Time is winding down on the Chefs Recipe Challenge as we know it. We have two more recipes to tackle, the first of which is Sloppy Joe's Sandwich.
To translate the impetus for the Manwich into a gourmet dish, chef Robert Black was tapped. The corporate chef for A Good Egg Dining Group was more than man enough for the challenge. He arrived to the test kitchen at Culinary Kitchen, 7302 N Western Ave., armed with short ribs and the recipe to Sloppy Joe's into Sloppy Joseph's.
And why not? When one is tasked with overseeing operations at Red Prime Steak, Cheever's Cafe, Tucker's Onion Burgers, Iron Starr Urban Barbecue, and Republic Gastropub while planning for Tucker's No. 2 and new concept at SandRidge Energy that will be open to the public, a mere Sloppy Joe sandwich seems a small a task.
But small is not the way of chef Black, who perfected his skills as an apprentice at The Coach House and following up at the original Iguana Lounge and cementing his reputation as the original chef at The Museum Cafe.
Chef Black is a Chile-head who loves to combine his chef skills with slow-cooked comfort foods, making him the right man to come up with a recipe that will have those expecting Sloppy Joe's to sing “Sloppy Joe's, Slop-Sloppy Joe's” by the end of dinner.
To bolster his recipe, chef Black used hamburger buns from Prairie Thunder Baking Company — just like those used at Tucker's. Then he braised short ribs whole to ensure the result would be tender but not stringy. His sauce is a classic combination of ingredients with some Southwest influence.
To accompany this version, he showed us how to make homemade fried pickles. In a word: Wow. The recipe is simple and the result will knock the socks off your feet, into the washer, set it properly, cycle them through and deliver them to the dryer without losing one.
The final Chefs Recipe Challenge before a reformatting will be meatloaf. The chef to translate the recipe into a work of art will be Sam Fitch, who runs the catering operation for Rococo Restaurant and Fine Wine. Chef Fitch will demonstrate his mad meatloaf-making skills in May at the Culinary Kitchen. The date will be announced next Wednesday. To attend, call 475-3155 or email dcathey@
Sloppy Joe's with pickle chips
2 pounds whole short ribs
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups mirepoix (Includes 1 cup diced onion, ½ cup diced carrot, ½ cup diced celery)
1 cup red wine
1 cup veal demi glace (substitute beef broth)
1 cup chicken broth
8 ounces onion
8 ounces celery
8 ounces red pepper
2 tablespoons oil (for sautéing)
32 ounces canned tomato
2 ounces minced garlic
8 ounces ketchup
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
40 sliced pickle chips
12 ounces Shiner Bock beer
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh black pepper
½ cup water
4 cups vegetable oil or shortening
6 premium hamburger buns
1 pound grated Fontina cheese