Rustic Meaty Comfort from Josh Cellars and Chef Daniel Doyle
Humble beginnings often lead to great ends. Daniel Doyle, executive chef and managing partner of Poogan’s Porch and Poogan’s Smokehouse, and Joseph Carr, founder of Josh Cellars, both started at the bottom in their first restaurant jobs: Dan as a dishwasher and Joseph as a bus boy. Since those early days, both have ascended in the ranks of the culinary and wine worlds. Together, they’ve collaborated on the ultimate comfort food pairing of short ribs and Josh Cellars Legacy red blend. It’s a combination that pays homage to their down-to-earth roots while elevating a rustic dish.
Daniel starts by searing the ribs until they’re deeply browned and caramelized so the final dish tastes extra meaty. He then sautés a trio of onions, carrots, and celery in the rich fat until they’re caramelized too. To get all the flavorful crusty brown bits off the pan and to help this tough cut of meat tenderize while cooking, Daniel adds a whole bottle of Josh Cellars Legacy wine and scrapes the pan. He knows from his years of cooking that the more flavorful the wine, the better the dish. Once the ribs are nestled back into the mixture, Daniel lets it cook in the oven until the meat is fall-off-the bone tender and the whole mixture tastes rich and rustic.
To complement the deep, warming short ribs, Daniel prepares cauliflower two ways. He simmers chopped pieces in cream to blend into a luxurious puree and he roasts florets until golden and crisp. He also pan-sears pearl onions before simmering them in beef jus so that they become melt-in-your-mouth soft and sweet. Those three sophisticated elements elevate humble short ribs to the type of dish Daniel would serve at the James Beard House, where he’s been given the honor to cook three times. As refined as the final dish may be, it still tastes of pure comfort.
Its big, bold flavors match perfectly with the richness and complexity of Josh Cellars Legacy red blend, which is made from Merlot, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah. Joseph actually created this particular blend in honor of his father, Josh, and intended it to be served with steak, one of Josh’s favorite dishes. Enjoying the wine he created for his father in a modern pairing like short ribs is nothing short of a dream come true, made possible by mentors who recognized that he had a knack for wine and encouraged him to pursue a career, first as a sommelier, then as a winemaker.
The same is true for Daniel, who wouldn’t be where he is today had others in the kitchen not recognized his talent behind the stove. He now tries to do the same for other young cooks and finds great joy in seeing them rise through the ranks and go on to helm their own restaurant kitchens as executive chefs. It’s as satisfying as watching a cheap, tough cut of meat become a beautiful, succulent short rib entrée, glistening with its red wine glaze.