Thursday, 13 March 2014

' 54 deg .C KALE ASH encrusted RIB EYE .'

Grain-fed Beef Eye fillet cooked 54 deg.c sous vide & encrusted with Kale ash seasoning served with Potato & horseradish puree , Mushroom & Malt/Rice beer reduction , Green onion , Nasturtium leaves & kale ash seasoning . 

                   This dish has been inspired by the purchase of our new sous vide & vacuum sealer, we got a great deal on the relatively new Sunbeam package with the two machines in one deal. The actual dish is an adaption of the chefs at Food Republic, who use a short rib which is slow cooked sous vide for 3 days. I've opted for the one hour version using a quality cut of grain-fed beef. This dish has only taste in mind from the smoky, barbecue-esque flavour imparted by the burnt kale nestled in a thick veloute of potato and horseradish. Encircled by a sweet, earthy, umami mushroom syrup that almost smells like a faux miso paste its so umami. Even the young nasturtium leaves with a peppery flavour serve its purpose on this plate. And of course it starts from the thirteenth method of cookery 'sous vide'. This type of cooking was adapted in 1974 from commercial packaging applications, by Georges Pralus for use in his french restaurant. The method requires food to be vacuum sealed in food grade plastic and cooked at a constant temperature usually between 50.c and 60.c and for veggies higher, over longer periods of time ranging from 1 hour and in some cases 72 hours. This process allows the item to cook evenly without overcooking the outside and as the juices are trapped while cooking the item becomes more flavoursome and more tender. As this method never reaches the point of 'maillard reaction' or browning which occurs at temperatures well above boiling point. This has been done in a hot pan once cooked in the sous vide bath, to give the cut of meat the caramelised proteins that you get from searing.
                    To make this dish I started by preparing the food pouch by trimming the cut of beef of any fat and seasoned with salt and pepper before placing into the food grade plastic pouch along with a little butter, minced garlic and sprigs of fresh thyme. I then vacuum sealed the package and placed into the fridge until ready to use. Once the water bath had reached 54 degrees c. I submerged the package into the bath and set the timer for 1 hour. During this time I prepared all the other elements to the dish beginning with the Kale ash seasoning. For this I simply laid out kale leaves on to a baking paper lined flat tray and placed into a 180 degree c. oven until blackened and burnt. I then removed the kale and allowed to cool before blending with salt and pepper in a coffee grinder to a powder. Next I boiled some yukon gold potatoes and drained before blending with some melted butter, cream and a little minced horseradish to for a rich, creamy velvety (veloute) puree or sauce. This was reheated before plating. To make the reduction I caramelised some sliced field mushrooms in a heavy based pan before deglazing with some Budweiser beer, as the syrup thickened, I added a few sprigs of fresh thyme and some glucose syrup. The green onion was pan seared quickly all over before being steamed with sprigs of thyme until soft, sweet and tender. Once the meat was ready I cut open the bag and seared both sides of the steak quickly about 45-50 seconds each side to give the meat the crusty caramelised exterior. The meat was then allowed to rest for 2-3 minutes before coating both sides with the kale ash seasoning.
                    To plate I reheated the puree and syrup and spooned some puree in the centre of the plate, encircling this with the caramelised mushroom and malt/rice beer reduction. I then placed the 54 deg.c. rib eye on top of the bed of potato and horseradish veloute. The green onion then crowned the steak with nasturtium leaves scattered around and to finish a ring of kale ash seasoning.

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