Foodbuzz and New Belgium Brewing Company invited me to create a recipe using ‘Fat Tire’ Amber Ale. Okay. Okay. They paid me me to do it (yes I am that easy). But my vice could be your virtue. So read on about my Short Rib Sandwich.
I immediately knew I was going to braise something. Because I have braised meats before in New Belgium products and knew it would be perfect with short ribs.
But I have to give further credit for this recipe to Tom Colicchio and his sandwich shop and cook book, both known as ‘wichcraft. Tom and his crew have made me very aware of sandwiches lately. Suddenly where ever I go I see sandwiches. Sandwiches on blogs, in restaurants and right in front of me on my own plate.
Of course sandwiches have always been all around me, but it’s funny how once you are attuned to something (anything really) you start to become hyper-sensitive to its presence. It’s not that there are any more of them than ever before, but suddenly you are more aware of them.
Which is no surprise when it comes to sandwiches. If you stop and think about how many sandwiches have you had in your life, you might be shocked to see what a dominant presence the humble grinder, dagwood, club, submarine, hero, hoagie really is. You probably had at least one a day from age 6 to 18. Because sandwiches reign supreme in grade school lunch pails.
But even adults reach for a sandwich on a regular basis. Breakfast on the run. Lunch for yourself, or dinner when you really don’t feel like cooking. Because a sandwich can incorporate as many different food groups as you like, conveniently nestled between two slices of bread.
But a sandwich doesn’t have to be relegated to a second tier food group. And as good as that day after Thanksgiving sandwich always is. A sandwich doesn’t have to be thrown together from leftovers. It can incorporate all the same aspects as the best dinner party menu. You can use quality artisanal ingredients that are balanced in the same way you’d plan any great meal. Because every element you slip between those layers of bread can and should work together harmoniously, creating a whole more interesting than its individual parts sometimes.
But what makes a truly harmonious sandwich? Well of course taste. A great sandwich should taste great. But taste is a complicated concept. To keep a sandwich from being boring in the taste department you need variety. But variety doesn’t mean haphazard either, think like a chef. No single flavor should overwhelm any single bite. Along those lines don’t forget about texture. Soft bread or crunchy bread? Well that depends on what’s cradled within that bread. So follow your instincts, you know they’re good!
You can’t talk about sandwiches without talking about size. I have said it before and I’ll say it gain size matters! I don’t know when or where sandwich size got out of hand. But nothing is more ridiculous than a great big behemoth of a sandwich. Sandwiches are meant to be portable. They should be able to be held in your hands, preferably even just one hand. Nobody can (or should) eat a colossal mess of a sandwich that could choke a horse.
Short Rib Sandwich
I think my sandwich, inspired by ‘wichcraft , and using New Belgium ‘Fat Tire” Ale incorporates all these qualities nicely. There are wonderful flavors in the ale-braised meat. It’s made succulent with a slow cooking method and further enhanced with the richness and sharp bite of good cheddar. Speaking of bite. Nothing compliments that fatty full-mouth flavor of beef quite like horseradish. This sandwich uses it liberally. There’s texture too. From the crunch of toasty baguette to the tooth of slightly sour pickled vegetables.
I think it’s a pretty swell little package!
Ale-Braised Short Rib Sandwich with Horseradish & Pickled Vegetables
makes 4 CLICK here for a printable recipe
SERIOUS FUN FOOD
Short Rib Sandwich
What a great way to use these two ingredients together. Will definitely try this. Yumm.
After being away for a few weeks, I’m ready to get back to the farmer’s market and to goodies like this! The delicate flavors of these young veggies are highlighted perfectly with pesto!
I love pesto in all its inventive forms, but this I can tell will take the cake, or the noodle. It sounds divine. There is just something special about green garlic in the spring and I cannot think of a better recipe.
What a flavorful pesto! I’ve made it with arugula countless times and love the sharpness of it… though E sometimes doesn’t share my sentiments. Will have to try this!
is among my all-time favorite ways to go Italian at the table. I too love to mix up the pesto game from time to time, and love what you’ve done here by adding spring onion and arugula to the mix. Awesome! — S
My favorite ones are the Vidalia spring onions we get here sometimes. Best green onions ever! I like that pesto, light and bright. My basil plants are producing now, I will have to try this one out if I can still find those spring onions.
I buy them and then they sit in fridge and wilt before I remember them. They are underestimated in their ability to prop up some pasta. You’re such a propper!
I would love to be eating this pasta dish right now! The color is gorgeous and I can just imagine the flavors are perfection. Beautiful dish!
… more than I love green garlic. Sadly, it seems that, even in New England, the time has passed by. Green garlic and I had a love affair for well over a month this year, and I feel honored it stuck around so long. I was lucky as all hell to find rhubarb this week. Spring’s vegetables are far too fleeting!