Who doesn’t love the culinary genius that is Thomas Keller? His famed French Laundry restaurant in California’s Napa Valley has long been a bucket list experience for sixth generation James Thomson, Hamish’s son. It takes a little time and patience to prepare over three days, but if you’re looking for the perfect accompaniment for a Best’s Bin No. 0 Shiraz, this is the dish!
1 bottle of Best's Bin No. 0 Shiraz
75 grams carrots, cut into a 2cm dice
75 grams leeks, cut into 2cm dice
75 grams onions, cut into a 2cm dice
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 bouquet garni (ingredients below)
for the bouquet garni
10 Italian parsley sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
Bring the red wine to a simmer in a saucepot over low heat.
Add the mirepoix and bouquet garni. Use a blowtorch to burn off the alcohol. (If you don’t have access to a blowtorch, you can use a barbecue lighter as an alternative.)
Continue to simmer the marinade until the flame from the alcohol goes out; continue until you no longer smell the hot alcohol aroma. Turn off the heat and transfer the marinade to a container lined with a sealable plastic bag and chill completely.
6 pieces boneless short ribs, each 210 grams per portion
Canola oil, for browning meat
700 grams roasted veal stock
700 grams light chicken stock
Freshly cracked pepper
Chives, for garnish
Trim the excess fat from the meat and cut each piece against the grain into approximately six 200-210 gram portions. If you have small boneless short ribs, there is no need to split them in half. Reserve any trimmings to make ground beef. Place the meat in the plastic bag-lined container with the chilled marinade and refrigerate for 12 to 16 hours.
Preheat the oven to 135°C. Remove the meat and the bouquet garni from the marinade. Transfer the marinade (including the mirepoix) into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Clarify the liquid by skimming off the impurities that rise to the top. When thoroughly clarified, the marinade will return to the vibrant colour of the wine. Remove from heat.
Heat ¼ inch of canola oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Season both sides of each piece of meat with salt and dredge in flour, patting off the excess. When the oil is shimmering, add the meat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on all sides. Because of the red wine, when the meat is properly browned it will be dark brown with a purple tint rather the golden brown we’re most familiar with. When all sides have browned, transfer to a paper towel–lined rack.
Pour off the excess oil from the pan, leaving the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan for deglazing. Return to heat and add the clarified marinade. Add the short ribs, veal stock, light chicken stock, and bouquet garni. The meat should be covered with liquid; if it’s not, add more veal and chicken stock as necessary.
Bring the liquid to a simmer on the stove. Cover with a cartouche—a parchment paper lid with a hole in the middle—transfer to the oven, and braise for about 3 hours, or until the meat is so tender that a cake tester slides right through, as if it were butter. (Note that you should use the cake tester todetermine doneness, the time is only a guideline.) Transfer the meat to a ceramic baking dish and carefully pour the cooking liquid over the meat. Cover with the cartouche and let cool; then cover with plastic wrap and let rest overnight in the refrigerator.
Remove the meat from the baking dish and transfer the remaining braising liquid to a saucepot. Bring to a simmer. Strain the liquid through a chinois or sieve, tapping the edge with a spoon to help the liquid through. Discard the remnants of the mirepoix.
Place the meat into a sauté pan. Add a third of the strained braising liquid and add enough light chicken stock to slightly reduce the viscosity, starting with a couple of ounces. Bring the liquid to a simmer, basting the meat and allowing the sauce to glaze it. Reduce until it is a sauce consistency. Finish the sauce with butter for a velvety texture.
700 grams chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
10 grams kosher salt
300 grams polenta
300 grams whole milk
150 grams unsalted butter, cubed
Extra-virgin olive oil, to finish
Combine the stock, garlic, and kosher salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour in the polenta in a stream and cook over low heat, whisking often, for 17 to 20 minutes, until the polenta is quite dry and coats the bottom of the pan. The moisture must evaporate, because it will be replaced with fat; otherwise, the texture could be gummy.
Meanwhile, warm the milk in a small saucepan. Increase the heat under the polenta to medium and stir in butter. Add the milk about one quarter at a time, letting the polenta absorb it each time before adding more. Season to taste with kosher salt if needed. Adjust butter as needed.
Spoon polenta into your serving dish, top with short ribs, and garnish with freshly cracked black pepper, and chives. Can also add parmesan if desired, approximately 100 grams.
Serve asparagus on the side.
1 asparagus bunch
Flaky salt, for garnish
Olive oil, for garnish
Place enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and heat to medium high heat. While the pan is heating, grab the asparagus by the top and middle and begin to snap the ends off. (Note the this removes the woody part of the asparagus, you can use knife if preferred and guesstimate where the woody part ends.) Place in the asparagus and be careful when doing so as the oil can spit. Next salt the asparagus to your desired level and don’t be afraid to taste as you go. Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes, then serve on a separate dish and lightly drizzle oil over the top along with some flaky salt.