Classical vs. Modern: Classic Tater Tot Hot Dish vs. Sous Vide Short Rib Tater Tot Hot Dish


Classic Tater Tot Hot Dish

Recipe by ACF Chef Mary Levinski, chef-instructor, Sauk-Rapids Rice High School, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota

Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 1 pound beef brisket or flank steak
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1 pound shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen, thawed corn
  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen, thawed peas
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups half and half
  • 3 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup demi-glace
  • 1 pound tater tots, roughly chopped
  • Sour cream, chopped chives and/or green onions, for garnish

Classical: Tater Tot Hot Dish Method:

  1. Season beef liberally with salt and pepper. In a large skillet with a cover, sear the meat and add about an inch of water and cook covered until tender, but not overdone, about 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer beef to a chopping board and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, shred using two forks. Set aside.
  3. Heat 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl or plate and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, sauté the corn (adding more butter if needed to prevent scorching) over medium heat until tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the peas and cook until just heated through. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Add shallot and cook until tender. Add the flour and cook until it begins to turn golden in color, stirring constantly. Add half and half and cook until flour taste has dissipated and mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the Swiss cheese and cook until melted and creamy. Add half of the demi-glace and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Using a mold for serving, place the chopped tots into the mold and pack with the back of a spoon. Using a spatula, move the large tot to hot oil and fry until crispy, golden brown. Repeat. You should have 2 large tots for each serving. Season with salt.
  7. To assemble, place tot on the bottom of a serving plate. Mix some of the béchamel cheese sauce in with the meat to hold it together. Using the food mold, place the meat onto the tater tot. For the next layer, mix some of the béchamel cheese sauce in with the corn and peas, just enough to hold them together. Layer on top of the meat in the mold. Do the same for the reserved mushrooms. Layer the mushrooms on top of the corn and peas. Add a bit of the béchamel sauce to the top of the mushrooms and place your final tater tot on top. Remove the mold. Garnish with sour cream, chives, or green onions. Use the béchamel and demi-glace to garnish the plate. 


Sous Vide Short Rib Tater Tot Hot Dish

Recipe by ACF Chef Scott Parks, executive chef, Jordan Tap Room and Supper Club, Jordan Minnesota

Yield: 3 servings 


  • /4 cup espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ancho chili pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 pounds short ribs
  • Butter

Modern: Tater Tot Hot DishMethod

  1. In a small bowl, combine all of the spices and salt. Coat short ribs generously with the spice mixture. Sear ribs over high heat in a cast iron pan. Place ribs in a vacuum sealed bag with 1 tablespoon of the butter on top of each short rib. Vacuum seal bag. Place in sous vide machine set at 130 ºF for 48 hours. Can hold for 7 days.
  2. When ready to use, open bag and remove short ribs while pouring the liquid in a sauté pan. Remove short rib from bone buy placing knife on the bone and slicing down the bone. Place meat in sauce in the sauté pan long enough to bring the meat up to desired temperature while basting the meat with the liquid to glaze. Remove meat and let rest 5 minutes. Slice to desired thickness.
  3. Pan sear one giant trumpet mushroom with diamond score until mushroom is lightly golden colored. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. To plate, place demi glacé on plate starting in one corner (should smear about two-thirds down the plate). Place mushroom, seared side up, offset from each other on the corner of plate where the demi starts. Shingle 3 to 4 slices of short rib down the plate with the first piece leaning against the mushroom. On either side place 3 dots of the pea purée. On opposite side of pea purée place a medium circle of corn purée with slight smear up towards the mushroom
  5. Place small amount of corn relish on top of corn purée . Place 4 potato croquettes next to the corn purée (see picture). Garnish croquettes the corn relish.

For the Mushroom Beef Demi:

  • 1 cup dried mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 ounces butter
  • 1 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, lightly toasted
  • 2 cups mushroom or beef stock
  • Salt, to taste

For the Mushroom and Beef Stock:

  1. Bring your favorite beef stock to a boil. Add mushrooms and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Strain with a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth. Reserve mushrooms for future use, setting stock aside.
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir to make a light-to-medium roux. Add 2 cups of the mushroom/beef stock. Bring stock to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes to cook flour taste out.
  4. Season with salt to taste. Set aside or refrigerate for later use.

For the Corn Relish:

  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir together until combined. Set aside or refrigerate for later use.

For the Corn Purée:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound frozen corn, thawed
  1. Bring water and butter to a boil. Add corn and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain.
  2. Sift corn starch into a large mixing bowl. Using a food mill, process the corn while still hot. As soon as you get enough purée into to bowl, mix cornstarch into purée to melt it. Reserve extra mash for another use or discard. Force purée through a fine mesh strainer with a spoon until smooth.

For the Pea Purée:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 pound frozen green peas, thawed
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Bring water to a boil. Add peas and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Process peas with food mill (mixture should be a little thick). Add water by the teaspoon as needed to thin to desired consistency. Set aside.

For the Potato Croquettes:

  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled, roughly cut
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • Flour, for breading
  • Panko breadcrumbs, for breading
  1. Boil potatoes until fork tender. Run potatoes through a fine grate food mill. Fold in egg and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate for at least an hour to cool.
  2. To make croquettes, Make small balls (no bigger than a ping pong ball) with the potatoes using food handlers gloves. Using a standard breading station, completely cover balls with flour and place in egg wash to coat. Remove from egg and roll in panko to completely cover.
  3. Fry at 325ºF until golden brown. Remove from fryer, drain and set aside.




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