Apr 2

The Must-Have Kitchen Gadget

Tips & Tricks from the PNE’s Chef, Aaron Jeffs.

Aaron Jeffs weighs in on his top kitchen must-have which happens to be a staple gadget here at the PNE.

A Mandoline or V-Slicer should be in everyone’s kitchen! It’s great for fast meal prep or for those times when you need consistency in your presentation. There are tons of options in the market ranging in price from just a few dollars for a plastic model to several of hundreds for a stainless steel version. With so many options to pick from it can be hard to determine how much you really do need to spend. Jeffs comments that for him personally and for use at the PNE, the more economical units ranging from $20-$40 have worked out perfectly. At the PNE we use ours daily for our classic Scalloped Potatoes (look out for the recipe next month!) and the Sweet Pickled Cucumbers on our Braised Beef Short Rib Sandwich.

The V-Slicer is what we use at the PNE. They’re extremely sharp and will stay sharp for several years so Jeffs recommends to always use the slicing guard, no matter what. Ours are over 4 years old and still have a great edge.  Believe it or not, we got them at The Fair’s MarketPlace!

V-Slicer

V-Slicer from the MarketPlace at The Fair. Pick one up from this year’s MarketPlace at The Fair running August 22 – September 7.

Hoisin Beef sandwich 3sm

The Sweet Pickled Cucumbers on the PNE’s Braised Beef Short Rib Sandwich are cut using our MarketPlace V-Slicer.

The Japanese Mandoline which can be purchased at most Asian grocery stores, is also very sharp and will stay sharp for many years.  The Japanese model is adjustable to allow you to choose your thickness of slice whereas the V-Slicer and many other kinds are not. Again, always use the slicing guard, no matter what.

Mandoline

Japanese Mandoline

Scallopped

Potatoes Gratin (Scalloped Potatoes) being made using a Japanese Mandoline here at the PNE. Check out the recipe next month on our blog!

To make long thin slices of vegetables, and if you don’t have a slicer of any kind, you can always fall back on a handy vegetable peeler!

Pealer

Feb 5

PNE’s Braised Beef Short Rib Sandwich with Sweet Pickled Cucumbers and Sriracha Aioli

Today we’re excited to share with you one of our favourite PNE recipes, designed in-house by the PNE’s catering chef, Aaron Jeffs.

An outing to the Pacific Coliseum for a Vancouver Giants game or concert and you’ll not only enjoy an entertaining evening, but also a succulent and filling BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB sandwich. This classic cool weather recipe not only satisfies that hearty soul food craving, but the aroma of the slow cooked, fall-off-the-bone braised meat will leave your whole house begging for dinner!

This succulent, melt-in-your-mouth sandwich uses a slow cooking method known as braising. Braising is a combination-cooking method that uses both moist and dry heats: typically, the food is first seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot at a lower temperature while sitting in some amount of liquid.

Most braises follow the same basic steps. The food to be braised (meats, vegetables, mushrooms, etc.) is first pan-seared to brown its surface and enhance its flavour. If the food will not produce enough liquid of its own, a small amount of cooking liquid is added to the pot, often water or stock. A classic braise is done with a relatively whole cut of meat, and the braising liquid will cover 2/3 of the product while in the pan. Then the dish is covered and cooked at a very low simmer until the meat becomes so tender that it can be ‘cut’ with just the gentlest of pressure from a fork. Often the cooking liquid is finished to create a sauce or gravy.

Cuts of meats that are good for braising are short ribs, chuck or blade roasts, brisket, shoulder, shank or tail from beef, pork or lamb. Also chicken, game or seafood makes for good braising.

Now, onto the good stuff! Below is the recipe Jeffs’ developed, our sandwich is served on Ciabatta with Sweet Pickled Cucumbers and Sriracha Aioli.

Hoisin Beef sandwich 3sm

BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB ON CIABATTA WITH SWEET PICKLED CUCUMBERS AND SRIRACHA AIOLI

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds beef short ribs or 2 1/2 pounds chuck flat
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10 to 12 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 12 ounces good ale (like Parallel 49’s, Gypsy Tears)
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 6 ciabatta buns
  • Sriracha Aioli (recipe follows)
  • Sweet pickled cucumber (recipe follows)

Directions

Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy pot with a lid on high heat. Brown the ribs on all sides, in batches if necessary. Remove the ribs and pour off all but a couple tablespoons of the rendered fat.

Return the pot to the stove, lower the heat to medium and sauté the garlic and ginger for about 3 minutes. Add the ribs back to the pot. Add the beer and the vinegar. Stir and then cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Pour the hoisin sauce over the ribs, move the pot to the oven, and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Remove ribs from sauce and place on a plate. Let cool about 10-15 minutes so you can handle. Pass the sauce through a mesh strainer and skim off the fat.  Discard the fat and set aside sauce.

Slice, shred with two forks or use your hands to gently break up the beef and remove and discard any bones or excess fat. Mix in some of the reserved sauce.

Divide the hoisin braised beef amongst the 6 warmed ciabatta buns, top with a drizzle or spread of spicy Sriracha aioli and some sweet pickled cucumbers and serve.

SWEET PICKLED CUCUMBERS

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

Directions:

Stir the rice vinegar, sugar and salt together in a saucepan until the sugar and salt have dissolved; bring the mixture almost to a simmer over low heat, but do not boil.

Remove from heat and cool completely.

Pour mixture over sliced cucumbers and marinate at least one hour or up to several days in the refrigerator.

SPICY SRIRACHA AIOLI

Ingredients

For the aioli (you can also substitute 2/3 cup prepared mayonnaise)

  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 rounded teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • About 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce

Directions:

Whisk the yolk, lemon juice and Dijon in a large bowl and continue to whisk while slowly pouring in the oil. Season the aioli with salt, to taste.

To the aioli or mayo base, whisk in the Sriracha sauce.

Store in an air tight container and refrigerate. Should last up to one month.

 

Want a test run of the sandwich before you make it yourself?  Pick one up at the next Vancouver Giants home game from the PNE’s Fresh-Made Sandwiches concession.