So I’ve been a gypsy for the past three months living with friends and in hotels while my house is finished and haven’t been able to cook; hence no recipe posts and a lot of meals out! This is the last dish I made in my old house so I went out with a bang. Not sure how I came up with this, but I wanted to combine some of my favorite ingredients (runny eggs and mushrooms) with my favorite protein, the beef short rib. Instead of just a simple braise I decided to take it up a notch by smoking the short rib and making a sauce by whipping up a braising liquid and pressure cooking it with a few pieces of the short rib and some fat!
Short rib – one piece per person plus a few small pieces with bones for the braise
Eggs – one per person
1 cup veal or beef stock
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups cooked polenta – cook in same stock used for the braise
1 onion chopped
1 celery stalk chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 tbsp each of fresh thyme and rosemary or you could just add the equivalent in sprigs
1 bottle cheap red wine for poaching
8 oz shimeji mushrooms
1 bundle of Rainbow Chard
S&P and coriander for the rub
S&P to taste
Start by smoking the short rib; ensure you don’t use too much rub or it will distort the taste of the dish. I just used salt, pepper, coriander and a little brown sugar. If you don’t know how to smoke meat then go ahead and stop reading now. If you just don’t have a smoker you could braise it but the dish would be completely different. I used cherry wood and lump charcoal and smoked it at 215 degrees for about 7 hours…the result was pure perfection!
While the short rib is smoking, go ahead and start your braising liquid by cooking the carrot, onion, celery and a few throw away pieces of short rib (including the bones)in a little EVOO until they start to brown. Add in the wine, stock/broth and the herbs and bring to a boil: seal the pressure cooker and cook per your instructions, about 30 – 45 minutes is all you need. If you do not have a pressure cooker just reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2-3 hours.
Next remove the main stem and chop up the Rainbow Chard; cook it with a little S&P and EVOO until tender. I find that cooking it in a deep sauté pan with a lid works best as it retains the moisture, softens up the tough leaves faster, and reduces the chance of you burning it. I also choose to use this variety for the color and the differing (although slight) taste each possesses.
You also want to begin the polenta and the mushrooms about an hour or so before the meat is done. You could really use any mushroom, but I enjoy the shimeji for their light taste, look and ability to absorb the flavors they come in contact with.
Last but not least, you want to poach the eggs in the red wine for about 4 minutes. Bring the wine almost to a boil in medium sized pot and use a ring mold to help keep its shape. Turn off the heat and allow the egg to cook for 4 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon.
To plate the dish, I put ½ a cup of polenta in a large 1 ½ in deep bowl and then layered on a little Rainbow Chard, mushrooms and the meat (take each piece and slice it in half, removing any excess fat). I topped it with the poached egg and a few additional mushrooms for garnish. This dish is obviously very involved, but it was one of the best things I have ever made, that and I have yet to see anything like it on a menu!