Recipe Sleuth: Blue Duck Tavern’s Short-Rib Hash With Poached Eggs and Horseradish Sauce

At the farm-to-table restaurant Blue Duck Tavern in DC's West End, executive chef Brian McBride’s rustic American cooking has caught the attention of just about everyone in Washington—President Obama and First Lady Michelle celebrated their 17th anniversary here in October. 

It’s the restaurant’s brunch that inspired one reader, who wrote in to request one of McBride’s morning favorites: a rich short-rib hash with a pillowy poached egg and creamy horseradish sauce, a traditional match to braised beef. It makes our mouths water, too: In our latest 100 Best Restaurants issue, we named it one of Washington’s best dishes.

McBride, who uses the leftovers from the lunch and dinner menu's short-ribs dish, says  that the most difficult part of this recipe is braising the short ribs: "It’s very time consuming.” But the hash can be made ahead of time and keeps well in the refrigerator.

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Serves 4

For the short ribs:

1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 head garlic, cut in half
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 quarts chicken stock
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 bunch thyme
3 bay leaves
4 to 5 beef short ribs (bone-in and raw)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a frying pan set over medium heat, caramelize the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil. Add tomato paste and cook until dry. Add the red wine and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, thyme, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Place the short ribs in liquid and cook in the oven for 2 hours. Remove when tender but not stringy. Strain the liquid and discard the vegetables and herbs. Bring the liquid to a boil and skim off any fat. Reduce to coat the back of a spoon. Reserve.

For the hash:

½  cup small-diced potatoes
3⁄4 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 teaspoons minced shallots
4 teaspoons minced garlic
5 cups braised, diced short rib
1 cup short-rib braising liquid (skimmed of fat and reduced to coat the back of a spoon)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Salt, pepper, and sherry vinegar to taste
Clarified butter for frying

Blanch the potatoes in boiling water until tender but not cooked all the way. Shock in cold water. Fry in clarified butter, until lightly brown.

Over medium heat, caramelize the onions in olive oil until they take on color. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook until everything in the mixture is a toasty-brown color. Toss together the onions and diced short rib. Add the braising liquid to moisten. Mix in the thyme, parsley, and fried potatoes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and vinegar.

For the horseradish sauce:

½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons horseradish
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice or more to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the eggs:

8 eggs
2 cups olive oil
1 sprig of thyme

Gently warm the olive oil in a pan over low heat. Add the sprig of thyme to the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the eggs and let them poach slowly until yolks are just firm. Serve with the short-rib hash and horseradish sauce.

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