Brunch menus are an open invitation to the cost-conscious chef, a dumping ground for the odd bits left over from Friday and Saturday nights… Cooks hate brunch. Brunch is punishment block for the B-Team cooks, or where the farm team of recent dishwashers learn their chops.
There are those chefs who hate brunch. They hate the short turn from a Saturday night into the pre-sunrise hours. They hate what they perceive as the low brow nature of breakfast. They hate cooking eggs.
They probably hate making people happy.
I am not one of them. The short turn is a drag, yes, but I have always loved brunch. Loved eating brunch out. Loved cooking brunch at home. Loved the sleepy conviviality and languid hours hazing into an afternoon of freshly squeezed screwdrivers or my dad’s bloody mary’s. And as a chef, I love sharing these with my guests. I love the opportunity to play with composition, to be a bit less serious, get off the grid and outside the usual paradigm.
And play to a chef is just as fundamentally important as it is to any child. Far from drudgery, brunch to me is a big stack of Lego’s or a chance to build dirt forts for Star Wars toys. And it’s as much a pipeline to Proust’s Madeilleines as any formal degustation. So yes, let it be said that I play with my food- after all, I love brunch.
Braised Beef Short Rib Hash
FOR THE SHORT RIBS
- 2 pounds boneless beef short rib, a.k.a. “chuck flap”
- 2 onions
- 1/2 head celery
- 2 large carrots
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups red wine
- Qt. brown stock
- aromatics- thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, garlic cloves: whatever
For the Hash
- 2 potatoes, diced & roasted
- 1 onion, julienned and carmelized
- Hollandaise sauce, b/c life is short
- put an egg on it!
- Season the short ribs liberally with salt and pepper. In a ripping hot cast iron pan sear all sides to a mahogany brown. Remove to a roasting dish.
- Clean, peel and rough cut onions, carrots and celery. Caramelize in the skillet, deglazing with red wine.
- Add mirepoix mixture to the short ribs, add brown stock and aromatics. Cover and roast 4 hrs at 350f.
- Allow short ribs to cool overnight, preferably in their own liquid.
- Pull short ribs apart into stringy components.
- In a hot skillet, crisp potatoes in light oil. Add pulled beef & caramelized onions.
- Season to taste & serve with egg & hollandaise.