I prepared this over the summer as part of my Top Chef with Teanna series from Season 1, but never got around to blogging about it before the new season picked up. But it really is a phenomenal dish, and although I had to use a flash (it was dark by the time we served it), it still is deserving of a post.
This is a dish from season winner Harold, from the Season 1 Finale episode. Lorraine Bracco was a guest judge, and the chef's were asked to prepare a five-course dinner and pair wines from her vineyard with their dishes. This episode was at the height of Sopranos fame, although it was around that time when David Chase was doing very odd storylines where Tony Soprano did peyote in the dessert with some girl, which is not very mafia-like to me and forever changed the way "Don't Stop Believin'" was viewed forever.
The beef was incredibly tender, and the two different textures of the short ribs and strip loin worked perfectly with one another. The polenta was rich and creamy, but filled with butter and cheese, so I only had a bite, lest I wanted to gain five pounds just from my side dish.
Funny side note: I made this dish for our weekly dinners with our friends Chris and Chelsea while we were all living in DC. Chelsea and I were talking in the kitchen as I was preparing the polenta, and I was so embarrassed when I threw in an entire stick of butter and a whole container of mascarpone cheese. No one should have to witness that. If I'm going to eat that much butter, I'd rather not know about it.
Luckily, the dish was a huge hit, regardless of the butter. Tom Colicchio said in his blog post on the episode that this dish was lick the plate good. And it was. Hands down, this was one of my favorite dishes from the season (although I liked everything from that season, unlike this season). It was very simple dish to make, and one that didn't require me to be in the kitchen for hours.
Oh, and ere is an example of the poorly written Top Chef recipes from seasons past. Luckily, they have changed this and made much more comprehensive recipes.
Duo of Kobe Beef by Harold Dieterle courtesy of Top Chef
5 lbs. Kobe Short Ribs
2 qts. Red Wine
1 qt. Chicken Stock
2 qts. Veal Stock (I subbed beef stock)
2 pc Onions
1 pc Celery
5 pc Fresh Tomatoes
1 cup White Polenta
2 cups Milk
1 cup Cream
½ cup Butter
½ cup Mascarpone Cheese
2 oz. Morels
2 oz. Asparagus Tips Blanched
4 oz. Butter
20 oz. Kobe Strip Loin
Sear the Ribs in a Braising pot till golden brown. Add the vegetables and caramelize. Add the red wine and reduce by ½. Then add the stocks and cover. Braise for 4 hours or until fork tender. Remove the bones, portion into 3 inch cubes. Strain the reduced sauce and place the short rib cubes back in the sauce.
In a sauce pot heat the cream and milk. Whisk in the white polenta. Cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Constantly stirring to avoid lumps. Add the butter and the mascarpone. Season generously.
Heat the butter in a sauce pot, add a little drop of water and emulsifies. Place the morel and poach. Add the asparagus at the last second and season.
Heat a sauté pan with oil and season the Strip loin heavily. Pan roast the beef on both side and place in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from oven baste with butter and cook till med rare. Rest beef for 4 minutes and slice
into 2 oz. pieces.