It’s not usual to find a dish that packs a punch in terms of flavor and general bad-ass-ness as well as being refined, delicate and refined. I am proud to say that this here is one such dish. I’ve recently become enamored with beef short ribs as a choice cut for long-term braises; all of sweet, juicy, fatty and tasty the meat comes out super-decadent. These tortellini were braised with some beef speck for smokiness, and some vegetables aromatics and a whole bunch of wine, stock and cognac. That braising liquid was then reduced for about 45 minutes skimmed for fat, creamed up, and brightened up with verjuice, mamma mia! Recipe below.
Makes about 25-30 tortellini
For the mushrooms:
200g of sliced button mushrooms or chantrelles, cooked in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper until nice and brown, reserved and kept warm until plating
For the pasta, follow this guide, you’ll need about 400g of fresh pasta rolled out to the thinnest setting on the pasta machine.
For the braise:
About 1kg of short ribs
50g of good quality speck cubed like lardons
2 cups of red wine
2 cups of good quality stock
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 celery stick , chopped
1 sprig of rosemary
1 sprig of thyme
1 tbsp of butter
1/4 cup of cognac
1/2 shot of verjuice
100ml of heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat some olive oil and brown the ribs on all sides on a high heat, for about 15 minutes, until nice and browned all over. Then lower the heat to medium high, add the butter, and cook the vegetables until soft with the speck, about 3-5minutes. De-glaze the pan with the cognac, and one almost fully evaporated, return the ribs, add the liquids and pour in water until the ribs are at least 3/4 covered by braising liquids. Toss in the herbs, and bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook covered for at least 2 1/2 hours until the ribs are super soft.
Strain out the ribs and vegetables and put the liquids in a large pan, reduce the sauce on a high heat until it becomes thick, at least 30 minutes. If the sauce becomes very fatty, remove the fat using any method here. Whisk in the verjuice, the cream and adjust the seasoning as required.
While the sauce reduces, remove and discard the following from the meat braise: the bones, the garlic, the herb stems and the tough tendons and gristle from the short ribs, then using a knife, chop up all the meat with the speck and the vegetables until uniform, then season with salt and pepper.
Now the tortellinis are ready for assembly, cook in salted boiling water until they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon and plate with a generous portion of the sauce, a tablespoon of the mushroom and a whole lot of Parmesan. Feel free to add a couple drops of truffle oil. Enjoy!