peeled
3 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
6 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl fines herbes
2 Tbl balsamic vinegar
Crispy Shallot Salad:
¼ cup whole parsley leaves
¼ cup whole tarragon leaves
¼ cup chervil pluches
¼ cup chive batons
2 shallots, thinly shaved
2 Tbl rice flour
For the Braised Beef Short Rib:
1. Sear short ribs until deep brown. Remove from pan. Add all vegetables and brown well. Add tomato paste and fry until orange in color. Deglaze with port to au sec.
2. Put ribs and vegetable mixture into pressure cooker with veal stock, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Cook in pressure cooker for 1 hour 45 minutes.
3. Allow ribs to cool in liquid if not serving immediately.
For the Chevre Scented Polenta:
1. Bring stock to a boil Add polenta and reduce heat to medium-low. Use whisk and whip polenta. When the polenta has soaked up the stock, taste for consistency. If still undercooked, add an additional 1/4 chicken stock or water to adjust consistency.
2. Fold in grated parmesan. Season with salt and white pepper to finish. Polenta should be creamy and fluffy and hold shape while still being soft.
For the Sauce with Citrus Gremolata:
1. Strain braising liquid (reserve about 2 cups to heat ribs) and reduce liquid by 1/3. Reduce balsamic vinegar by ½ or slightly syrupy. Add about 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction to braising liquid reduction. Season with salt to taste.
2. Chop parsley, garlic, and lemon zest together and add 2 tablespoons to sauce immediately before serving.
For the Roasted Shitake Mushrooms and Pearl Onions:
1. Toss pearl onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic and roast covered at 400-degrees F for about 25 minutes.
2. Sauté shitakes in olive oil until tender. Finish with fines herbes, butter, and roasted pearl onions.
For the Crispy Shallot Salad:
1. Toss shallots in rice flour and fry at 350-degrees F until golden brown. Toss with herbs and a drop of olive oil.
Place polenta in the center of the dish. Top with one short rib. Scatter mushroom and onion mixture around the plate. Sauce right on top of the meat. Garnish with crispy shallot-herb salad.