In the US, we have such television BBQ and grilling personalities as Bobby Flay, Tuffy Stone, and Myron Mixon, while in South America they have Argentinian grill master Francis Mallmann.
Nearly six years after the debut of his immensely popular cookbook Seven Fires (Artisan Books, 2009) comes Mallmann's latest ode to live fire cooking -- Mallmann on Fire (Artisan Books, 2014) in which he offers up 100 mouth watering recipes. Throughout the book, Mallmann takes readers on a journey across the world as he cooks his way through the streets of Manhattan, mountaintops, beaches, snowy tundra, and so on, creating recipes that are inspired by his surroundings and take advantage of the local cooking techniques and ingredients.
Today, Mallmann shares a recipe he created and cooked on the crowded streets of Brooklyn -- beef short ribs grilled as only a true master griller can as they are seasoned simply with salt and pepper, grilled to a perfect medium-rare on a chapa (or plancha, or flat top griddle that sits directly above the fire), then served with a charred endive salad designed to cut through the richness of the meat.
The result is sheer short rib perfection; a dish with just the right balance of fatty beef, tangy vinegar, and bitter greens!
In Europe and America, short ribs are most often braised until the meat is very soft and falls off the bone at the slightest touch. Argentines like them grilled and more chewy but still well-done, with a salty, crunchy crust. I like the crust but I prefer my ribs medium-rare, which is quite easy to achieve on a chapa. Argentine cooks prefer cross-cut ribs, but when cut English style, the ribs make a dramatic carnivorous statement. When I prepared these in Bushwick, Brooklyn, in front of the popular restaurant Roberta’s, I dressed some endive leaves with vinaigrette and threw them on the very hot griddle for a minute so that they softened a bit. The bitter green was as piquant as Patagonian chimichurri and cut the fattiness of the meat perfectly. - Francis Mallmann
GRILLED SHORT RIBS WITH VINEGAR-GLAZED CHARRED ENDIVE
(from Mallmann on Fire, Francis Mallmann and Artisan Books)
4 pounds English-cut beef short ribs, trimmed of tough pieces of fell (papery membrane) and excess fat
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, plus more for serving
1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 endives, leaves separated
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1. Heat a chapa or a large cast-iron griddle over medium-high heat. Pat the short ribs completely dry with paper towels. Season them on one side with salt and pepper. Place seasoned side down on the hot surface and cook, without moving the ribs, for about 8 minutes, or until a crunchy brown crust forms on the bottom. Sprinkle the other side with salt and pepper, turn, and brown, basting the tops with a bit of the fat if they look dry at any time. If there is a lot of fat, mop most of it up with paper towels—you want the ribs to sear, not fry.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together the mustard and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar in a large bowl, then gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the endive and toss to coat with the dressing.
3. When the ribs are browned on all sides, check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. If they are not yet at 140°F, move them to a cooler part of the chapa (or lower the heat under the griddle) and continue cooking them, turning every 5 minutes or so and checking the temperature, until they are done. Transfer them to a platter.
4. Deglaze the hot cooking surface with the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, scraping up the bits of beef and caramelized juices. If using a griddle, raise the heat to very high. Arrange the endive leaves rounded side up on the hot surface and cook for several minutes, until nicely charred. Use one or two wide spatulas to scrape up the endive and any remaining deglazing liquid and transfer to the platter with the ribs. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with mustard on the side.
Recipe Courtesy of "Mallmann on Fire" by Francis Mallman (Artisan, 2014)