Episode 2: Braising Hell
Wow, what a blast it was working with Foghound. They embraced Supersonic Kitchen without hesitation and invited me into their rock and roll universe! For the members of Foghound, I decided to make a braised short rib sandwich. This sandwich was inspired by a pretty famous sandwich in Philadelphia made with roasted pork, broccoli rabe, and sharp provolone served at DiNic’s inside the Reading Terminal Market. That place is Supersonic approved!
My wife and I love to chow down on braised short ribs, so tender and with such big beef flavor. I decided to make a beefy version of the Italian pork sandwich we’d already come to love. Only hitch was my wife didn’t care for the bitterness of broccoli rabe. I decided to use spinach, which fell flat. Kale stepped in and filled the role nicely, braised in just a bit of olive oil, water, and fresh garlic cloves. I used fresh crusty rolls, and good quality sharp provolone to complete it. Still, something was missing, something lacking. The sandwich needed something to put it over the top, something crunchy. Enter the crispy fried shallots! What a perfect topping for a braised short rib sandwich. Inspired by a conversation I had with Foghound’s drummer Chuck about his love for the same Philadelphia staple, I decided that was the meal I was going to make for Foghound. Here’s the recipe for my Braised Short Rib Sandwich. Have fun with it. Add some hot peppers to the top, spice it up, make it your own. Don’t forget step one, turn on some tunes!!!!
Short Rib Ingredients:
2-3 pounds (depending on the size of the bones)
2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, diced
2 Carrots, diced
2 Celery Stalks, diced
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 sprigs Rosemary
4 sprigs Thyme
4 sprigs Italian flat leaf parsley
1 cup Red Wine (good enough to drink the rest of the bottle!)
2 tbl Tomato Paste
1 cup Beef Stock
2 Bay Leaves
1 bunch fresh Kale, stems removed, leaves torn into 2 inch or so pieces
1 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, peeled, slightly smashed with blade of your knife
Crispy Fried Shallots Ingredients:
3 large Shallots, peeled and sliced in ¼ inch rings
1 tbl Corn Starch, dissolved in a bowl with 1 cup water
1 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. Lightly dredge short ribs on all sides in flour, shake off excess. Season ribs well with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. When oil is nice and hot, add ribs to pan. You want to get a real deep golden brown color on these, a nice crust. Turn ribs to get all sides. When they’re real good and brown, remove from pan and put on to a plate to rest.
Add your onions, carrots, and celery to the pan. Stir ‘em around circle pit style, making sure they’re all coated nicely in the oil and drippings from the ribs. Add a little salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes. Now add your red wine. This is going to smell awesome! Deglaze your pan, scraping the bottom to loosen up any bits of meat, that is all flavor! Let wine reduce for two minutes. Add your beef stock. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, tie your rosemary, thyme, and parsley into bundle with some kitchen twine. Toss into the pan along with the bay leaves and your fresh garlic. I know this may seem unconventional, but I like to keep as much fresh garlic flavor as possible. Give everything a good stir. Put lid on dutch oven, and put in oven on middle rack. LET IT GO. No need to touch this for a while.
Meanwhile, pour a glass of your red wine and play some Foghound jams!
Now clean up your mess. You’re gonna make a new one in a little bit. When you get to the 2 ½ hour mark, it’s time to start working on your kale and crispy fried shallots. Take your sliced shallots and put them into a bowl submerged in the water corn starch mixture. Let them sit while you prepare the kale. Heat a skillet to medium heat with your olive oil. Toss in your whole, slightly smashed garlic cloves. Stir around and let the garlic start to flavor the oil. Pile in your kale. It doesn’t matter if it looks like too much, believe me, it’s gonna wilt and cook down. Salt and pepper real well, and pour in about a ½ cup water. Give everything a good stir. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let kale braise for about 15 minutes. When done, give it a quick taste. Does it need more salt? It’s up to you. Remove from heat and put into a bowl for serving.
Heat about a quarter inch of vegetable oil in a skillet to about 350 degrees, just a tad above medium heat ought a do it. Put your cup of flour in a Tupperware bowl with a tight lid. Season well with salt and pepper. Remove your fried shallots from the corn starch mixture, making sure to shake off any excess liquid. Gently place into hot oil. Have a plate lined with paper towels at the ready. Constantly stir shallots in oil. Again, you’re looking for a deep golden brown, think perfect onion rings. Remove with a slotted spoon as they’re done to paper towel lined plate.
Now it’s time to remove the short ribs from the oven. Remove the lid and rejoice at what you’ve just done! Using tongs, remove all the short ribs, and any bones that may have slid out to a plate to rest. Remove your herb bundle and bay leaves, their tour of duty is over. Place dutch oven over medium heat and bring sauce up to a boil. Whisk all the lovely oils and juices into the sauce until it comes together like gravy. Lower heat to a light boil and let reduce by half. Remove all the bones from the short ribs, they should easily slide right out at this point. Chop the meat into half inch of so pieces, or you can even shred by hand, but they’re probably still too hot for that. Put the rib meat back into the pan with the sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and place into a bowl. Place your oven on broil.
Now it’s time to set up a sandwich station. Place your bowls of ribs, kale, and shallots side by side on the north side of a cutting board. Have your sharp provolone at the ready as well. Line a cookie sheet with foil (ha ha, I do this just to not have to clean the cookie sheet!). Cut open four crusty rolls and place on lined cookie sheet. Layer cut sides with provolone cheese. Place pan under broiler until cheese is melted and edges of roll are nice and toasted. Remove from oven.
Place four cheesed up rolls on the cutting board. Top each with as much or as little beef as you want. This recipe should make up to 6 sandwiches. Top the meat with your braised garlicky kale, and then top each with about 5 to 6 fried crispy shallots. Carefully close up sandwiches, cut in half, and BRAISE SOME HELL!!!!!
Braising Hell Episode Crew
Chef Jeremy Davis
Co-Producer, Camera, Editor
Robert Fireball Mitchell
Additional Video of Foghound Live at Ottobar shot by Tom Kessler