The arrival of cooler weather makes this prime time for preparing a long-simmered beef dish paired with an unusual side of potatoes made with bacon and blue cheese. The following recipes are from Jason Hayden, executive chef at No. VI Chophouse in Novi.
Braised Short Ribs (with Bacon & Blue Cheese Dauphinoise Potatoes)
10 pounds bone-in short ribs cut 2-inches thick
3 cups chopped onions
1-1/2 cups chopped carrots
1-1/2 cups chopped celery
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded
2 cups red wine
1/2 gallon brown veal stock or low-sodium beef broth
2 bay leaves
5 twigs fresh thyme
Season short ribs with salt and pepper and brown on all sides in a hot sauté pan. Remove to a deep baking dish. Add vegetables to the sauté pan and brown. Deglaze with red wine and reduce by half. Add stock and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over ribs and cover tightly with oven-safe plastic wrap and foil.
Bake at 300 degrees for 4 hours or until meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. Carefully remove from the liquid and cool slightly. Meanwhile, strain the liquid through cheesecloth, skim the fat, and return 2 quarts to a saucepan. Reduce to a sauce consistency.
While reducing the stock, trim the bones and fat from the ribs. When the sauce is the right consistency, put the ribs back into the sauce to warm. (The remaining liquid can be reduced and saved for later use. It freezes well.)
Bacon Blue Cheese Dauphinoise Potatoes
3/4 cup double-smoked bacon, diced and rendered
1/2 cup shallots, sliced paper thin
1 quart heavy cream
1 cup egg yolks
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled (or Gorgonzola, Maytag or others)
5 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh, cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Dice bacon and render it until golden brown, add shallots, and sweat until translucent. Combine cream, egg yolks, and garlic in a large bowl and whisk. With a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the potatoes very thinly and immediately add to the cream mixture. Spray a 9-by-13 baking pan and add the mixture. (You probably won’t need to add all the liquid, because the pan shouldn’t be swimming.) Top with reserved Parmesan, wrap with aluminum foil, and bake 1 hour and 25 minutes, or until a knife slides in easily.
For a more elegant look, line the sprayed pan with parchment paper, then spray again, and add the mix. When it’s done, chill it, flip it out like a cake, and cut into individual portions. Reheat before serving.