I hope everyone is having a bear-tastic summer so far! I’m currently enjoying a beautiful morning in Seattle, popping oysters, listening to Jamiroquai with my shirt off and prepping for another Saturday night dinner. My time in here has been wonderful. I’ve met so many great humans and been exposed to new experiences. There’s a place here where they literally just throw salmon from one person to another, and you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to snatch one (or twenty) out of thin air.
That’s not to say I don’t miss my ol’ white Imperial Beach sands or taco-obsessed cohorts of San Diego, and of course I’m counting the days until The Five Kingdom Alliance gives safety clearance to return to the arms of my sweet Osa and Osito. I hear of the amazing things they are accomplishing together and how they have been welcomed with open arms by the entire San Diego community. It warms by big bear heart and I can’t thank you enough. Well, except for the handful of you hounding Osa for a date...BACK OFF!
It’s just that QARTEL is a serious business with roots deeper than molasses runs thick, and I’ll be Ron Swanson’d before I let them have the upper-hand on ol’ Chef Bear. So I continue to wait it out, putting on epic dinner parties with new friends and exploring the Emerald City. A favorite find in my time here has been Hand of God wines. Based in Seattle but made in Argentina, I have been serving their lineup at my dinners to great response. If you’d like to try some yourself, I’ve worked a deal for ‘Bear’s Necessities’ subscribers. Just visit www.handofgodwines.com and enter cowbearHOG at checkout for a $99 three-pack. You'll be happier than, uh, a bear at Pike Place Market.
Osa and I have been working collectively on menus across all the meals we serve, and I gotta tell ya it feels like old times. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying working with her again. She just makes everything that much better. Together we’ve also been working with Osito on his new summer brunch menu, and I can tell you it’s not to be missed. I’m most excited about his Short Rib Benedict. Here's how he explained it in a postcard he sent me the other day:
“I’ve been told stories about you, Dad, and your love of beef. So I guess I came up with the idea of this dish to feel a little closer to you. When most bearcubs in the neighborwoods were chasing and eating birds and pretty much just being a pain in the porcupine, I would stay up late studying and cooking short ribs, hoping one day if we ever met that we could sit around an open fire, and enjoy some cow by us bears. I'm calling this dish A Dream of My Father ." - Osito
Un Sueno De Mi Padre (A Dream of My Father)
1 five-lb. boneless beef chuck short rib
Green Peppercorn Sauce:
1 tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter, separated
1 tbsp. shallots, diced fine
2 tbsp. brined green peppercorns
2 tbsp. brandy, cognac
2 tsp. all purpose flour
1 cup beef stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
For the Short Ribs:
1. Heat a water bath with the immersion circulator set to 185 F.
2. Dry the short ribs and season liberally with the salt, black pepper, garlic salt, and thyme.
3. Sear the meat in a hot pan with a little oil, until well browned on all sides.
4. Quickly put seared meat in a vacuum-sealed food grade bag and place into preheated water bath.
5. Cook for 16 hours, checking the water level of the bath for water loss due to evaporation. Make sure to maintain a constant water level, always above the food.
6. After 16 hours, carefully remove the bag from the water bath and let cool slightly.
7. While still warm, very carefully remove short ribs (they will want to fall apart), and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, reserving the cooking liquid.
8. Place another piece of parchment to cover the beef, and, using the bottom of a second baking sheet, slowly press downward on the short rib to compress to an even thickness. When you are happy with the size and shape of the short ribs, chill in cooler until completely cold.
9. Portion the short ribs into smaller blocks (or just shred it up). When ready to serve, place meat in pan and cover with reserved cooking liquid. Heat over moderate heat until hot to the touch and delectably falling apart.
For the Green Peppercorn Sauce:
1. Heat olive oil over medium heat, and add 1 tbsp. butter, the shallots and peppercorns. Cook until shallots are soft, about 3 minutes.
2. Move the pan off the heat, and add the brandy. Return to heat and cook for 30 seconds to remove alcohol.
3. Add the flour and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed into a paste.
4. Add the stock and increase the heat to medium-high, stirring constantly to break up the starch in the flour.
5. Reduce the stock by about ⅓ to ½, about 5 minutes total.
6. Add the cream and reduce heat to low, cooking for about 2 minutes more.
7. Turn off the heat, and add the remaining butter, swirling the pan to combine. Season with salt to taste.
Pour the peppercorn sauce over the ribs to your liking, or try serving over crispy potatoes and with a poached egg!