For over twenty years, La Pastaia has cultivated a loyal following among those with discerning Italian tastes in San Jose. La Pastaia’s menu reflects a commitment to the Italian lifestyle, emphasizing seasonal, contemporary cuisine drawn from the rich, varied regions of Italy and its Mediterranean neighbors while showcasing the best products that the Bay Area has to offer.
Braised Short Ribs with Root Vegetables
For the Short Ribs
4 beef short ribs, cross cut 2″ x 2″
1 large carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, peeled, chopped
500 ml of red wine (1/2 a bottle)
3 bay leaves
1/2 bunch Italian parsley
1 tablespoon peppercorns
3 cups low sodium chicken stock
4–5 tbsp olive oil
1. Season ribs heavily with sea salt on both sides (the entire dish is being seasoned at this point, so don’t be shy with the salt).
2. In a pot, heat the olive oil until it is almost smoking, lower to med-low heat. Sear all four sides of each rib until brown and caramelized. You can do two at a time; just make sure at the end of the day your pot will hold all four ribs. The reason for the searing is to lock in the flavor, render fat and create texture.
3. Remove ribs from pot. If there is too much fat left in the pot, remove half.
4. On med-low heat, sweat the onions, celery and carrot. Add red wine, bay leaf, peppercorns, and parsley; reduce liquid by more than half. Place short ribs back into the pot; add chicken stock (enough to cover ribs). Cover and simmer on low heat for 2 hours.
5. Remove ribs carefully so as not to lose meat from the bones. Pass liquid through vegetables using a food mill or dense colander into a large bowl. Return the liquid to the pot and spoon the fat off the surface. Reduce sauce to desired consistency (we went with a thin gravy).
For the Root Vegetables
1/2 small pumpkin, seeded, meat cut out from shell, cubed
2 fennel bulbs, roughly cut
3 parsnips, peeled, roughly cut
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly cut
1/4 cup sage, chopped
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
sea salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients so that the vegetables are evenly coated. Place all of the vegetables in a roasting pan and cook for about 1 hour in the oven.
To plate the dish, place one rib next to a stack of the roasted vegetables. Ladle a bit of the reduction over the meat. Garnish with chopped parsley and coarse sea salt.