In this installment of the Basta series, as we inch closer to the big pizza/beer throw down, Kelly Whitaker takes us through his process for making one of the most amazing meat dishes I've ever had. A few years ago very few people knew of the cooking method called sous vide, which means, "under vacuum." Now, because of high profile chefs like Thomas Keller, as well as exposure on television and recent books like Modernist Cuisine, most foodies have at least heard of it and some are even buying home models of the immersion circulator you will see in this webisode. What I love is how Kelly adapts this vacuum pressure method and marries it with his traditional wood-fired oven technique to get the best of both worlds, a super tender (like budder) yet still medium rare 48 hour cooked piece of short rib, which is then charred in the oven to create a crisp, caramelized, smokey crust. Notice also the accompanying side dishes, local greens sauteed in pork belly fat, and a super creamy parsnip puree. Lush, memorable, yet simple food!
At the end of this segment we begin the transition, a tease really, towards the beer and pizza challenge between Kelly, Al Henkin (who appears briefly at the end with the beers), and the fabulous micro-brewery, The Bruery. We've been laying the stage for all of this in previous segments, exploring the cooking philosophy behind Basta's rustic yet explosively flavorful food and beverage pairings. In coming segments we'll bring all the pieces together as the Basta team and I challenge The Bruery to create a new beer inspired by our one-of-a-kind pizza. Onward....