Chef Angelo Elia comes to Snowmass to relax, which means eating and entertaining family and friends. He also recently remodeled a Snowmass Village home with his wife, Denise. Here the Italian-born chef shares two of his favorite recipes for entertaining in his new kitchen. He believes that cooking good food can also build community and help others. Look for him outside the local firehouse June 16 as he joins other chefs in a fundraiser for the Honor Network, a national nonprofit that memorializes those who died in the line of duty, and the Aspen Fire Benevolent Fund.
Braised Beef Short Ribs with Wine and Fig Sauce
5 lbs (3-inch thick cut) bone-in beef short ribs
1 bunch each fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage leaves, chopped
2 tbsp each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bottles cabernet sauvignon
1 yellow onion, medium dice
2 carrots, peeled and medium dice
2 ribs celery, medium dice
3 cloves garlic
4 quarts veal stock
3 bay leaves
Several dry black Mission figs
1. Season ribs liberally with herbs, salt, and pepper. Place in a large nonreactive bowl or deep container and cover with wine. Marinate for 12 hours in refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3. Remove ribs from marinade and place into a braising or deep roasting pan. Scatter onion, carrots, celery, and garlic over ribs. Add the wine from the marinade, stock, bay leaves, and figs. Cover pan with aluminum foil and place in oven for 4 hours.
4. Transfer from oven and allow ribs to rest for 10 minutes before removing bones. Remove rest of sauce and vegetables from pan. Pour fig sauce (see recipe p. 131) over ribs and serve.
Dry Fig Sauce
16 small dry black Mission figs
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tbsp, divided
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
2 cups cabernet sauvignon
2 tsp balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
1 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Cornstarch, if needed
1. Cut figs in half and take off stems.
2. Heat 3 tsp oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent. Add figs and cook for 4 to 6 minutes longer. Add broth, rosemary, bay leaf, and wine. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
3. Boil sauce until it’s reduced and syrupy; add cornstarch, if needed, to thicken. Discard bay leaf and rosemary.
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb fresh porcini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp unsalted butter (optional)
3 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 lb fresh pappardelle
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1. Bring 6 quarts of salted water to boil for pasta.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of the oil. Add half the mushrooms and half the garlic, season to taste, and sauté until mushrooms are lightly browned on both sides. Do not stir porcini or they will break; rather, turn them gently with a spatula.
3. Transfer cooked porcini to a plate and cook as before with remaining oil, porcini, and garlic.
4. Discard excess oil and return porcini to pan. Add butter, if desired, and parsley. Adjust seasoning, add stock, and simmer over medium heat for about 1 minute.
5. Meanwhile, add pappardelle to boiling water and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. As soon as pappardelle is done, drain well and add to sauce over low heat. Add 4 tbsp of cheese and toss gently.
6. Serve immediately, with remaining cheese at table to add according to taste.