Monday, July 21, 2014

Smoked Beef Short Rib Hash with Fried Egg & Third Coast Beer

With regards to brunch, Monday mornings are kind of a big deal at our house.  While most of Chicago does their best brunching on Sunday, industry folk usually look to Mondays because, well, we're the ones cooking the eggs on the weekends.  This tradition holds true for Sarah and me and we like our Monday mornings to be pajama clad, leisurely, full of indulgent food and, of course, beer.  It's like a lazy Sunday for the rest of you, just a day later.

Sunday night I smoked beef short ribs.  Fatty, meaty, rich-as-all-get-out beef short ribs.   I got a beautiful slab from the always excellent Louis John Slagel of the always excellent Slagel Family Farms. Clearly I was seduced by the beauty of the product because I bought far too much for Sarah, myself and our two small appetite-d friends who came to dinner (to be fair, I think their appetites were fine - it's mine that's big and only by comparison did it make their's seem small).  Stuff ourselves as we did, at meal's end there was still a lot left and when I went to bed, my mind was already dancing with visions of a short rib infused breakfast.  And so the Smoked Beef Short Rib Hash was born!  

While Sarah made coffee, I rendered the rib meat and pillaged our fridge for hash ingredients.  A plump red pepper, some peppy baby zucchini, Cremini mushrooms and an unassuming Vidalia eyed me from the crisper.  A couple stout Russets and a lively bunch of cilantro completed the pillage.

I'm not sure I can adequately express how good beef fat smells when it is rendered (You'll just have to try this recipe and experience it for yourself!).  Especially from meat that's been smoked.  It's awesome!

And when fresh vegetables and potatoes are cooked in that fat, all the good smell is transformed into good TASTE!

While a dish like this is good and rich and properly excessive, it absolutely requires something to cut the fat and cleanse the palate.

Light and crisp, this beer is perfect for brunch and I'm not ashamed to admit, we drank plenty of it before noon.   Full disclosure:  You might feel a little slow-moving after this meal.  Plan your day accordingly.  

Smoked Beef Short

1/2 lb. short ribs, diced
1/4 lb. fat from short ribs, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
4 small cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 med zucchini, diced or 4 baby zucchini sliced
2 Tbsp. cilantro, picked
1 candy striped beets, shaved thin

Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil.  Once the water is boiling, drop the diced potatoes in for five minutes.  Drain and set aside.

Trim the fat from the beef short ribs and cut into small pieces.  In a large sauté pan add the beef fat and heat on medium until liquified.  There will be crispy bits remaining.  Strain the fat from these bits into a bowl and set aside.
Add 3 Tbsp. of the rendered beef fat back into the pan and increase to high heat.  Once the pan is pre heated, add the onions, peppers, and garlic sauté for six minutes until onions are transparent. Add the zucchini, mushrooms, and all the diced short rib meat. Saute for 7 more minutes.   Add the blanched potatoes and continue to sauté for ten more minutes.

Place another small sauté pan on high and add 1 Tbsp. of beef fat.  Once pan is preheated reduce heat to low and crack an egg into the fat.  Cook to personal preference (I prefer over-easy as the yolk only adds to the decadence of the finished dish). 
Plate hash, top with cooked egg, and garnish with fresh cilantro and shaved beets.

Pairing Notes

Bell's Third Coast Beer
Blonde ale 4.8% ABV

Upon pouring, a hazy golden color and a pure white head become apparent.  The aromatics are of light bread notes with bright floral and citrus hints.  The flavor has cracker like qualities with tones of grapefruit that finish with a dry, crisp, carbonated brightness.  

This is a great brunch/first beverage-of-the-day beer.  The pairing is a wonderful bridging because when combined, the individual ingredients only strengthen and balance each other.  The citrus and floral notes act as a great counterpart to lighten the intensity of the hash.  While the starchy potatoes and rich meat add body back to hoppy floral beer.   Additionally, the bright, dry crispness works well to cut the fatty richness of the short ribs.


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