Well, it's been awhile since I've posted anything. Just lazy I guess. Perhaps I was feeling a little uninspired. Who know's?? So, I recently traveled to Denver, CO, (Longmont to be exact) on some business. Some very nice coworkers of mine took me to a place they called "Hipster" food, I chuckled because I knew just what they meant. It's basically modern American, a fusion of different cuisines like Mexican, Italian, or Asian-type dishes, which create modern twists on good ol' classics. The restaurant spot is called The Roost, in Longmont, CO. Very cool indeed, and of course they were kind enough to feature tater tots as a side. Yay! One of my ever-so-friendly coworkers had the appetite to order a Short Rib Sandwich. Wow, that's gonna be good. But what I had envisioned was definitely not what came to the table. It was this GIANT stack of two whole short rib chunks on a beautfiul bun, with lettuce and roasted garlic aioli. My goodness, I gotz to make me that sandwich someday! Well, I did. Check it out...
Prep for the tots and Garlic Aioli:
- 2 large potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 head of garlic
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 Tbls olive oil
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pierce each potato with a fork all over. Lightly oil up each potato, and sprinkle liberally with salt. Place potatoes on a rack in the oven. Cut the papery end of the garlic enough to cut through the tips of the garlic bulbs. Turn garlic cut side up on some foil. Drizzle a little oil on the tip and season with a pinch of salt. Seal the garlic up well with the foil and place on same rack in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 - 60 min. Take potatoes out and let them cool to room temp. Remove garlic and let rest for about 10 min. Squeeze out roasted garlic into a small bowl, and mash up with a fork. Add mayo, some salt and pepper, the white balsamic vinegar, and blend well. Place cooled potatoes and garlic aioli in fridge to cool.
Time to make some Short Ribs!!
- 8 - 12 meaty English cut short ribs on the bone
- 2 large onions diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 large leek, cleaned really well, white and light green parts diced
- 4 - 5 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 1 herb bundle, I prefer fresh thyme, bay leaves and parsley
- 1 1/2 Tbls tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1/2 a bottle of Cab Sauvignon, or other red wine
- 2 - 3 Tbls olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Aleppo pepper, (optional)
Lay the short ribs out on a baking sheet, drizzle with some of the olive oil, and lightly coat the oil all over each rib. Season liberally with salt, pepper and Aleppo (if using). Heat a large, deep, coated cast iron pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in a Tbls of olive oil. Sear the short ribs, taking two separate steps if needed, and brown all sides evenly, about 2 min. per side. The goal is the get them a really deep brown, as much as possible. Place cooked ribs on a plate, loosely covered with foil. If there is excess fat in the pan, remove some with a spoon, or paper towel.
Put onions in the pan, using the steam they create to scrape up the brown bits. Cook, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 3 min. Add leeks, carrots, celery and garlic, and cook until soft, about 5 min. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste, mix well into onion mixture, and cook for about 2 min. Deglaze with the red wine, stirring well to get up any more brown bits. Reduce wine by half, then pour in the beef stock. Bring to a simmer, throw in the herb bundle, and add all of the ribs to the pan, bone side down. The ribs should stick out of the broth by about half. Cover and place in preheated oven set to 350 degrees. Cook for 2 hours.
Remove pan from oven, uncover and take out the ribs from the broth. Place the ribs on a sheet pan, loosely covered. When the pan is a little cooler to handle, strain the broth through a chinois, clean pan and pour strained broth back in top pan. If you see any excess fat, skim it. Take off the bone from each rib, this should be easy since they are super tender, and remove that little piece of silver skin with a knife or your fingers. Place boneless ribs back in the sauce, and give them a toss. Cover and put back in the oven to heat through, for about 20 - 30 min. Keep warm.
Time for tot preparation:
- 2 baked potatoes, (reserved from before)
- 2 tsp AP flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
Take chilled potatoes out of the fridge, and shred them with a cheese grater, The skin of the potato should stay rather intact, but you can dig through the shreds and remove any excess potato skin. Place shreds in a bowl, add all remaining ingredients except oil, and stir lightly with your hands or a spoon. Once mixed, give it a taste. They should be fairly tasty, if not, add some more seasoning of your choice. Salt will be added at the end as well, after you fry them. Using a small cookie scoop, or a spoon, make a small ball with the potato mixture, or shape them with your fingers into that classic barrel shape, if you like. Place balled up potato filling onto a sheet pan. You can do this in advance and chill in the fridge.
Place a heavy pot over medium-high heat, and fill pot with about 2" of oil. NEVER go past halfway up a pot with oil. Heat to about 325 degrees. Place a group of about 8 balls in the oil, and fry until GBD, about 3 min. Take out of the oil, put on a paper towel and season with kosher salt. Place into a warm 225 degree oven, on a cookie rack on top of a baking sheet. Keep warm. Continue the frying process until they are all fried and ready to eat.
Let's put the sandwich together!
Slice the buns, if needed. Toast the buns in a hot pan with a little butter, if you like. Slather on garlic aioli on each half. Put a scoop of the bacon balsamic mushrooms on each bottom bun. Give the short ribs another toss in their sauce, and place two short ribs on top of the mushrooms. Top with cheese and broil each bottom half in the oven to melt, about 3 min. Place shredded lettuce on the top half of each bun, and place on bottom half. Serve with tater tots, and more garlic aioli.