pork chop


from Manzanita restaurant at
The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe

4 each pork chops, bone-in
½ pound polenta
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 pint whole milk
2 medium onions
1 medium carrot
1 stalk celery
4 bunches dino kale
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 peaches, halved, skin-on
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
4 cups red table wine
4 quarts veal stock
2 sprigs of thyme

For the Kale

This is the longest of your tasks to completing this dish so this is definitely where to start. Clean the kale by taking the leaves off of the stems or ribs and washing under cold water. You can discard the ribs as they are very fibrous and not choice to eat. Dice one onion fine and sweat them in a pot using pure olive oil. Once the onions are translucent, add the minced garlic and cook over low heat for two minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add half a cup of red wine to the pot and let it reduce until almost dry. Add your kale along with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

For the Polenta

Bring 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a pot. Using a whisk, stir in the polenta and turn down flame to medium heat. Once the polenta comes back up to a simmer, turn down the heat half way in between low and medium and let the polenta cook for 45 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and milk to polenta and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

For the Peaches

Put the sugar into a pan with the water. Place over medium-high heat until the sugar starts to brown. Place peaches face down into the sugar and let cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove.

For the Pork Chop

Preheat oven to 350F. Season the pork chop with salt and pepper to taste and sear in a sauté pan over high heat to seal in the juices. Place pork chop into a baking pan and place into oven for 15 minutes.

For the Sauce

Bring veal stock to boil in a pot with the remaining onion, carrot, and celery (peeled and diced large) along with the 2 sprigs of thyme. Add the remaining wine and reduce to 2 quarts.


short ribs

from Manzanita restaurant at
The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe

4 each beef short ribs (3-inch cut, bone-in)
1 (750ml) bottle of red table wine
2 large carrots
2 stalks celery
2 medium onions
6 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
1 head of garlic
8 each Yukon gold potatoes
3 tablespoons of horseradish
¾ pound of butter, unsalted
1 cup whole milk
4 quarts of veal stock

For the short ribs

The key to great short ribs is to marinate them overnight. Place your short ribs in a deep baking pan and cover with wine. Peel one carrot, onion, and celery and cut into large pieces (you can cut the onion into eighths and the carrot/celery in half) and place into the marinating short ribs. Cut the head of garlic in half at the waist so you expose all of the cloves. Don’t peel the cloves, as keeping skin on during roasting will protect the garlic from burning. Take half a head of garlic with four sprigs of thyme, the sprig of rosemary, and add to your marinating short ribs. Let the short ribs sit in the marinade for 24 hours.

Next day: preheat your oven to 350F. Remove the short ribs from the pan and reserve everything else. Heat up a skillet and sear the short ribs on all sides and place back into the marinade, making sure that the bones are facing up and the meat is facing down into the bottom of the pan. Cover with aluminum foil and place into the oven. Cook for about 3 hours or until desired tenderness is achieved.

For the potato mash

Peel and dice the Yukon potatoes and place into a pot. Cover with cold water. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes easily give in when pressed with a kitchen utensil. Drain from the water and rice the potatoes into a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small chunks and add to the potato mixture using a whisk to incorporate. Add milk and horseradish to the potato mash and whisk well.

For the sauce

Bring veal stock to boil in a pot with the remaining carrot, onion, and celery (peeled and processed the same way as above) along with the remaining 2 sprigs of thyme. Add the braising liquid from the short ribs and reduce together to 2 quarts. Add salt to taste.