Debbie Gold has the Midas touch.
By MARY G. PEPITONE
Special to The Star
The winner of the prestigious Best Chef: Midwest James Beard Foundation Award in 1999 with Michael Smith, Gold has led the American Restaurant to national recognition as its executive chef.
The Chicago native remains true to her Midwestern roots whenever she creates dishes based on seasonal foods from local farmers. Theres nothing like the smell of a kitchen with meat and aromatics braising in the oven, she says. I enjoy braising meat the old-fashioned way, because every step adds character and imparts a depth of flavor, resulting in meat that just falls off the bone.
Gold created the components of this dish using different tastes and textures that balance on the palate. You can taste an earthiness in the meat, a freshness in the broccoli, the sweetness of the garlic and tang of the mustard in the hollandaise sauce, she says.
Diners can enjoy this dish off the tasting menu at the American Restaurant (theamericankc.com and on Facebook) for around $28, or make it at home for a new twist on the traditional Sunday dinner.
Braised Short Ribs, Caramelized Garlic Puree and Broccoli With Mustard Hollandaise Sauce
Makes 10 servings
5 pounds beef short ribs
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch dice
1 pound onions, peeled and quartered
4 ribs celery, cleaned, cut into 2-inch dice
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup stone-ground mustard
1 cup dry white wine, such as a Chardonnay
1 cup brandy
8 cups or 2 (32-ounce) packages low-sodium beef stock
10 cloves garlic, skins on
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Caramelized garlic puree:
30 cloves garlic, skins on
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup low-sodium beef stock
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bunch broccoli, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mustard Hollandaise Sauce:
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon water
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and chilled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Artisanal salt, for serving
To prepare short ribs: Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Season short ribs all over with salt and pepper.
In large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown ribs in batches, searing on all sides. Place ribs into a roasting pan; set aside.
To sauté pan, add carrots, onion and celery, stirring until vegetables caramelize. Coat vegetables with tomato paste, Dijon and stone-ground mustards. Pour white wine and brandy over vegetables, deglazing bottom of pan. Pour contents of sauté pan evenly over ribs. Pour stock over all. Add garlic cloves, bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Cover roasting pan with parchment paper, then cover pan tightly with lid or aluminum foil. Place in oven and braise meat for 4 hours, or until ribs are fork-tender.
Using tongs, carefully remove braised ribs from roasting pan and place onto a clean baking sheet. Pour braising liquid from roasting pan through a chinoise or large food mill, straining liquid into a large bowl. Push vegetables through chinoise or food mill, discarding remnants.
Turn oven down to 200 degrees.
Place ribs back into roasting pan and cover with half of the braising liquid. Cover with parchment paper and lid or aluminum foil and place into oven to keep warm. Pour remaining braising liquid into a large saucepan and reduce over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid thickens slightly. Set aside but keep warm.
To prepare caramelized garlic puree: Place garlic cloves in a dry, cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. While occasionally turning cloves, dry-roast garlic in pan for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cloves turn soft and golden brown with dark brown spots. Transfer cloves to a plate and, when cool enough to handle, remove skins.
Turn heat down to low and pour chicken and beef stocks into cast iron skillet. Add roasted garlic to pan and season with salt. Simmer mixture for 20 minutes. Place into the bowl of a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Transfer contents to a small dish; set aside.
To prepare broccoli: Break broccoli into large florets, with stems that are about 1 inch long. Peel off the outer, thick skin of stem.
Bring a 4-quart pot of water to boil and season with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Add broccoli to water, reduce heat to medium and allow vegetable to become fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove broccoli from water, place in a warmed casserole dish and season with olive oil and remaining salt. Cover tightly with lid.
To prepare the mustard hollandaise sauce: Pour 3 cups water into the bottom of a double boiler and bring water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and maintain a simmer.
Whisk egg yolks and 1 teaspoon water in top of double boiler away from heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until mixture lightens in color. Place top of double boiler back over simmering water and whisk constantly for 5 minutes, or until mixture thickens to the consistency of yogurt.
Remove top of double boiler and, away from heat, slowly add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition. Continue until all butter is incorporated. Occasionally place top of double boiler back over the simmering water so mixture will be warm enough to melt butter. Avoid heating mixture too much, or the sauce will break. Just before serving, whisk in salt, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and Dijon mustard to create a creamy sauce.
To serve: Place a generous tablespoon of hollandaise sauce onto plate and top with broccoli spear. Place short rib onto plate and spoon over reduced braising liquid. Add a small dollop of caramelized garlic puree to the side of rib. For a finishing touch, rib may be seasoned with natural, artisanal salt.
Braised Short Ribs With Caramelized Garlic Puree
Per serving: 429 calories (51 percent from fat), 24 grams total fat (9 grams saturated), 105 milligrams cholesterol, 7 grams carbohydrates, 45 grams protein, 661 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.
Broccoli With Mustard Hollandaise Sauce
Per serving: 182 calories (87 percent from fat), 18 grams total fat (9 grams saturated), 101 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 227 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.