For the record, I did enjoy Alex's duck confit. It was delicious and I can understand the merits of serving it that way in certain circumstances. Oddly though it did not actually satisfy my craving for duck confit, it simply became the basis for a very enjoyable duck dish. It was almost too perfect, expertly seasoned instead of slightly salty, fork tender without the meaty chew that comes from an extended curing process, flawlessly sliced, and topped with a gorgeous thin crackling skin. In my mind it was beautiful and slightly wrong, like a supermodel who has been photoshopped to achieve the advertiser's goal of faultless glamour.
Anyway, this week he's working on something different, short ribs on the bone. And simply to prove my contrary nature I have to say that these look amazing, in spite of the fact that they have been ever so slightly altered from nature's presentation. Actually I'm a big fan of Activa and for the most part I like my food to be easy to eat, especially in restaurants. There are just a few visceral dishes, like duck confit, where I prefer a more old fashioned approach. We were shopping in Fairway today, which was a madhouse, and we came across these gorgeous English cut short ribs. They were too beautiful to pass up. Alex had been playing with the idea of a crown roast of turkey, which was abruptly discarded in favor of the beef.
This time Alex got to work immediately. In this case he simply eliminated any sinew and gristle and then bonded two ribs together, creating one superthick short rib for braising. Pictured here in the bag, they need to rest overnight to allow the transglutaminase to activate and we'll begin marinating tomorrow.