Things To Do

Michelle Bernstein Food Network Recap: Meat!

Calling all carnivores! Take note of a local meat dish gaining national attention. Last night, South Florida's chef Michelle Bernstein discussed meat on the Food Network show Meat and Potatoes. Host Rahm Fama focused on "meat on the bone" at three restaurants in different parts of the country.

Fama visited Hank's Fine Steaks in Las Vegas, Soul Fire in Boston, and Michy's in Miami where he tasted a dish so popular that Michelle Bernstein's restaurant gets upward of 500 orders of it each week.

In Las Vegas, Fama saw a rib-eye steak preparation that included a dry rub made of toasted, then ground coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and black and white peppercorns. Toasting the spices releases their essential oils, which flavors the meat. The rub also included ground espresso (!). After covered in the rub and left for at least 48 hours, the steak was put on an 800-degree mesquite grill, where the spice rub forms a crust on the meat. When served at the restaurant, the meat is topped with a Cabernet foie gras butter (butter combined with foie gras and an herb-infused Cabernet wine reduction). Decadent, eh? Well, it is a steak house in Sin City...

Over in Boston, Fama tries baby back ribs prepared with a spice rub that includes New Mexico chili powder, cumin, and brown and white sugar. Once rubbed, the ribs sit overnight before being placed on a carousel-type cooker fueled by green (freshly cut) wood. While rotating, the ribs are sprayed with apple juice. The meat is then served with a variety of sauces from different barbecue-loving regions of the country, including a vinegar-based North Carolina sauce and a sweet sauce made with molasses and citrus.

...Which brings us to South Florida, where David Martinez and Michelle Bernstein's Michy's offers an interesting take on short ribs. The ribs are on Michy's "Plates of Resistance" section of the menu. Fama jokes that you don't need a knife at all for the meat since it is so soft that it falls off the bone. Bernstein cures the ribs in a blend of spices that includes brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, kosher salt, and star anise -- which the chef shares is her favorite spice. "Think mole," Bernstein says of the blend. 

She says the idea is to bathe the meat in the cure overnight, because even though the bones will separate from the meat, "what comes out of the bone is goodness." Later, she sears the meat and looks for carmelization, a nice amount of color on each side. Bernstein adds chopped celery, onions, and carrots to the pan with the meat to cook before adding ginger, jalapeño, and orange zest. She pours in warm veal stock, then puts the pan into a 375-degree oven for three hours.

The short ribs are served with natural jus over a parsnip purée and with spring vegetables on top. Over all that is a sprinkling of gremolata (a mixture of parsley, garlic, and citrus peel). When Fama tastes his meal, he says the meat is very moist, the vegetables are all bright and crunchy, and the gremolata zings because of the citrus peel.

OK, who's hungry? And -- has anybody tried this? -- are the short ribs as good as Fama makes them out to be?

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.