Sous Vide Rib Eye Steak : Madeira BBQ Sauce : Navy bean puree : Ratatouille

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It’s been a few weeks since my last post. I’ve been working on a few recipes that need some fine tuning and definitely some planning for when it comes to plating. Some food can be plated easily, like pasta for example. This dish I’m working on is a pasta dish, but it does not look pretty on the plate, I’ve tried a couple of ideas, nothing has worked… hopefully I can figure it out and post it soon. It is really delicious, and I’m not just saying that, oysters and pasta, in a Pernod and green peppercorn sauce… yeah, I rest my case! Lately I’ve been cooking a lot of meat using my immersion circulator and I figured I would show signs of activity by posting a tasty recipe before I go back in the lab and experiment some more with this Pernod sauce (there’s a real fairy in the bottle btw).  Another problem I’ve been facing lately is related to photography.

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I usually do all the photography using a flash unit, and bounce surfaces (the white walls of my kitchen mostly) but since I moved to this new apartment, I haven’t been able to recreate similar lighting conditions (walls aren’t white), and the photos turn harsh and contrasty, with unappetizing highlights and strange white balance issues. I’m still working on how to sort this out, I have bought some reflectors and diffusers, but still photos are coming out looking… bad. Luckily for me, in Vancouver, the sun sets around 9pm during the spring/summer, so I have plenty of natural light coming through the windows, and nothing better than sun light for photography. If I could take all my photos using sunlight I would, but I usually cook at night. Anyways, today, rib eye steak it is!

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Ingredients (2 servings):

Steaks:

2 3/4-1 inch rib eye steaks
1 tbs garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
maldon salt to garnish

Ratatouille:

2 medium zucchinis
1 medium egg plant
1 red bell pepper
2 small shallots
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tbs tomato paste
2 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
1/2 C Vermouth
1 tbs wine vinegar

Navy Bean Puree:

1 C rinsed navy beans
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 tbs White vine vinegar
1 tbs EVO
1 Tbsp heavy cream
Salt to taste

Madeira BBQ Sauce:

1/4 C madeira wine
Beef jus (from the cooking)
1/4 dijon mustard
1 tsp tomato paste
1 garlic clove
Splash of heavy cream
Steak fond (from searing the steak)
salt and pepper to taste.

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The rib eye steaks. Season each steak generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place the steaks in sealable ziplock bags or pouches for vacuum sealing. Vacuum seal or remove the air out of the ziplock bags using the water displacement method, which is what i ended up doing, I don’t have a vacuum sealer here in Vancouver. You could pan sear or grill the steaks as well, but if you are curious about sous vide, you should try it. And if you have, you probably don’t need any convincing. Set the immersion circulator or water bath to 55C-131F (medium rare) for about 30-45 minutes. Rib eye is a very tender cut, doesn’t require long cooking times.    You can store the pouches in the fridge while you move on to the next components. When ready, you can reheat the pouches in the water bath (if you kept your water bath going),  if searing doesn’t bring the core temperature up, place in a warm oven (250F) for about 10 minutes. Practice makes perfect and a thermometer is your best weapon in the kitchen after that nice and sharp chef knife.

The Ratatouille. Thinly slice all the veggies. I sliced everything lengthwise about 1mm thickness. On a medium size shallow pan, add some olive oil. Over medium high heat, add the thyme and rosemary sprigs, the peppers and the shallots and cook stirring from time to time, for about 7 minutes or until translucent. Add some salt. Add the tomato paste and the rest of the veggies. Cook for another 7 minutes or until soft. When the liquid has dried and the veggies just about starting to roast, add the vermouth and the vinegar to deglaze. And cook until the liquid is almost entirely evaporated. Add some chopped parsley. Adjust seasoning, and acidity. Reserve.

The navy bean puree. Soak the beans overnight, or a couple of hours before using them. Simmer in plain water until tender. About 40 minutes. In a food processor, add the rest of the ingredients and puree until very soft.  The consistency should be that of a potato puree. Adjust seasoning. Blend some more if necessary.

Madeira BBQ sauce. For this step, since this is a quick pan sauce, we will need to sear the steaks to develop fond. Which calls for a stainless steel sautee pan. I’ve found my cast iron pans don’t develop as much fond but it’s also a good alternative. Heat up some vegetable oil or ghee on high heat and carefully add the steaks right when the oil starts to smoke (if you can time it so they hit the pan just before the oil starts to smoke, then even better). Allow to sear for a minute or so on each side until golden brown. Remove the steaks form the pan. Discard cooking oil. Return the pan to the stove. Add the madeira wine and deglaze the pan, scraping the fond loose. Add the garlic and the rest of the ingredients. Reduce until bubbly and thick. Adjust seasoning. If too thick, you can always add some water or cream. Reserve.

Plating. Add the bean puree first. Top with some of the ratatouille. Add the madeira sauce. Cut up the meat and place over the sauce. Finish with parsley and some maldon salt crystals.

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