Hops N' Scotch
The newest addition to the Hops N’ Scotch culinary team, chef Brian Miller oversees the menu at the Cambridge location and is responsible for transitioning the gastropub into a modernized scratch kitchen focused on a mix of classic French and Italian technique and flavors.
Miller has worked amongst some extraordinary talents along the East Coast and made a point of working with James Beard candidates and winners to set the standards for the style and work ethic he follows today.
Originally from Massachusetts, Miller took the time to work for some of South Florida’s most notable chefs to lay the foundation for his cuisine while attending Le Cordon Bleu in Miami. Chefs Jeremy Ford, James Beard Rising Star candidate, and Dean James Max, James Beard Best Nominee, King of American Seafood winner and restaurateur of twelve different restaurant concepts, were Miller’s original mentors.
After four years in the Sunshine State, Miller returned to Boston to work under the guidance of the chefs at Sorellina. He gained experience with refined Italian fare to go along with skills in traditional French and his style was set. He continued to follow those two cuisines to strengthen his palate and technique, ultimately landing a position at Barbara Lynch’s AAA Five Diamond, Relais & Châteaux property, Menton.
After soaking in everything Menton’s incredibly talented culinary team could give him he took a Sous Chef position at Cinquecento with Justin Winters, with whom he worked at Sorellina. He used his classical techniques and refined palate to earn the title of Executive Sous Chef before he decided to return to his roots in contemporary French at Brasserie 28, now Elm Square Oyster Co., where he took over the patisserie department.
Miller is proud to say that every course on his menu is thoughtfully developed through flavor, texture and balance (and as scratch as possible). He brings this philosophy and his commitment to it to Hops Test Kitchen, where he’ll seek out local sources for his constantly evolving menu.
Garganelli Pasta with Raz el Hanout Braised Lamb
- 6ea whole eggs
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 2cups semolina flour
- 2cups all purpose flour
Combine eggs and olive oil in a mixing bowl and whisk to scramble eggs and olive oil. Add all the flour and swirl bowl to incorporate flour and egg. Using your hands mix eggs and flour together to form a solid dough ball, knead until well combined and one homogenous mass, using a little flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface. Wrap the dough in plastic, tight to the ball itself and refrigerate for an hour or more.
- 2ea lamb shoulder
- 2ea carrots, small dice
- 2ea celery stalks, small dice
- 2ea white onion, small dice
- 1small bundle thyme
- 1small bundle rosemary
- 5ea bay leaves (all three herbs tied tightly with butchers twine)
- 1cup tomato paste
- 2cups red wine
- 1-2 quarts chicken, beef or lamb stock
Cut lamb into workable pieces, about the size of your palm, season aggressively with salt and pepper. Working in small batches use an 8 to 12 quart rondeau, sauce pan or stock pot to sear the Lamb on all sides at high heat in canola oil until golden brown. Do not over crowd your pan because it will lose a lot of heat and take longer to get a good sear. Remove the lamb when the pieces are seared on all sides and reduce the heat to low or even off. Add the small diced mire poix (carrots, celery and onion) and allow the residual heat in the pan to sweat the veg. “Sweating” releases liquid from the vegetables and helps pull up the “fond” that forms in the bottom of the pan during searing. “Fond” is the build up that forms from the Lamb releasing its juices, residue and proteins in the pan, this is an essential part of a good braise. When the veg has pulled up everything from sweating out and you have a clean pan bottom again turn the heat back up to medium and add tomato paste. You want to lightly caramelize the tomato paste in the pan, another “fond”. After you build nice caramelization, “deglaze” with the red wine. This is a good time to add the herbs as well. Add the Lamb back to the pan, turn the heat to high and reduce the wine by half. Add the stock to cover the Lamb and bring to a full boil. When the braise comes to a boil, cover with a parchment paper lid and put into a 300F oven, and cook for 2 to 3 until Lamb falls apart. Always cool the proteins in a braise in the cooking liquid!