A few weeks ago we attended an event that featured Maryland Chefs working with Maryland Farmers to produce some pretty incredible food. The Eat Local Movement is big, and we're glad to say it’s made an impact on how we eat. Jerry is one to shop local every chance he gets, and he enjoyed meeting one of the chefs who did very well in the competition that was part of the event. Chef Therese Harding works with Classic Catering People, and she is all about local ingredients.
What she cooked that won her 2nd Place: beef short ribs in Barolo sauce, fresh corn polenta, tomato marmelade, and arugula pesto crustini. The short ribs came from Evermore Farms and Albright Farms, two renowned local beef producers. Veggies originate with One Straw Farm, Maryland's leading organic operation.
Here is a recipe for the short ribs that the Chef sent along:
Autumn Smoked, Slow Braised Short Ribs with Barolo Sauce
The first step is to soak the ribs in a flavorful brine.
For the Brine
2 ½ cups of water
½ cup Kosher salt
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon Juniper berries
1 Bay leaf
6 shorts ribs, about 8 pounds
In a medium sauce pan, add all ingredients and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Cover short ribs in brine and let sit for 3 hours.
For Short Ribs and Barolo Sauce
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups yellow onion, diced
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
½ cup celery, diced
1 16 ounce can of peeled tomato, crushed by hand
2 cups Barolo or full bodied red wine
3 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon oregano leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1. Pre heat oven to 300 degrees. Heat a large oven proof sauce pan or roasting pan on top of the stove to medium high. Heat oil, add short ribs and cook until caramelized on one side and turn.
2. Add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté vegetable for 15 minutes until they are translucent and meat is seared.
3. Add wine and cook on medium high heat to reduce and burn off alcohol. Add chicken stock, canned tomatoes and herbs. Cover pan with aluminum foil and place in oven. Cook ribs for 3-4 hours, until meat is tender and pulls away from the bone.
4. Pass sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a saucepan and reduce over medium heat until thickened, about 15 minutes.
For Pesto di Rucola
2 cups packed arugula
½ cup basil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup Parmesan
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon garlic, mined
sea salt & fresh ground pepper
Add all ingredients to a food processor and chopped until blended. Serve on a crostini.
Fresh Corn Polenta
2 ears fresh corn off the cob
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup polenta
¼ cup cream cheese
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add corn and sauté until it browns at the edges. Then add stock and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and whisk in polenta and cook until thick, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in cheeses and add salt to taste.
1 cup plum tomatoes, diced and seeded
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup shallots, diced
1 tablespoon balsamic syrup
¼ cup pepperdews, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 310 degrees. In a small bowl, toss plum tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and brown sugar. In a separate small bowl, toss shallots with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
2. On a sheet pan, slowly roast the tomatoes for 40 minutes. On a separate sheet plan, slowly roast the shallots for 30 minutes. The vegetables should be translucent when finished.
3. Cool vegetables to room temperature. Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic syrup to the shallots. Combine the shallots and tomatoes, season with pepperdews, salt and pepper to taste.
To make Balsamic Syrup, makes 1/3 cup - 1-cup balsamic vinegar
Pour vinegar into a small, heavy, non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce by 1/3, about 14 minutes. Cool in the pan. Pour into a small glass jar, cover and store at room temperature.
Start with a layer of polenta on the plate. Place a serving of ribs on top. Add your desired amount of sauce. Finish with a side serving of Pesto di Ricola and Tomato Marmalad.