What Inspires You?

Today, I had a rare Saturday off of work… the joys of retail life. After cleaning up a major pile of dishes from last night, I visited the Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market. As I walked around, tasting samples and looking at some amazing produce, I made my first purchase. One vendor had one of his candy striped beets sliced open. The concentric rings of red and white were intoxicating. I bought the $2 bundle of organic beets and went along my way. Earlier this week, my friend Jennifer suggested that I try green garlic. After searching booth after booth I found some! I bought a bundle and found some breakfast at Fusion Taco (the best breakfast tacos I’ve ever had!).


Beets and green garic do not a dinner make, so I went to Central Market and bought a single beef short rib, a dish was coming together in my mind.


After a relaxing, then stressful (went swimming with my iPhone 4 in my pocket… for 2 hours!), then relaxing (Apple replaced it! More on that later), I started to cook dinner.


The menu: Coffee Braised short rib, Sous Vide beets, Green Garlic mashed potato, Green Garlic Confit, Micro Broccoli Greens.


Here’s the recipe:

For the Beets:

1 Candy striped beet.

Salt to taste.


For the Potato (and the Green Garlic confit):

2 Russet Potatoes.

6 tblspns Butter.

5 Bulbs green garlic, tops removed and reserved.

1/2 Cup half and half.

Salt to taste.


For the Beef Short Rib

1 Beef Short Rib (English cut).

8 Cups freshly brewed Stumptown Coffee (Yes, it MUST be Stumptown or it won’t work).

1 Tblspn Vegetable Oil.

Salt to taste.



Micro Broccoli Greens.

Green Garlic Chives.


Here’s where it all started…


Remove the tops of the beet (keep them for making braised beet greens later) and slice into 1/4″ slices. Vacuum seal the slices in a single layer. I did not salt these… maybe I should have, but one lovely side product was the bit of liquid exuded by the beets. It was about 1 tablespoon of sweet beet honey, a treat for the cook!


Stick these in the circulator for about an hour at 85 Celsius. This would also be a great time to slice, season, and vacuum bag the potatoes for the mash, I had some left over from last night’s gnocchi. If you’re doing potatoes too, they can swim in the same 85 degree bath, they’ll be tender in an hour or so too!


Now brew some coffee. I used 54 grams of beans to 8 cups water. Save the grounds. Season the rib with salt and rub with the used coffee grounds.


Sear that thing on all sides, then cover with the coffee liquid. #Pressurecookthatshit for about 40 minutes (high pressure) with about 15 minute slow release.


After releasing the pressure, take about half of the braising liquid into a wide shallow pan and reduce to a light syrup consistency. Tate and season.


Toss the butter and garlic bulbs in a pan with a heavy pinch of salt. Cook over low heat turning frequently and basting with butter. Try to minimize coloring on the garlic.






When the garlic is tender, remove them from the butter and reserve. Run your potatoes through a china cap or food mill.


Add the potatoes to the brown garlic butter, mix in the half and half until you have your desired consistency.


Here are the beets as they come out of the circulator.


See that golden liquid- don’t throw it away, tilt your head back and shoot it!


Plating- make a circle of about five beet slices, top with a mound of potato. Tear apart beef rib (removing from bone). Place beef on top of potato. Dress the beef with the coffee reduction and drizzle around the plate. Place three garlic bulbs around plate, sprinkle chopped garlic chives. Top the beef with a tuft of micro greens.


One thought on “What Inspires You?

  1. Nice, Alvin…learned some new things, as I always do at your blog! I did yellow beets last night for dinner, and, like you, they were so beautiful I just wanted to keep them in their original state! Keep up the amazing work!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s