Duo of Beef with Fondant Potatoes

A departure from the Nonna phase
A departure from the Nonna phase

So I decided to give another one of those multi-component, multi technique dishes a crack, and this here was quite tasty. The idea behind the dish was to convey the flavours found in a traditional Beef Bourgougnion but in a novel and more diverse manner. The beef on the right is a very tasty ribeye steak sitting on a bed of mushroom duxelle, while on the left is basically a bit of beef shank braised in wine with some quickly pickled carrots, together they both highlight the different flavours and textures achieved in cooking beef differently, while a sauce made out of the shanks’ braising liquid tries everything together. In the center rests a fondant potato on a bed of carrot puree. While everything tasted fantastically, I would probably scrap the pickled carrots, and sit the braised beef on the carrot puree instead. Recipe after the jump.

Serves 4 people

For the braised beef

2 bone in beef shanks about 5cm thick

1/2 bottle of full bodied red wine

200-300ml of chicken or beef stock

1 carrot chopped roughly

1 onion chopped roughly

1 1/2 celery stick chopped roughly

1 sprig of rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

butter and olive oil as outlined below

flour to dredge the shanks

Dredge the shanks in flour, patting away any excess flour then season well with salt and pepper, and in a heavy bottomed pot heat some olive oil (a couple of lugs) on a high heat, and then brown the shanks on all sides, about 10min. Reserve the shanks on the side, reduce the heat to medium and melt about a , and then add the celery, onion and carrot and cook for about 5-10min until the onion starts to soften and become translucent. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with about 1/2 a cup of wine and scrape off all the tasty bits stuck to the bottom. Add back the beef, pour in the wine, the stock and the rosemary, making sure that the shanks should be covered to at least halfway. Wait until the cooking liquid boils, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover and leave to cook for at least 2 hours. Check on the beef every half hour making sure that it doesn’t get too dry. Once the beef can come apart using a spoon, it is cooked. Take out the shanks and set aside, strain the cooking juices through a cheese cloth into another pot where you will place it over a medium high heat and allow to reduce until it thickens nicely (reduce the liquid by about half)

For the fondant potatoes:

4 Medium sized potatoes

1/2 cup of chicken stock

2 garlic clove, peeled and crushed using the side of a knife’s blade

2 tbsp of butter (about 100g)

2 Thyme sprig

Preheat the oven to about 200C. Peel the potatoes and then using a 5cm diameter ring mould, punch out cylinders of the potatoes. Trim the edges as shown here to make sure that they are all identical and so will cook in exactly the same amount of time and that the edges don’t burn (cylinders shouldn’t be more than about 3-3.5cm in thickness). In a pan, melt the butter and once the foam subsides, place the potatoes and allow to cook on a medium high heat until the potatoes browns and crisps up, about 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Flip the potatoes over and cook for another 5 minutes, then add the garlic and thyme and enough stock to come up to about half the cylinder, then place the pan into the oven, covering with aluminium foil lightly and leave to cook for about 15 minutes. If the browned surface has lost a bit of its crunch, just heat up some butter in a new pan and crisp up for about 30s before service.

For the carrot puree:

3 medium carrots peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove

1/3-1/2 cup of chicken stock

2 tbsp of cream

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp of butter and 1 lug of olive oil

Melt the butter and heat the oil on a medium high heat, add the garlic clove and the carrots and cook for about 5-6mins until the carrots start to soften. Add the stock, and cook, covered, for about 20min until the carrots are totally soft. Check every few minutes to make sure there’s enough stock. Once carrots are soft, using an immersion blender, puree everything and add the cream. Season with salt and pepper, and adjust the texture with more stock if necessary, it should be smooth and silky.

For the mushroom duxelle:

250g of button mushrooms chopped very finely using a food processor or by hand

1 sprig of rosemary chopped finely

1 shallot chopped finely

1 splash of white wine

2 tbsp of cream

1 tbsp of butter

In a small pan, heat and melt the butter on a medium high heat, once the foam subsides, add the shallots and cook until soft, then add the mushrooms and cook until all the liquid is released and they start to brown (about 10min) add the wine and allow to evaporate completely, then pour in the cream, adjust the seasoning and it’s ready to serve.

For the rib-eye:

2 approx 300g top quality rib-eye steaks

1 tbsp of butter

some pomegranate molasses for glazing

It would be interesting to read this blog post for tips on how to ensure the steak cooks well, in the meantime, take the steaks out of the fridge about 30m before cooking for the they’re not too cold when they hit the pan. Glaze the steaks with the pomegranate molasses while they wait. About 5min before cooking, amply season the steaks with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat some olive oil on a very high heat in a pan, and once the pan is up to temperature, add the steaks. Cook for about 3.5 mins on once side, flip, throw in the butter, and cook for about 3 mins on the other side. This should bring the steaks to about medium rare.

Now you’re ready to plate up, hope you enjoy!

1 tbsp of

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