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Almost every brunch menu on the planet features eggs benedict as one of its staple items. And, of course, there are plenty of ways to mix this classic dish up, but one of my favorites is to throw in rich and tender short ribs as the meat. Because we don't often make our way down to Texas (and so that we could whip some up at home next time company comes over), we asked Chef Donnette Hansen, wild game expert and owner of the Rainbow Lodge in Houston to share her recipe with us.
" Sunday Brunch in the South...a bit of decadence...long, healing conversations with no real ending," explains Donnette. "Braised Buffalo short ribs remind me of memorable, slow conversations that get better with time, and jalapeño hollandaise adds that perfect rich Gulf Coast kick to remind you where you are!”
The Rainbow Lodge's Braised Buffalo Short Rib Benedict
1 pound braised buffalo short rib (recipe follows)
1 cup reduced braising liquid
4 slices brioche Texas toast
1 tablespoon butter, softened
8 poached eggs
1 cup baby arugula
1/2 cup jalapeno hollandaise (recipe follows)
In a small saucepan, heat the buffalo and braising liquid and bring to a low simmer. Set aside and keep warm. Brush the brioche with softened butter and toast on a griddle until golden brown. Place toasted brioche into 4 shallow bowls and divide the warm buffalo and sauce over the toast. Top with leaves of baby arugula and 2 eggs (poached to preference). Spoon over jalapeno hollandaise and serve.
Braised Buffalo Shortribs
2 tablespoons canola oil
6 flanken-style buffalo short ribs with bones, cut 2 inches thick (about 4 pounds)*
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, sliced
3 celery ribs, sliced
3 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
4 thyme sprigs
1 quart chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Add them to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned and crusty, about 18 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a deep baking dish in a single layer.
Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the same skillet and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Add the tomato paste, wine, thyme sprigs and chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and cook in the lower third of the oven for 2 to 2.5 hours until the meat is tender but not quite falling apart. Remove from oven, uncover and let come to room temperature. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
Remove short ribs from sauce and separate bones from meat, use a knife to trim any fat or gristle from meat. Shred the meat into medium to large pieces, reserve. Strain braising liquid into a saucepot and heat over medium to high heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half.
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon water
Juice from one lemon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons melted butter
1 jalapeno, roasted, skinned, seeded and minced
Bring 2 cups of water to a simmer in the bottom half of a double boiler. In the top half combine the yolks, water, lemon juice and salt (alternately, you could use a stainless steel mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water). Cook the yolk mixture whisking continuously until the mixture is a pale yellow and slightly thickened. Slowly add the melted butter in a slow steady stream while continually whisking until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. Fold in minced jalapeno and season to taste. Transfer to a small container and keep warm.
* Flanken-style short ribs are cut across the bone rather than along the bone. They usually come in sets of 3 or 4 bones. You should be able to order these at any good grocery meat market.
Above: Chef Donnette Hansen in her kitchen.