5 lbs – Bone-In Millcreek Farm Short Ribs
Flour for dusting Short ribs (with Salt and Pepper for seasoning)
1 – Medium sweet onion (ideally Walla Walla) – fine chopped
2 – carrots – fine chopped
2 – Celery stalks – fine chopped
1 – Medium fennel bulb – rough chopped
1 – Medium Leek – thinly sliced
2 – Garlic cloves – minced
1oz – tomato paste
15oz – Canned Tomatoes (ideally San Marzano) crushed
3 cups – Cabernet Franc
2-4 cups – Beef Stock – add more if needed to just cover the Short Ribs
1 Sachet (can use green of Leek if you have it) holding 2 bay leaf, 12 or so black peppercorns, 8 sprigs of Thyme tied with cooking twine.
2 cups – Anson Mills Polenta
2 cups – half and half cream
4 cups – chicken stock
6 oz – mild white cheddar - grated
6 oz mixed wild mushrooms (Lobster, Shiitake, Maitake, Oyster, Beech)
3 Royal Trumpet Mushrooms
12 sprigs – Thyme – leaves removed
Salt and Pepper
3 – Sweet Onions (ideally Walla Walla but can use Mayan)
½ cup – Water
8 tablespoons – unsalted butter
1 Sachet (can use green of Leek if you have it) holding 1 bay leaf, 12 or so black peppercorns, 6 sprigs of Thyme tied with cooking twine.
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat in a Dutch over or heavy bottomed large pot with enough canola oil to just coat the bottom of the pan. Coat the short ribs in the seasoned flour and shake off any access. Add immediately to the hot oil (do not let sit with flour) and brown on all sides. Pull the short ribs back out of the Dutch oven and reserve on a plate.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, leeks and fennel to the Dutch oven and sauté until the onions are just translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until just aromatic. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the tomatoes and cook one more minute, mashing the tomatoes to break them up slightly. Add the Cabernet Franc, beef stock and short ribs. Only use enough stock to just cover the ribs. Add the sachet (note: if you use enough kitchen twine to extend out of the Dutch oven or pan it is easy to retrieve after cooking if you tie the other end to a handle) Bring to a simmer and then place in the pre-heated oven for 3 hours. Check to make sure ribs are fork tender. You can also check this at the 2 and 2.5 hour mark to make sure not to overcook.
Remove the sachet. Put ribs on a plate to rest. Blend the braising liquid with an immersion blender to make a sauce. Add 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and stir to melt. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Place ribs back in sauce to continue to rest until ready for plating. The ribs are even better day two.
Heat cream and stock until just about to boil then turn the heat down to a simmer. Slowly add the polenta while whisking rapidly. Turn heat down to medium low, cover and allow the polenta to cook stirring occasionally to ensure it does not stick. Once the polenta is cooked, stir in 2/3 of the cheese. Pour polenta into a greased Pyrex (or similar) dish to settle and top with remaining cheese. Once the polenta has settled, heat in over at 450 until hot and cheese is well melted. Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing into squares and serving.
Cut each mushroom type separately to best show the character of the mushroom. For the Royal Trumpets simply cut in half vertical and then cut X incisions on the flat side. Heat just a bit more olive oil and butter to cover the bottom of a skillet. Sautee each mushroom type separately since their cooking times very. With each add a pinch of the thyme leaves. You may need to add a touch more oil and butter between as the mushrooms absorb a lot. For the Royal Trumpets make sure the pan is screaming hot and sear on the flat side to get a great dark brown almost crust on them. Blend together all the mushrooms except the Royal Trumpets and toss with a little truffle oil, salt and pepper.
Onions Confit –
Slice the onions about ½ inch thickness. Heat the butter and water almost to a boil. Lower the heat to medium low and add the onions and sachet. Cover with parchment paper directly on top of the cooking onions and liquid. Allow to slowly cook for about 2 hours stirring occasionally. They should get soft and sweet, but not brown.
Place 1/6 of the Onion confit in the center of the plate. Top with a square of the polenta just off center. Spoon a layer of the mushroom mixture over the polenta and top with one rib. Drizzle a little of the braising liquid sauce of the rib to fall on the mushrooms and polenta as well. Finish by topping with 1 of the ½ Royal Trumpet Mushrooms flat side up and season with fleur de Sel (or other high quality salt if you don’t have this).