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"Braised beef chuck with a mushroom, pearl onion brown sauce, served with creepy larva shaped gnocchi, paired with roasted cauliflower brain smothered in a tangy, spicy aioli roasted carrot serpents with fiery jalapeño tongues"



Dijon Garlic Aioli

1 cup mayonnaise 

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon minced, garlic

Sriracha sauce, to-taste


Roasted Cauliflower

1 medium sized cauliflower


Bacon fat


Braised Beef 

You will need: 7 1/4 quart Dutch oven

with heavy lid, butcher string

3 to 4 pound boneless beef chuck

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

Salt & pepper

2 medium sized, yellow onions, quartered

5 large, garlic cloves lightly crushed 

2 cups beef stock

1/2 cup Madeira wine

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1 Turkish bay leaf 

2 branches fresh thyme (not sprigs)

2 sprigs fresh sage 

Brown Sauce

2 cups braising liquids

2 tablespoons corn starch

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Sautéed Mushroom & Pearl Onions

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 ounces whole, white mushrooms 

8 ounces Pearl onions

Gnocchi Larva

You will need: food scale, potato ricer

2-3 Large Russett potatoes

12 ounces after peeling

1 large egg yolk

3 ounces all purpose flour (weight)

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

3 ounces all purpose flour

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

Gnocchi board

Chinese spider strainer or similar 

6 strips of bacon, uncooked

1/3 cup minced shallot

Salt & pepper




Note:If applying the Sriracha sauce on top of the cauliflower to enhance appearance, omit it from the aioli or it may be too spicy. 


Dijon Garlic Aioli

Add all of the ingredients to a small food processor and pulse. 

Roasted Cauliflower

Preheat oven to 425F.

Wash and dry the cauliflower. Remove the stems and leaves from the underside using a paring knife. Be thorough so you can rub the bacon fat/ghee mixture into the open area on the bottom side.

For the brain: Using a small paring knife, make a slice down the center of the cauliflower from one end to the other. Carve out around a 1/8" gap by cutting at an angle and then round off the edges. Be careful not to break the cauliflower. Mix equal parts bacon fat and ghee together and rub all over the cauliflower. Turn the cauliflower bottom-side up and rub some of the mixture into the hollow areas.

halloween braised beef food.jpg

Lightly season all sides of the cauliflower with salt and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper top side up. Roast for 20 minutes, then baste with all of the drippings. Roast another 20 minutes and then baste again. Roast another 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester go through the cauliflower with little resistance. Remove from the oven and liberally brush some of the aioli all over the cauliflower, including the bottom side. Serve the left-over aioli as a condiment. Lightly tent with aluminum and set aside. Right before serving, use the tip of the Sriracha bottle and make lines following the natural curves of the cauliflower. Be creative!

Braised Beef 

Rinse and pat dry the beef, then cut sections following along the natural separations. Cut the sections into

2 1/2"-3" thick x 6"-7" lengths. Bundle up any smaller pieces and tie with butchers string to achieve the same size sections. Salt & pepper the beef. Add the olive oil and butter to a 7 1/4 quart Dutch oven and heat over medium temperature. Once hot, add the beef and sear both sides well. Remove and place on a plate. Add the onions and cook until they start to take on some color. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Arrange the beef back into the Dutch oven and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a slow-boil, then reduce braising liquids for 10-15 minutes. The braising liquid should be around 1/2 to 2/3rds up the beef if using the 7 1/4 quart Dutch oven. Adjust the oven rack 1 below the center so that the Dutch oven is centered in the oven. Cover and place in the oven at 300F for 2 hours. Remove from oven and test for doneness. Beef should pull apart easily with 2 forks. If needed place back in the oven for 30 more minutes. 

Brown Sauce

Carefully remove the beef using a long spatula to prevent from breaking apart and place on a plate. Pour the braising liquid through a sieve into a large bowl. You should have about two cups of liquid. If not, add some beef broth. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the braising liquid into a small bowl to come to room temperature for the slurry. Wipe out the Dutch oven and add the 2 cups of braising liquid. Bring to a boil over medium-high temperature. Whisk the cooled, reserved braising liquid with the 2 tablespoons of corn starch and whisk into the boiling liquid. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and swirl in the butter. 

Sautéed Mushrooms & Pearl Onions 

Prepare an ice-bath to blanch the onionsBring a small pot of water to a boil and add the Pearl onions. Let boil for 30-45 seconds, remove and add to the ice-bath. Remove and dry off with paper towels or a kitchen towel. Squeeze each onion from the root end to remove the skins.


Heat the butter and olive oil in a sauté pan over medium temperature. Once hot, add the mushrooms and onions, season with salt & pepper and cover. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until mushrooms have released their juices. Uncover and cook until everything starts to take on some color and onions are cooked through. Remove from heat and add to the brown sauce. 

Gnocchi Larva

Bake the potatoes in the oven until fork tender or microwave for about 10 minutes, turning over halfway through. Peel the potatoes and weigh out 12 ounces. Press through a potato ricer into a mixing bowl. Add the egg yolk to the completely cooled potatoes and whisk/mix very well. Whisk the flour & salt together in a small bowl and add to the potatoes. Mix well and pour out onto a clean work surface. Press the mixture together and using the palm of your hand grind the dough together just enough to incorporate the ingredients together evenly. Don't over-knead. Press together into a log shape about 6" long. Divide into 6 pieces and shape into logs. Using both hands, starting from the center and working outwards, roll out each log into about 1/2" thick logs. Cut into 1" pieces and roll out each one, over the gnocchi board to create larva shapes. Slightly bend and curve some of them to give a natural appearance. Lightly dust the gnocchi with flour as you go to keep from sticking together. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the gnocchi in batches. Gnocchi will float to the top when they're done. Remove from water using your spider strainer and place on a plate lined with paper towel. 

Add the bacon to non-stick sauté pan and heat over medium temperature. Once the fat is rendered from bacon, add the shallots to one side of the pan and start caramelizing them. Lightly brown the gnocchi in batches in the bacon fat and season with pepper. The bacon should provide enough salt; adjust if needed. Continue browning the gnocchi and place on a plate as you go. When the bacon becomes crispy, remove and place on the plate with the browned gnocchi. Spoon out the shallots once they are caramelized. If needed render more bacon fat to finish all of the gnocchi.  Finely chop the bacon and gently toss with the gnocchi and shallots. Serve with the braised beef and brown sauce. 


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