Braised Beef Spare Ribs, Smoked Beef Tongue, Baby Turnips, Charred Escarole, and Burnt Leek
Beef Tongue Brine:
In a large pot, combine the sugar, salts, water, and five spice. Bring to a boil and chill over ice, until the temperature falls below 42°F.
For the Smoked Beef Tongue:
Put the beef tongue in a non-reactive container and cover with Brine. Refrigerate and brine overnight, up to 36 hours. In a large pot, combine the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, water, and salt. Remove tongue from the Brine, add to the pot, and bring to a simmer. Cook the tongue on low for 4 hours, until soft to the touch. Cool the tongue in the cooking liquid. Once cool, prepare a cold smoker with hickory wood chips. Cold smoke tongue for 1 hour. Dice into 1/8-inch cubes.
For the Braised Beef Spare Ribs:
Preheat oven to 225°F. Season ribs heavily with salt and pepper. In a wide-bottomed pot, heat the oil on high and sear ribs, until brown on all sides. Remove from pot and transfer to a roasting pan. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, until caramelized. Add tomato paste and cook 2 minutes more. Deglaze with red wine and pour in water. Pour liquid and vegetables over the ribs in the roasting pan. Add thyme and cover with aluminum foil. Braise for 3 hours, until ribs fall off the bone. Cool ribs in braising liquid.
For the Baby Turnips:
Preheat oven to 225°F. Put turnips in a roasting pan and cover with bacon fat. Cover with aluminum foil, put in the oven, and confit for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in the fat. Once cool, remove turnips from fat, reserving fat for later use.
For the Burnt Leek Paste:
Preheat oven to 450°F. Clean leek tops and set aside to dry. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of oil, season with salt and pepper, and transfer to roasting tray. Roast the leek tops for 30 minutes or until burnt—there shouldn’t been any green remaining. Dry for 20 minutes and transfer to a blender. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in remaining oil to form a thick paste.
Prepare a grill. Remove darker green parts of the leaves and stems from the escarole. Wash leaves in cold water and set on towels to dry. Once dried, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and lightly grill until edges of leaves start to char.
To Assemble and Serve:
Gently reheat Braised Beef Spare Ribs in the braising liquid. In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat on medium-high and sauté Baby Turnips and Smoked Beef Tongue, until caramelized. Add Charred Escarole to the pan and season with salt. Squirt with lemon juice and sprinkle in some parsley. Using a paint brush, paint some Burnt Leek Paste on the side of a bowl. Plate vegetable-beef tongue mixture in the center of the bowl. Perch a Braised Beef Spare Rib on top and spoon reserved braising liquid over top.