This one was inspired by another recent trip to Herdsman Fresh, a great place for fresh fruit and veges, and with it’s own built in butchers, baker, and fishmonger, you can always find inspiration for a tasty meal. So after spending a bit of time and a lot more money than I should have… I arrived back home with some deliciously marbled porterhouse steaks (too ugly to put in the window apparently, but perfect for eating), a bag of jerusalem artichokes (which are neither Jewish, nor artichokes, more like yams really)
The rest was simple. A delightful Jerusalem Artichoke mash (I was going to roast them ala Jules, but I was clean out of duck fat… and being a purist, I didn’t want to sully the recipe with my cheap imitation duck fat). Served with a simple salt and pepper seasoned porterhouse steak cooked with a little (lot of) butter. To finish, some super snap peas that have been hanging around my fridge waiting for a stir fry that never eventuated, and my now almost boring because I make it so often red wine jus.
The only thing that I’m really going to be bothered going into is the jerusalem artichoke mash… to cook the artichokes, I simply sliced them really thinly and threw them into a saute pan with a little olive oil and some butter, and cooked away on a medium heat until they were nice and soft. Then into a bowl with a few dollops of double cream, and some salt and pepper, and mash away to your hearts content. If you want really smooth mash, feel free to pass it through a seive a couple of times, or else learn to live with a bit of chunk.
The steaks were cooked to a lovely medium rare, and the jus made by adding red wine, a sliced shallot, a clove of garlic, and some beef stock to the pan juices, before reducing down to a savoury concoction that just coated the back of a spoon.
The sugar snap peas were blanched quickly to keep the lovely texture and crunch, and then it was all arrange rather sloppily onto a plate. Served with a 2004 West Cape Howe Shiraz.
Now say that title five times really fast…
Actually, I just realised that although i posted these photos and descriptions to my Flickr page, I didn’t end up writing a post about it here… So a belated Valentines day to all the food lovers out there, because that was when I made this meal.
This meal was… Parsnip Puree, Seared Witlof, Peppered Porterhouse Steak, topped with a red wine, cherry tomato confit.
- 3 or 4 large parsnips (peeled and sliced thinly)
- Double Cream (200 ml or so)
- 4 Witlof (aka Belgian Endives)
- Red wine (lots of)
- 1 box Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- Black Peppercorns (or Pink if you’re being fancy)
- Beef/Veal stock
- Porterhouse Steak (nice thick cuts)
Slice the parnsips thinly and sautee them slowly in a pan with lots of butter. They should cook gently and not go too brown or burnt… After around 15 minutes or so they should be getting nice and soft, and starting to fall apart. All this point add the double cream into the mixture and bring to the boil. Let it simmer down for a few minutes before removing from the heat and blending the mixture in a blender. Done !
Season the steak by crushing some peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and rubbing it into the steak. Do the same with some good quality sea salt, or ground rock salt and cover with extra virgin olive oil. Leave a while to let it soak in.
When you’re ready to cook the steak, put some butter in a pan and get it nice and hot… searing hot. Then drop the steaks into the pan and seal them on both sides, turning only once. A good poke in the middle of the steak will tell you how cooked it is. Soft and juicy equals rare to medium rare, hard and springy equals well done badness.
Once the steak is almost to the level you’re after, take it off the heat and put them into a preheated often to finish cooking.
Make sure you keep all the pan juices because thats what we’re using for the sauce.
Red Wine/Cherry Tomato Jus
So take the pan you’ve just cooked the steaks in, add some red wine to deglaze, and reduce it down to a syrupy consistencty. Now add the cherry tomotoes (halfed), a bay leaf, some beef/veal stock, and perhaps some pepper. Let this all reduce and watch the juices come out of the cherry tomatoes as they slowly break down into a deliciously sweet jus (pronounced Joo in case you ever see it on a menu and don’t want to embarrass yourself like I once did). Once you’ve got the flavour and consistency you’re happy with, you’re done.
The witlof was really simple. It’s a bitter kind of lettuce like vegetable, but adds a really nice edge to a heavy meal, so I simply sliced them in half down the middle, seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little lemon juices, and then seared them under a grill.
Then arrange it all on a plate, drizzle over the sauce, pour some wine, light some candles, and let love work its magic…