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Smoked Shorty Pizza

Smoked Grape Pizza
Photo: California Table Grape Commission
From: Mohawk Bend Restaurant, Los Angeles. Yield: 5 pizzas.

Braised Short Rib:
2½ lb. meaty bone-in beef short ribs, silver skin trimmed
to taste, coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
6 oz. India pale ale (IPA)
1 cup vegetable stock, or more as needed
small handful of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano)

Smoked Red Grapes:
1 lb. red grapes
prepared pizza dough for five
7-oz. pies
10 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
2½ cups smoked red grapes
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
20 oz. pulled braised short ribs
2½ cups crumbled blue cheese
2 bunches watercress, trimmed
1¼ oz. aged balsamic vinegar
5 Tbsp. minced chives

For braised beef short rib: Preheat oven to 325°F. Season ribs liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large 5-qt. braising pot and brown the ribs, about 4 minutes per side. Remove and repeat until all ribs are browned. Add onion, carrots and celery to the pot and cook until vegetables start to brown, about 5 minutes. Return ribs to pot and add the IPA, stock and herbs. Bring to a simmer, cover with parchment directly on the ribs, cover with the top and slide pot into the oven. Braise until very tender, about 3 hours. Let cool in liquid, then shred for pizza.

For smoked red grapes: With a smoker basket, smoke the grapes at 110°F for 45 minutes with your preferred method and hickory wood. Without a smoker basket, line a small pot with foil and add smoking chips or tea to cover the bottom of pot. Place steamer basket on top and add the grapes. Cover with foil and lid, and place over high heat. Cook until grapes are smoky, about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

For pizzas: Preheat oven to 500°F. On lightly floured surface, divide dough into 5  pieces and shape into balls. Using hands, stretch dough balls into rough pizza-shaped rounds, each about ¼” thick. Top each pizza with ½ cup Parmesan, ½ cup smoked grapes and about ¼ cup red onion, 1 cup beef and ½ cup blue cheese. Bake until golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Top  each pizza with a handful of watercress, and drizzle each with ¼ oz. balsamic. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. chives, cut pizza into slices and serve.

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