LA "Food Tour" Lemonade Cafe
This week on my instagram and here on the blog, I'm making recipes, or recreating, some of my favorite things I've eaten on my trips to L.A. over the years. My best friend Desiree and I have been friends since we were little kids and she has lived in the heart of tinsel town for 10 or so plus years! She has a fancy job at a big movie studio and needless to say I live through her when I visit! We have had some seriously fun times and have wined and dined all over town. As a gourmet and a foodie herself, she knows the best spots and has showed me all over.
Today, I'm making a recipe straight from Lemonade Cafe's cookbook. I am making this particular one because I straight up died when I first ate it.
It's a short rib and Mac and cheese sandwich, and boy is it ridiculously tasty. The recipe seems very lengthy and reads like something that will take all day, but I think I only spent a combined 3 hours cooking and not all of that was active time.
All the credit goes to Lemonade and their cookbook is available in their store and on their site. This is just one recipe from them but seriously *all* of them are good and I've made several things from it. The pages of my copy are kind of dirty, haha.Here's the process
Ingredients for the Short Rib Braise:
4-5 lbs of Beef Short Ribs (I used Bone-in)
Neutral Oil, such as canola
1 chopped onion
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 cup of red wine or red wine vinegar ( I used a good red wine and it was next-level)
2 quarts of low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup jarred horse-radish
2 handfuls of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Ciabatta rolls, for sandwich assembly.
Coat a large, heavy dutch oven with oil. Season the short ribs generously with salt. When oil begins to smoke, add half of the short ribs. Brown the tops, bottoms, and sides of each short rib. Transfer to a plate and start the next batch. Take time to really let things brown, about 30 minutes total.
Remove the ribs from the dutch oven and add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic.
Stir until onions become translucent and then add the your balsamic vinegar and red wine. Turn the burner up to high and let the liquid reduce down by about half.
Pour in the chicken stock. Add horse radish and fresh parsley. Put the short ribs back in the pot. Cover and reduce the heat to low on the burner. Let it braise for about 3 1/2 hours. If needed, you can preheat your oven to 300 degrees and let the ribs braise in the oven.
When the short ribs are done, they will slide off the bone or will have already separated from the bone. That means it's perfect. If the ribs are still sticking to the bone and the meat doesn't fall apart easily, let it go longer.
Remove the ribs from the liquid and strain the vegetables from the braising liquid. You can reserve the liquid and make a gravy (delicious) or store the leftover meat in it so that it doesn't dry out in the fridge.
Now the Mac&Cheese...
1lb of elbow macaroni (or cavatappi shells)
1 quart of whole milk
4 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of crumbled bleu cheese. I would say this is optional if you prefer to not have a strong taste of bleu cheese. I love it, but the kiddos might not.
Salt to taste
1/2 TSP of paprika.
Cook pasta until al-dente, usually about 9 minutes in a large pot of boiling water.
Drain and set to the side.
Using the same large pot (I don't like doing dishes), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and constantly stir until you have a thick paste, known as a roux. Stir until roux is smooth. Pour in milk and cook until the milk begins to thicken. Stir frequently with a whisk. Turn off the heat and add all the cheeses by the handfuls. Stir until the cheese sauce is smooth. Add macaroni and stir to coat.
Spread mayonnaise on ciabatta rolls. Option to add steak sauce as well. Layer short rib meat and Mac&Cheese on bun. Slice and enjoy your ugly-delicious sandwich with reckless abandon.