Spaten Optimator is not a beer I would drink normally.  It’s very dark and heavy with undertones of bread, malt, and brown sugar.  Although I myself prefer lighter beer, I love this combination of the Optimator and the Byggybeef Sandwich.

Dewey Dufresne is the father of NYC chef Wylie Dufresne, who was probably one of the first people to really make “Molecular Gastronomy” popular. Dewey has plans to open a sandwich shop called BYGGZ in 2012 in NYC, and one of the featured sandwiches is the Byggybeef. A few weeks before the beer tasting, I came across a article deconstructing the Byggybeef. Since I was looking for a braised short rib recipe for the beer tasting, I thought that this would be an excellent choice for the pairing. Now the article only describes the ingredients that goes into the Byggybeef, without giving out recipes to each of the ingredients. So I guesstimate and made my own versions of what I think goes into each component of the sandwich. 

First I decided to use the’s recipe for Braised Short Ribs with Red Eye Gravy, in which beef short ribs were marinated overnight, then braised in a tomato coffee braising liquid. The short ribs were then chilled over night for the flavors to meld, then shredded and re-warmed in the braising liquid.

I made my own recipe for pickled fennel and carrots from, used store bought Ciabatta, bought pre-made pomegranate jam, and made my own “XO-llent” sauce (equal amounts of mayo and mustard and some chopped Italian pickled peppers).

The results were amazing. It’s not a healthy sandwich, but it is something definitely worth the time. I’m not quite sure how was to get the components of a sandwich from a shop that has yet to open, but I’m really glad that I took the chance to try it out.

NYMAG article deconstructing Byggybeef:

Braised Short Ribs with Red Eye Gravy Recipe: