As winter comes to an end, this flavorful dish is the perfect way to transition into the new season with elements of late winter highlighted by the garden’s first efforts of an explosive spring. Our recipe is outlined as an entrée; however, it is presented at the winery as a Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon spring pairing, served as an appetizer with the polenta formed into small cylinders and fried in Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Instructions

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Season the ribs on all sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Carefully film the pan with 2 Tbsp of oil and begin to sear the ribs in batches, browning on all sides. Reserve. Add the remaining oil to the same pan and return to medium heat. Add the spices and toast until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Add the carrots, leek, shallots, fennel, dried fruit, zest and thyme and carefully caramelize while occasionally stirring. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and then add Cabernet Sauvignon. Increase the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. With a wooden spoon, scrape the spices and caramelized ingredients into the pressure cooker, then add the cocoa powder, tomato paste, miso, sherry vinegar, chicken stock and seared ribs. Seal, bring to full pressure and cook for 40 minutes. Remove the ribs and reserve. Strain the jus and reserve. The ribs may be prepared the day prior and refrigerated.

For the charred tangerine vinaigrette, preheat a grill or grill plate to medium-high heat. In a stainless steel bowl, toss the tangerine halves in 2 Tbsp olive oil, sugar, thyme leaves, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill the fruit on all sides until fruit is well marked and heated through (6-8 minutes). Juice the tangerines and reserve 3 Tbsp of juice. In a non-reactive bowl, combine the juice with the vinegars, mustard, shallots and a pinch of salt. Whisk in the remaining olive oil and reserve.

In a sauce pan over medium heat, bring polenta, milk, water and salt to a simmer while whisking. Continue to whisk until polenta begins to set (6-8 minutes). Whisk in fennel pollen and continue at a simmer while occasionally stirring with a wooden spoon until completely cooked through (45-60 minutes). Stir in gouda, butter and olive oil. Reserve warm, thinning with water as necessary.

Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, pulverize the conifer tips with the sea salt until bright green. Pulse in sel gris, leaving some of the crystals whole. Dehydrate in a low oven or food dehydrator at 140 degrees for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps. Store in a sealed jar under refrigeration.

To plate, prepare a small grill for finishing the ribs; we prefer a hot fire of binchotan charcoal. Mark the ribs and heat them through, basting with the charred tangerine vinaigrette. Shred or thinly slice the ribs and reserve. Dress the spring greens and blossoms with the charred tangerine vinaigrette and carefully toss with the walnuts, pine nuts and citrus. Spoon the polenta into six warm bowls, nest the short rib and finish with conifer salt and the vibrant spring salad.