Michele Rinaldi is a young chef from Bergamo, who managed to make his way in the catering services, working closely with renowned chefs - one among all Gualtiero Marchesi - from whom he could learn the art of cooking , getting to manage an exclusive restaurant such as La Rocca di Castelfalfi.
We asked the chef what cooking means for him: “Love your work, respect what you are cooking and give emotions to those who sit at the table”. To become an Executive Chef, Rinaldi says, the essential ingredients are the will and spirit of sacrifice, a lot of training and the ability to capitalize on your own talents. "Being a chef is not just know how to cook but also knowing how to create the group”.
"La Rocca for me is the summary of all the work I have done in previous years: working in beautiful and prestigious restaurants and now being in charge of a restaurant of equal importance and beauty, is very rewarding": it is not about a point of arrival, but a starting point, a place where to get involved on a daily basis and where to best express my art. And Castelfalfi makes everything possible, since it is “a paradise, a place where peace and tranquility are the hosts, where time seems to want to stop to make you understand what is the true beauty of life.” Not to forget his past and at the same time to honor his present, the recipe he recommends is the cheek of beef with Chianti with polenta and sautéed chicory, that combines Bregamo’s and Tuscan’s traditions.
Ingredients for 4 people:
2 beef cheek | 2 stalks of celery | 4 carrots | 2 onions | 1 clove of garlic | 3 Cloves | 3 juniper berries | 1 pc Cinnamon | 1 bottle of Vallino IGT 2009 | 4 tomatoes San Marzano | dark chocolate to taste | Meat broth | Bunch of herbs (sage , rosemary , bay leaves ) | salt | pepper | bacon
Marinate beef cheeks with vegetables, wine and spices the night before and let stand until the following day, in order to get a more tender and tasty meat. The following day, drain the beef cheeks and separate the vegetables from the marinade. Then add the vegetables, the chopped bacon, a knob of butter and olive oil in a saucepan and let simmer gently. Salt in a pan and fry the beef cheeks then lying them in the casserole bathing with wine. Once you reach the boil and made the alcohol evaporating, add the chopped tomatoes or peeled slightly blended with the dark chocolate tablets. Then add the hot broth and cover with baking paper and a lid, then bake at 165° - possibly no fan - and cook for a minimum of 4-5 hours. The beef cheeks should be very soft at the touch, then separate them from the liquid and vegetables and roll in the appropriate wrap, filtering the cooking liquid with a chinois.
Brown the cylinder of beef and serve on a crust of polenta and accompany it with the porcini mushrooms sautéed or with the seasonal vegetables.