Friday, December 31, 2010

Breaking Down a Birthday Menu: Short Ribs and BLTs

Inspiration comes from anywhere.

While eating at Midtown gem, Empire State South, for my birthday lunch my mother-in-law mentioned during the amazing plates we were sharing that sometimes she's perfectly content with a BLT sandwich. Poof. Inspiration.

I thought about how I would elevate such a simple delight into a beginning taste for the meal I was cooking the next day.

Here's the menu I created to celebrate a lot of December birthdays featuring the BLT:

~ Entrée ~

Bacon Laitue Tomate fraîche à l'aïoli

BLT on toast points with fresh aioli

NV Prosecco with St. Germain Elderflower liqueur

~ Salade ~

Légumes marinés avec vinaigrette verte

Pickled vegetables in glass with green aioli dressing

2008 Kingsford Manor Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley

~ Plat Principal ~

Boeuf braisé wagu aux légumes-racines

Wagyu beef short ribs with root vegetable medley

2005 Krutz Family, CA StageCoach Vineyard, Napa Valley

~ Desserts ~

Gateaux d’Anniversaire

Birthday cake!

NV Prosecco with St. Germain Elderflower liqueur


BLT description:

White bread, cut into smaller squares, lightly toasted. Smeared with a fresh homemade aioli. Leftover leaves from cutting and trimming brussel sprouts served as my lettuce. Topped with turkey lean bacon and a tomato slice.

Pickled Vegetables description:

I am always placing fresh cut veggies into a sugar and Heinz white vinegar solution and keeping the mix refrigerated. In the mix were carrots, celery, watermelon radish, cucumbers, really anything. These were given a quick dice and then served mixed with the same aioli I made for the BLT with some added thyme-infused Dijon mustard from France I had.

Main dish description:

Here's how I made the short ribs: trim as much fat as possible from meat beforehand. I seasoned and browned the short rib sides under the broiler for about 10 minutes each side. I then added chicken stock, some mirepoix and a bay leaf to the baking dish (halfway up the side of the meat - not completely) and let it cook at 375 degrees for another 30 minutes. This was then chilled in

the refrigerator overnight. All the fat from the meat comes out and floats to the top of the pan to congeal.

The next morning this is the best way to remove even more fat and is very effective. I remove the meat from the pan and do not use anything left in the baking dish - it's too oily to use. The meat goes into a dutch oven that was also refrigerated overnight with roasted vegetables and a cup or two of broth. The combined ingredients then slow cook for 2 - 3 hours on the stovetop - giving everything time to combine in flavor.

1 comment:

Cecilia Dominic said...

My birthday is in February. Winter birthdays are tough because you're either overshadowed by the holidays or during that time post-holiday that everyone hates. Great menu, but c'mon, for us dessert addicts, we need cake details.

Haven't run into you in a while on Twitter and hope all is well!