In search of comfort food like Mom used to make — but with an upscale twist? Look no further than The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions, now dishing modern American cuisine in a backwoods tavern-style setting (cast-iron reindeer, hanging taxidermy). If you can’t make it in to sample chef Cesar Zapata’s (Phuc Yea, Four Seasons) menu, attempt one of his cozy classics at home.
Short Rib Wellington Pot Pie
2¼ lbs. boneless short rib
2 tbsp. olive oil
¼ lb. hickory-smoked bacon
2 oz. morel mushrooms
4 oz. oyster mushrooms
6 oz. trumpet royale mushrooms
8 tbsp. butter
½ c. all-purpose flour
½ c. red wine
1½ tbsp. demi-glace (available at Whole Foods and Fresh Market)
3 c. beef stock
1 tsp. thyme leaves
1 tsp. sage leaves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1½ c. pearl onions
¼ c. flat-leaf parsley
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 325º.
2. Season the short rib with salt and pepper.
3. Pour olive oil into a 3½-quart wide Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the beef on all sides, 8-10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a bowl.
4. Reduce heat to medium. Add bacon and cook until crisp (6-8 minutes). Add to the bowl with the beef.
5. Increase the heat to medium-high, add mushrooms and cook until tender (about 8 minutes). Add to the bowl with the beef.
6. Pour off excess fat in the pot. Return pot to medium heat and melt butter. Stir in flour and cook (stirring constantly) 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the wine and demi-glace; cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in stock and bring to a simmer.
7. Add herbs, bay leaf, pearl onions, beef, bacon, and mushrooms. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot, transfer to oven, and cook until beef is fork-tender (2-2½ hours).
8. Discard bay leaf and spoon excess fat off the cooking liquid. Stir in parsley.
9. Increase oven temperature to 400º. Place the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface. Using a sharp knife, score the pastry with diagonal lines about 2 inches apart, forming a diamond pattern.
10. Brush the edge of the pot with water, then brush the pastry with the egg. Place the pastry, egg wash side up, over the pot and press the edges to seal. Trim the overhanging pastry to 1 inch.
11. Transfer the pot to the oven and bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions, 5132 Biscayne Boulevard (305-758-9559 or thefederalmiami.com).
Photo: Courtesy of The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions