Gratzi Midland Chef Ismael Herrerea
By Mary Gajda
Chef Ismael Herrera is a hardworking and self-made chef who has spent his career developing a reputation of excellence and exceeding expectations. Head chef at Gratzi in Midland, he is continuing to please the community and patrons with his attention to detail. Bringing authentic Italian food to life with passion and devotion as well as working with top-of-the-line ingredients and talented staff make cooking an adventure that warrants a sense of accomplishment. Helping provide memorable experiences is the greatest reward in Herrera’s eyes, and he truly loves the support from the community. Here is Herrera’s recipe for braised short rib in his own words.
In a pan that is able to go in the oven, heat oil until it is hot and nearly smoking. Carefully place seasoned beef in the pan and rotate, allowing all sides to sear. Once all sides are seared, add garlic and herbs to perfume in the oil for about two minutes (being careful to not burn the garlic). Then add the tomato puree and allow it to simmer until the color has become crimson. Once the color of the puree has darkened, add wine and reduce in half. Finish with half of the homemade stock, which will add depth to the sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover and place in the oven. Braise for one hour or until meat is falling apart. Remove from sauce and shred. The sugo, or dripping, will be strained and added to the remaining stock to make the sauce for the short ribs. Reduce to preferred consistency and serve. We place this on a nice ricotta mezzaluna, but it would complement just about any other pasta.