Braised Short Ribs over Pumpkin Buckwheat “Risotto”

with horseradish crème fraîche, pickled chard stems, and bacon vinaigrette

Serves 4

4 tablespoons clarified butter
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2½ pounds (4 whole) short ribs
2 carrots, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
8 cups chicken stock
1 cup red wine

Heat a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat. Add the clarifed butter. Season the short ribs and sear until browned on all sides. Add the carrots, onions, celery, chicken stock, and red wine and cover. Braise in a 350°F oven for 3 hours, then remove from the oven and let cool.


1/3 cup shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1¾ cups buckwheat groats
2 tablespoons Roasted Garlic*
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon white pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream

In a small saute pan over medium heat, saute the shallots in butter until translucent. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Reduce by half and set aside.

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot; stir in the buckwheat. Add the roasted garlic, salt, vinegar, thyme, and white pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the buckwheat is tender. Add more stock as needed to prevent burning. Add the cream and reserved shallots. Stir to incorporate.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cups Pumpkin Puree** (store-bought or see below)
1¼ cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup Roasted Garlic*
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
A pinch of cayenne (optional)

Place a pan over medium heat. Heat the olive oil, then cook the onions until they are browned and caramelized. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and puree with an immersion blender or standing blender. Stir into the “risotto.” Plate the pumpkin “risotto” with short ribs on top, then add the finishing touches below. Drizzle vinaigrette over the short ribs, followed by the crème fraîche and pickled chard stems. Garnish with microgreens.

*ROASTED GARLIC: One bulb yields about 2 tablespoons. Place whole bulbs of garlic in foil, dowse in olive oil and roast in a 400°F oven for about 40 minutes. Squeeze out the gorgeously golden garlic and use in your pot pies, dressings, or mashed potatoes. The possibilities are endless!

**PUMPKIN PUREE: Halve a pumpkin and clean out the seeds and strings from the cavity. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil coated with butter. Place the pumpkin skin side up on a baking sheet and roast at 350°F for 40 minutes, or until the skin peels off the flesh. Cool and peel completely. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor or blender until smooth, adding a bit of water as needed.


¼ cup rendered bacon fat (melted, but not hot)
¼ cup avocado oil
2 teaspoons mustard
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together to make the dressing. Drizzle over the short ribs when serving.

HORSERADISH CRÈME FRAÎCHE: Combine 2 cups heavy cream, 2 tablespoons buttermilk, and 1 tablespoon horseradish in a small bowl and stir to combine. Let rest at room temperature for about 12 hours, until thickened. Use to garnish. Refrigerate any leftovers.

PICKLED CHARD STEMS: Combine 1 cup rice wine vinegar, ¾ cup sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Place 1 cup chopped chard stems in a jar and cover with the brine; refrigerate overnight and use to garnish.

MICROGREENS (optional garnish)

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Rich Vana sits as Chairman on the Collin College Culinary Advisory Board. Both the Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts programs at Collin College are American Culinary Federation Accredited programs, from which students graduate ready to join the industry. The majority of Vana’s kitchen staff is either currently enrolled in or has graduated from the Collin College Culinary or Pastry program. Some may arrive with a hold on the fundamentals, but little experience. But Vana and Christian say all have fire, aptitude, and the right attitude. The Heritage Table is proud to give budding chefs a chance to spread their sweet and savory wings in their very own community.