Tag Archives: butter

Filet de Bœuf with Porcini-Green Peppercorn Sauce

Aged, grass-fed filet of beef tenderloin is salt-crusted in a blazing hot iron skillet then finished in a 550-degree oven to a perfect medium-rare.  Served with a classic demi-glace with shallots, porcini mushrooms, aged brandy and cracked green peppercorns, finished with a knob of double Devon cream butter..

Filet de Bœuf with Porcini-Green Peppercorn Sauce

For the Steaks

Aged tenderloin filets, cut 2-1/2 inch thick
Coarse sea salt

Blot filets dry, then lightly sprinkle coarse sea salt on all surfaces.  Wrap loosely in butcher’s paper and refrigerate 4 hours.

Unwrap filets, blot dry and allow to stand 30 minutes at room temperature.  Meanwhile, pre-heat an iron skillet over medium-high heat for 15 minutes and pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees.

Sprinkle a little coarse sea salt in the bottom of the skillet and carefully lay down the filets.  Sear without moving for 3 minutes, re-salt the pan and sear the other side for 3 minutes.

Transfer the pan with the filets to the hot oven and roast about 7-8 minutes for medium rare.  Transfer filets to a dish to rest while you prepare the sauce.

For the Sauce

1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup porcini mushrooms, brushed clean and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons butter
6 oz demi-glace
3 oz fine brandy, cognac, port or Madeira
1/2 tablespoon freshly-cracked dry green peppercorns
1 tablespoon double Devon cream butter, cold

Add 1 tablespoon butter to the hot pan that the steaks were cooked in.  Add shallots and mushrooms and saute 2 minutes. Carefully add the brandy off the heat, taking care not to set the neighborhood on fire.  Return to heat and reduce until only 1 tablespoon of liquid remains.

Add the peppercorns and demi-glace and bring to a boil.  Remove sauce from the heat and whisk in double Devon cream butter.

Plate steaks and sauce and serve immediately with grilled asparagus and new potatoes, perhaps.

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Soaked Oatmeal with Wild Honeycomb, Mascarpone and Fried Bananas

Steel-cut oats are soaked overnight in cool, filtered water with a little lemon juice before being cooked with cinnamon and freshly-grated nutmeg.  Topped with banana slices fried in cultured butter with Tahitian vanilla, mascarpone thinned with fresh cream and a sprinkling of wild-harvested bee pollen..

Soaked Oatmeal with Wild Honeycomb, Mascarpone and Fried Bananas

For the Oats

1 cup traditional, steel-cut oats
1 cup cool, filtered water for soaking
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups filtered water for cooking
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg

2 teaspoons wild honeycomb
1 teaspoon wild-harvested bee pollen (not propolis)

Combine oats, water and lemon juice in a non-reactive bowl. Cover and allow to stand overnight. Transfer oats to a heavy saucepan, add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.  Add cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and keep warm until ready to use.

For the Bananas

1 just-ripe banana, bias-cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 tablespoons cultured butter
1 Tahitian vanilla bean, split and scraped

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-low heat.  Scrape vanilla into pan and swirl to disperse.  Add bananas and cook until golden brown.  Flip and cook until the other side is browned, about 8 minutes. Total.  Pour remaining butter into oatmeal.

For the Mascarpone

1 pint raw, fresh cream (ultra-pasteurized cream will not work)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon filtered water

Heat the cream in a double-boiler until it reaches 185 degrees. Mix water and lemon juice and add to the cream; it should thicken right away. Keep mixture at 185 degree for a full 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. Transfer to a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a clean bowl, refrigerate allow allow to separate 12-24 hours.  Mascarpone will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

To serve, spoon warm oatmeal into a bowl and drizzle cream-tinned mascarpone around the perimeter. Top with fried bananas and a spoonful of honeycomb and sprinkle with bee pollen.

A Nice Piece of Fish

Wild Alaskan salmon is lightly seasoned with fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, then quickly seared in butter and olive oil.  Minced shallots are added to the pan along with fresh dill, white wine and a teaspoon of the liquor from a jar of preserved lemons.  A knob of cold butter is whisked in at the end, then the sauce is poured back over the salmon.  Served with a small salad of winter cress, dandelion greens, slivered radishes, preserved lemon peel, champagne vinegar and raw olive oil.  The flavors are clean, fresh and distinct..

Pan-roasted Salmon

Lobster Bisque

Maine lobster, cream, dry sherry, aromatic herbs and vegetables and shaved black truffles.  A classic..

Lobster Bisque
Lobster Bisque

Serves 2

2 shell-on Maine or Canadian lobster tails, as fresh as possible
1 1/2 cups court-bouillon or fish stock
4 oz fresh cream
1 oz brandy
2 oz dry sherry
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/4 fresh lemon, cut into wedges
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 sweet bulb onion, split and thinly-sliced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 Roma tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon half-sharp paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8-10 smoked black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
butter

Sauté celery, onions, carrots, tomatoes, herbs and lobster shells in a tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender and the shells have turned bright red in color.

Add sherry and brandy and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, then add court-bouillon, lemon, pepper and paprika, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.

Run a wooden skewer lengthwise through each lobster tail, then lower into the liquid and gently poach for 2 minutes.  Remove lobster from pan and allow to cool enough to handle.

Pour stock through a fine strainer into a clean saucepan, pressing on and discarding the solids.  Whisk in tomato paste and simmer until reduced by about 1/3 in volume.

Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, and cook sweet onions until translucent.  Add chopped parsley, lobster medallions and any remaining pieces of lobster meat and gently poach until the lobster is just done.

Whisk the cream into the bisque, then finish with 2 tablespoons of the onion, butter and parsley mixture.

To serve, ladle bisque into a shallow bowl and arrange butter-drenched lobster medallions and pieces on top. Season lightly with freshly-ground black pepper and Maldon sea salt and garnish with fresh tarragon, thinly-shaved black truffles and bits of edible flowers.

Rosemary and Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb with Minted English Peas

Local pastured leg of lamb is coated with fresh rosemary, garlic, coarse salt and cracked pepper then slow-roasted and served au jus with fresh peas, spearmint and fried shallots..

Rosemary and Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb with Minted English Peas

Rinse leg of lamb and pat dry.  Remove the fell (a thin membrane covering the fat) if present, then coat with extra virgin olive oil and liberal amounts of fresh rosemary, garlic, sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Chop enough equal parts celery, white onion and carrots (mirepoix) to cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet to a depth of 1/2 inch.  Pour in 1 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon then set the lamb on top.  Roast uncovered in a 325 degree oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest section reads 125-130 degrees, about 75 minutes depending on size.  Transfer lamb to a cutting board, cover loosely and allow to rest 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add 2 cups cold filtered water to the roasting pan and stir to scrape up the brown bits.  Place over medium heat and cook until reduced by half.  Strain into a clean pan and adjust flavor with salt and pepper.  Keep warm.

Blanch fresh English peas in 1/4 inch of filtered water for 2-3 minutes, then immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water.  Heat butter in a heavy skillet and add a thinly sliced whole shallot. Fry until golden, then add minced lemon peel and cook 30 seconds.  Add drained peas and lots of chopped fresh mint and heat through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon peas onto a serving plate and arrange 1/2 inch-thick sliced of lamb over the top.  Dress with reduced pan juices and serve immediately.

Potatoes Gratiné

A slightly different take on a classic dish, these Potatoes Gratiné forgo the usual cheese and cream in favour of bacon, onions and fresh tri-color sage..

Potatoes Gratiné

Serves 2-3 as a side dish

approx. 18-20 fingerling potatoes, quartered
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 pound un-cured bacon or fresh pork belly, diced
1 small bunch tri-color sage (Salvia officinalis Tricolor)
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground smoked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 pieces of stale bread
1 tablespoon pastured butter
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Sauté bacon or pork belly in a heavy skillet until about half cooked, then add potatoes.  Cook, stirring often, until the potatoes are golden brown and tender and the bacon is nearly crisp.  Add onions, garlic and sage and cook until onions are translucent.  Pour of excess fat then season potatoes to taste with sea salt and smoked pepper. Transfer to a small casserole and set aside.

Cut or tear stale bread into small pieces and combine with chopped parsley and melted butter.  Scatter the gratin over the top of the potatoes then place the casserole 8 inches under the broiler until toasted.


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