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Melt's Chef Shares Secret to His Signature Short Rib Dish

By Heather Holland | November 27, 2012 7:22am

PARK SLOPE — The chef of Melt, a Brooklyn restaurant specializing in American cuisine, uses unlikely breakfast elements, like hash and biscuits, to make his signature dish.

Short rib gnocchi hash has become one of the most popular items on the menu even though it was created unintentionally, said Michael McCabe.

Originally, the short rib was served whole or in one large piece, McCabe explained.

“When you braise meat, the size gets deformed, so some pieces were naturally a lot bigger than others, and you can’t have that,” said McCabe.

So, the McCabe started dicing the meat into a “hash” so that he was able to control what portion of meat would go on the plate.

“It was an accident that happened and it works, like most things in this business,” he said.

He tossed the meat together with fried gnocchi and pencil asparagus. The result became the eatery's trademark.

“The short rib gnocchi hash is my signature dish just for its popularity,” said McCabe. “[Customers] might change wines, but they don’t need a menu, they don’t ask for one.”

The menu at Melt, located at 440 Bergen St., is "American comfort" based around protein — grass-fed beef, organic poultry and wild caught fish. But it serves vegetarian options like ratatouille and vegan veggie burgers as well.

McCabe's gnocchi is house-made using biscuit dough, roasted garlic and fresh rosemary. It's blanched and then fried to give it a crunchy shell.

The short rib is braised using red wine and chicken stock until the meat is tender.

It's then seared with chopped shallots and pencil asparagus, which is sourced from Brooklyn Grange, a rooftop farm located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

When the asparagus has been cooked down, the ingredients are coated with a port wine reduction. The dish is topped with shaved parmesan cheese before serving.

Short Rib Gnoochi Hash is priced at $22. Visit www.meltnyc.com for a full menu.