Unveiling Culinary Delights: Vivarium's Debut Dish & Recipe Revealed

Feb. 27 / 2024

Our kitchen team was thrilled to inaugurate our new venue, the Vivarium, last week. It's been a rewarding journey witnessing the venue take shape over the past few months, culminating in the final touches as we delivered our meal and prepared our artist green room backstage.

The menu for the evening

The local acts, Wave Chapelle & ADORNER, were eager for a satisfying meal and open to exploring various menu options. Here's what we whipped up for our debut meal on opening night at the Vivarium.

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Shrimp & Grits

Join us as we delve into the recipe and process behind our slow-braised beef brisket, sweet and sour cabbage, and ground mustard mashed potatoes, which delighted our Milwaukee mainstays

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Slow-Brased Beef Brisket

Beef brisket with sweet and sour cabbage, ground mustard mashed potatoes (This recipe will serve 4-6 people) 

Beef Brisket

1 roughly 3# brisket 

1 cup beef stock/broth

1/2 red wine

1 T each chopped shallot & garlic

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

1 small head of red cabbage, shredded

1 onion julienned 

1 T Bacon or duck fat

1/4 cup red wine vinegar 

1 pinch of clove

1 pinch of sugar

Salt and pepper

Ground Mustard Mashed Potatoes

6 large Russet or Idaho potatoes

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 T chopped garlic

2 T stone ground mustard 



Set your oven to 350 degrees, set your favorite dutch oven or oven friendly pot over high heat and allow 2-3 minutes to get hot. While your pot is getting warm, season your brisket liberally with salt and pepper. For this I used penzies "Quebec" seasoning blend in lieu of salt and pepper. Once your brisket is seasoned and your pot is hot, add your brisket. If properly preheated it should make a loud sizzling noise when it hits the pan. 

After 2-3 minutes, still on high heat, flip your brisket and sear the other side. after a minute or two you can add your chopped garlic and shallot. After another minute you can add your 1/2 cup of red wine. Bring your heat down a bit and let the wine reduce for a minute. At this point, you can add your beef stock, cover, and set in your preheated oven. We will let that cook, covered at 350 for an hour and a half. At which point, we can remove the cover on the pot, and turn up the heat to 425 for a half an hour. 

For the sweet and sour red cabbage:

Shred your cabbage, and preheat a large saute pan. Once your pan is hot add your bacon fat and your onion. Keep your onion moving with a wooden spoon, and after a couple minutes add your cabbage to the pan. Stir over high heat, saute your cabbage and onion for 1-2 minutes. At this point, you can add your clove, sugar, salt, and pepper, and your red wine vin. Cover your pan and turn the heat to low. Allow to cook over low heat, covered for 5-10 minutes. If you need to add more liquid you can add a little more vinegar. Be sure to stir every few minutes as well. Turn the heat off and set aside. 

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Our house dressings are a perfect topping for any dish!

For the ground mustard mashed potatoes:

Peel and rough cut your potatoes into evenly sized pieces. Add potatoes to a pot and cover with salted water. Put the pot over high heat and bring the water to a simmer, at which point you can bring the heat down to medium/low. 

In a small pot, add a drop of oil and sweat your chopped garlic over medium heat. After a minute or two add your heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Be sure to season your cream with salt and pepper, and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes, turn the heat off and set aside. 

After your potatoes have simmered for 30 minutes they should be cooked all the way through. Strain them and put in a medium sized mixing bowl. Using a potato masher or a whisk, add your heavy cream and ground mustard. Mix until smooth. 

Once your brisket has received the required cooking time, pull it from the oven, and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. Once rested, you can slice it up (against the visible grain)

and set atop your mashed potatoes, set some cabbage off to the side and feel free to spoon some of the jus from your brisket pot over the top of EVERYTHING.

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Last but certainly not least, Julies Pastries whipped up a personalized cake custom made for Wave Chapelle & ADORNER to mark this momentous occasion, as well as custom “V” chocolate truffles, to send VIvarium off on an extra positive (and delicious) note.

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By: Kevin Sloan

Kevin Sloan is the executive chef for The Pabst Theater Group, leading the backstage experience for artists who visit the Group's venues. He has lead the full-service catering team since 2010.

Apr 2024



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