Metropolitan Bakery Short Rib Sandwich with Fermented Pickles

Metropolitan Bakery Short Rib Sandwich with Fermented Pickles
This sandwich brings together slow-roasted meat with tangy cheese, caramelized onions and homemade pickles. It’s not quick, but it’s worth the work. If you don’t have time to make your own pickles, store bought koshers work just fine.

3 beef short ribs, boneless (1½ to 2 pounds)
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot peeled, trimmed and cut into small chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 sprig of thyme
1½ cups fruity red wine
2 cups beef stock
1 teaspoon tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Trim short ribs of excess fat and generously season with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in a large braising pan set over medium, brown ribs on all sides. Allow ribs to caramelize. Remove ribs to a separate dish. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of oil from braising pan. Add the vegetables and sauté until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook a minute.
minutes. Add tomato paste and cook a minute. Pour in the red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Place the ribs and stock into the pan and bring to a boil. Cover pan with a tight fitting lid and place into the oven for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until meat is tender.
Remove the ribs to a cutting board and strain the braising liquid into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the liquid has reduced and just coats the back of a spoon. Using a fork, shred the meat and add to the reduced liquid. Cool the ribs and store in the refrigerator until needed or up to 5 days.

​Taleggio Spread
8 ounces Taleggio cheese, rind removed
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon fresh oregano
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 ounces cream cheese, softened

Place Taleggio, cayenne, oregano, black pepper, salt and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cream cheese until smooth. Refrigerate up to one week.

Caramelized Onions
2 large onions
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Cut stem and root ends from onion and slice onion in half. Slice each half into quarter-inch slices crosswise and place in a small sauté pan. Add oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover and cook onions over low heat until caramelized, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Remove pan from heat and stir in vinegar. Cool. Refrigerate up to one week.

Fermented Pickles
4 pounds Kirby cucumbers
6 tablespoons sea salt
8 cups water
1 black tea bag or 2 grape or oak leaves (the tannins will add crispness)
4 stems of dill
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon of pickling spice
1 árbol chili, sliced
8 garlic cloves, peeled

Scrub the cucumbers well under cold water. Submerge them in ice water for one hour to refresh. In a 2 gallon bucket, stir the salt and water together until salt is dissolved. To this brine, add your tannin agent, dill, peppercorns, pickling spice, chili and garlic cloves.  
Strain the cucumbers and add them to the brine. Choose a food storage container with a lid that you can fill halfway with water and that will fit inside the 2 gallon container. Place it over the cucumbers to keep them submerged in the brine.  Cover the entire container with a kitchen towel and secure it with a tie.  
Leave cucumbers in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Check the pickles each day and skim off any foam or mold from the surface.  After 1 week, the cucumbers should be fully fermented (no raw spots and uniformly green). Refrigerate up to 2 months in a container with a tight-fitting lid.   

10 slices sourdough bread
20 slices of fermented pickles
Taleggio spread from above
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

Spread each slice of bread with 2 tablespoons of Taleggio spread.  Divide the shredded rib meat over 5 of the slices evenly. Place 4 slices of pickle over the meat and top with onions. Close each sandwich. 
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place 2 sandwiches in the pan and cook until golden brown. Carefully flip sandwiches and cook until golden brown. The sandwiches can be grilled in a sandwich press if available. 
Remove sandwiches to a cutting board and cool for 2 minutes before slicing and serving. Wipe pan and add more butter and olive oil to cook the remaining sandwiches.