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Posts from the ‘Featured Recipes’ Category

Saucy Series XIII: Mushroom Ketchup

Welcome to guest blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered, a blog dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. In this saucy series she demystifies one of the cornerstones of classic French cuisine: the mother sauces.

Mushroom Ketchup

Heston Blumenthal is a wonderful character. He appeals to me because he loves to play with food and to study ancient recipes to find inspiration for his dishes. His new restaurant, Dinner, in London is a smashing success with dishes that have a pedigree. One of his most popular historical recipes is one for mushroom ketchup.

hb

Mushroom ketchup has been made for hundreds of years –– you could call it the English version of soy sauce. It’s salty, positively exploding with umami and is an awesome addition to any meat dish, but can also add a wholly vegetarian meaty depth to a vegetable dish as well.

I’ve seen mushroom ketchup mentioned in recipes for years and always wanted to make it. In looking up mushroom ketchup recipes (my 1846 recipe from The Complete Cook was vague about the ratio of salt to mushrooms and I wanted guidance on that score), the more I searched, the more Heston’s name kept showing up.

Although Heston had a simple 18th century recipe for his base authentic mushroom ketchup, I really fell for a slightly more involved recipe from the 19th century that’s full of pepper –– I love pepper. Honestly, it is very little work but a 48 hour soak. Heston’s recipe is only an overnight drip. You will get somewhere around 2 cups of mushroom ketchup out of my recipe –– I did not make his version but in the video of the process, it appeared to generate about the same amount. You can store it forever in the fridge and even use the leftover mushrooms from the process to make a great mushroom pepper (after a wee dry in the oven). I’ll give you both so you can choose. Do buy the freshest mushrooms that you can. Old mushrooms have lost their liquid and will make for much less ketchup. DO NOT buy sliced mushrooms for the same reason –– they will have lost moisture with the cutting. I halved the recipe but it is easily doubled.

Dinner menu

At his London restaurant, Dinner, all his beef dishes are served with mushroom ketchup, but when I see the pictures of the mixture I am confused because the sauce I see is thick and glossy and mushroom ketchup is the texture of soy or Worcestershire sauces. Big surprise, Heston played with the texture –– he likes to play with food. Authentic mushroom ketchup has the same texture as soy sauce –– Heston makes mushroom ketchup plus.

Taking my cue from Heston, I deployed my sauce series partner D’Artagnan’s magnificent pasture-raised boneless strip sirloin steaks as a perfect medium for my mushroom ketchup. The meat was splendid –– so tender and full of flavor. History tastes great.

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Sirloin Steak with Mushroom Ketchup for 2

2 boneless strip sirloin steaks from D’Artagnan
light salt and pepper
1 T olive oil
Heston’s Mushroom Ketchup Sauce

Salt and pepper the steak. Don’t use much salt because the ketchup is salty. Heat a cast-iron skillet till quite hot. Add olive oil to the pan and put the steaks in the pan. Brown each side. The steak will be rare at this point. Cook longer for more doneness. Let rest a few minutes before serving with the mushroom ketchup.

Heston’s Mushroom Ketchup Sauce

2 oz red wine
1 oz red wine vinegar
1 small chopped shallot
pinch of cloves and mace ( I think pepper would be good too if you are not using my recipe for the mushroom ketchup base)
1 c mushroom ketchup (use Heston’s or the recipe from The Complete Cook – recipes follow)*
2 t cornstarch dissolved in 1 1/2 T cold water
drained, marinated mushrooms (recipe follows)

Reduce by 1/2 (his recipe called for 2/3rds reduction and I thought that was too much) and strain out the shallots – you will have a little over 1/2 a cup. Add the cornstarch mixture to the hot mixture and return to a low heat for a few minutes. Stir till thickened and remove from the heat. Add the marinated mushrooms and serve with the steak. Depending on the amount of marinade the mushrooms have soaked up, you may want to toss a bit of the mushroom marinade into the ketchup to your taste – I liked the little extra sweetness that it added.

*mushroom ketchup is thin, Heston’s recipe is a thick sauce made from the ketchup

Marinated Mushrooms

5 oz red wine vinegar
1/4 c sugar
4 oz mushrooms, sliced

Heat the vinegar and sugar to melt the sugar. Pour over the mushrooms and marinate for 24 hours.

Heston’s Recipe for Mushroom Ketchup

(used as base for the sauce, from an 18th c recipe)

1 3/4 lbs mushrooms, sliced
1 1/3 oz salt

Combine the salt and the mushrooms. Enclose in fabric (old t-shirt maybe?) and twist cloth and hang over a pot for 24 hours. Squeeze tightly to extract as much liquid as possible.

Mushroom Ketchup from The Complete Cook

1 3/4 lb mushrooms, pulsed a few times in a food processor or roughly chopped immediately before using
2 oz salt in the original recipe or about 3 T (I think 2T might be better — it’s very salty)
1 oz black peppercorns
1/2 oz allspice berries
1 T brandy

Put the mushrooms and salt in a glass or ceramic bowl and blend well. Let them sit for 2 hours and then stir and cover. Leave for 2 days, stirring a few times a day.

Put into a canning jar with the spices and screw the lid on, you should have around a quart.

Put in a stockpot and bring the water to a low boil (I put a wad of foil at the bottom so the glass wouldn’t touch the metal) for 2 hours. Strain the liquid into another pan using a fine sieve pressing hard on the solids. I finished up the process with a potato ricer that got every last bit of juice out of the mushrooms, but putting them in a cloth and squeezing would work well. Reserve the mushroom pieces that remain from the pressing.

At this point Sanderson recommends reducing the ketchup by half. If you are using it for the Blumenthal ketchup skip this step as the ratio of ketchup to his wine/vinegar mix will be off. Do cool the mixture and add the brandy. Put it in a canning jar. You should have 2 cups unreduced and 1 cup reduced. It is quite salty.

Preheat your oven to 200º, Spread the pepper mushroom mixture on the pan, remove the larger allspice berries and dry for 1 hour or until dried out. Put in a spice grinder and grind. Use as a wonderful mushroom flavored pepper in all your dishes.

Saucy Series XII: Financiere

Welcome to guest blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered, a blog dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. In this saucy series she demystifies one of the cornerstones of classic French cuisine: the mother sauces.

Sauce Financière

Sauce Financière is a ‘fork-list’ addition to my Sauce Series –– it’s something I’ve always wanted to make. The name has always whispered the Croesusian promise of shimmering golden lucre and made me want to try anything with the name attached to it. I’m in good company making the golden connection since no less than MFK Fisher said “The word financière, for fairly obvious reasons, means richness, extravagance, a nonchalant disregard of the purse, but I sometimes suspect that I use it oftener than it warrants to denote anything Lucullan. I need only reread some Victorian cookery books to reassure myself and justify my preoccupation with the word.”

Sauce Financiere 2

There are a few things with the name. There’s a buttery-sweet goldbrick of a cake called Financiére but also a creamy Ragoût a la Financière made with sweetbreads, cockscombs and mushrooms (often nestled in pastry) in addition to that sauce I wanted to make –– a sauce redolent of truffles and madeira –– hence the financière connection.

When I started digging for historical connections to financière, I didn’t have to look far. A dinner held for Abraham Lincoln in 1861 had Vol au Vent Financière (a pastry case stuffed with that Ragoût a la Financière). A famous 1877 literary event known as “The Whittier Dinner” saw Mark Twain as the star speaker and most of the literary lions of the day attending. The menu featured “Filet of Beef, larded, Sauce Financière.”

Since this is another entry into my Sauce Series, I am making my financière sauce using some great D’Artagnan products. I’m using their Moulard duck breast as the base for the dish because it is perfect for the sauce with its meaty lusciousness.

For the sauce itself you can make the “Federal Reserve” version with sliced truffles or the “Banker’s Reserve” using truffle oil and truffle butter for that truffle magic. You can use pricey mushrooms like morels (although a good handful is only $6) or buttons.

Either way, you will love the sauce on pretty much anything from chicken to game birds to steak. It’s a keeper. I decided to combine a few recipes for the sauce from Gouffé, Francatelli and even Oscar of the Waldorf. The result was just what I wanted and it is quick to make and is not terribly rich –– just rich tasting!

If you want to go for full-out Fort Knox extravagance, you can use a few shavings of fresh white truffle in season or add a cube or 2 of foie gras to the sauce before serving

Duck Breast with Sauce Financiére

serves 2 -4

2 duck breasts, cooked and sliced (each breast gives about 8 slices)
1 recipe sauce financiére
2 – 4 pieces fried bread
herbs for garnish (sage, chervil, marjoram)

Place the sliced duck breast on the bread and spoon the mushrooms and sauce over the meat. Garnish with herbs.

Sauce financiere 1

Sauce Financiére

1cup mushrooms (morels and sliced shitakes or creminis)
2 T butter or truffle butter or olive oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 t pepper
salt to taste
1 t mushroom ketchup (recipe HERE) or soy sauce
1 c D’Artagnan demi-glace
1 T meat glaze (a super reduced demi-glace or stock)
1 T Espagnole sauce (the recipe is HERE) or 1 t ketchup
3 T madeira (I would use Rare Wine Co. Savannah Verdelho)
1 D’Artagnan canned truffle, or fresh truffle sliced and/or D’Artagnan white truffle oil to taste
1 or 2 tablespoons foie gras, chopped (optional)

Sauté the mushrooms in the butter till softened a bit, add the truffle slices. Add the spices and mushroom ketchup or salt.

Add the demi-glace and meat glaze and Espagnole. Reduce to a slightly syrupy consistency (you will have around 1/3 to 1/2 a cup) and add the madeira and keep warm or reheat gently. Add the truffle oil just before serving. If you are using foie gras, put it in at the end and stir it in using a gentle heat.

Sauce Financiere 4

Duck Breast

2 large duck breasts from D’Artagnan* (there are smaller ones, if you use them change the cooking time)
Salt & Pepper

This is a virtually foolproof technique. Preheat the oven to 400º. Score the fat of the duck breasts with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern. Season the duck with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place the duck breasts, fat side down, in the skillet to render the fat, about 6 minutes. Turn the duck breasts over and sear for 1 minute. Turn the fat side down again and place the skillet into the oven to roast for 7 minutes, until breasts are medium rare (4 minutes for the smaller breasts). Rest them for 5 minutes then slice

 

Saucy Series XI: Sauce Romaine

Welcome to guest blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered, a blog dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. In this saucy series she demystifies one of the cornerstones of classic French cuisine: the mother sauces.

Sauce Romaine

In researching for my Sauce Series, I have tried to cover all the classic mother sauces and their permutations but I also find it interesting to present some bygone relics that have fallen from grace and are forgotten.

I came across a beauty in my wonderful book Le Repertoire De La Cuisine (that I told you about HERE) called Sauce Romaine made with caramel, vinegar, reduced stock and pignoli nuts with raisins. It is a member of the sweet and sour family of sauces with ancient roots. One version was made with demi-glace and another with Espagnole (one of the mother sauces). I believe the inspiration for it may be very old. Raymonia is a medieval dish based on the Arabic Rummaniya with a sauce of pomegranate, ground almonds and sugar –– an ancient agrodolce (an Arabic-influenced Sicilian sweet and sour sauce still popular today that’s like a gastrique). Not much of a stretch to go to the raisins and pine nuts of Sauce Romaine. After a 1000-odd years, this family of sauces is still divine with grilled poultry, game birds or pork or, as luck would have it, a small boar roast from D’Artagnan. It’s also fat free, full of flavor and actually good for you with all that lovely reduced stock.

Romaine 1

Wild Boar Roast with Sauce Romaine

1 D’Artagnan small boar roast or a pork roast (about 1 1/2 pounds)
salt and pepper
1 T olive oil
2 carrots, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
Brussel sprouts, sliced (optional)
2 t chopped fresh herbs (sage or thyme would be nice)
Sauce Romaine

Preheat the oven to 375º. Toss the vegetables in some of the oil and put it in the bottom of a small heavy pan. Oil the roast and rub with salt and pepper and herbs. Put the roast on top of the vegetables and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until the inner temperature is 140º.

It comes with a string covering which you should remove but it will spread. It is better to tie it up so the roast cooks properly (so some bits don’t get overdone).

Tent the meat and rest for 10 minutes. Place the vegetables on the platter and slice the roast. Pour any juices that have collected from the roast into the sauce and stir them in. Spoon the sauce over the roast and serve warm or room temperature.

Romaine 2

Sauce Romaine

2 T sugar
1/2 c vinegar
1 c demi-glace from D’Artagnan
2 T Sauce Espagnole (optional)
1/2 c white raisins
1/4 c pignoli nuts

Melt the sugar gently in a heavy pan. When it melts and browns remove from the heat and add the vinegar. Reduce it to a thin syrupy consistency. Add the demi-glace and raisins and reduce somewhat.

The sauce will thicken on its own as it cools – the raisins will also soak up some of the sauce so don’t go nuts reducing it. Serve it warm or at room temperature

Saucy Series X: Bechamel Mornay

Welcome to guest blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered, a blog dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. In this saucy series she demystifies one of the cornerstones of classic French cuisine: the mother sauces.

Sauce Béchamel Mornay

I discovered Filet of Sole Verdi when I read a description of it that made me swoon –– sole, lobster and truffles on pasta with a creamy Mornay sauce that’s popped under the broiler to brown a bit. Escoffier invented the dish to impress the composer. With 2 great sauces in it I thought it was perfect for the sauce series.

escoffier

Escoffier

But when I looked up the original recipes for béchamel and Mornay sauce, I was shocked.

Escoffier’s original béchamel is made with veal! His white sauce is cooked with pieces of veal for two hours then strained. Remarkable. I will try doing it that way one of these days but decided that, since it was fish, I would go with the simpler, non-veal version that he used for “Lenten preparations.”

Béchamel was named after the Marquis de Béchameil (1630 -1703), of whom Escoffier wrote “After all, if it wasn’t for his divine sauce the Marquis de Béchamel would have been forgotten long ago.” Legend has it that it was invented to sauce dried cod. It is in Varenne’s 1651 Cuisinier Francais made with a veal velouté and cream, so Escoffier’s version echoes the sauce’s velouté ancienne roots (velouté has been around a very long time).

The same was true of the Mornay sauce. Probably named after a “player in the halcyon days” of the 2nd Empire, Charles de Mornay, I never knew Escoffier put fumet into the sauce (fumet being stock-based liquid the meat or fish was poached in). It makes a sublime addition to the cheesy sauce, giving it a bit of backbone.

When you put it together with the sole and lobster and truffles and pasta, ooh la la, you can see why Verdi was pleased with it. It is extremely elegant and if you do the sauces and pasta ahead of time, it can be ready in a few minutes.

Bechamel Mornay 1

Filet of Sole Verdi

(serves 2 main course-4 appetizer)

½ to ¾ lb. filet of sole
1 c fish fumet/stock*
4 c cooked pasta (don’t go too al dente on this, you want it softish to go with the elegant texture of the dish)
1 c cream
2 small lobster tails, shells removed
1 T butter
2 c béchamel
2 c Mornay sauce
1 large D’Artagnan truffle sliced and ¼ chopped (optional)
2-3 t D’Artagnan truffle oil to taste.
Salt and pepper

Put the fish in the stock on medium heat. Add a touch of salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes per side –– they cook very quickly. Remove. Reduce the stock to 1/2 a cup. Pour any juices that have collected from the fish into the reduced fumet. If you have a lot of juices, you should reduce a little further so you only have 1/2 cup.

Warm the cream. Add the cheeses to the cream. Toss the pasta with the cream and salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 t of the truffle oil and some chopped truffle, if you are using it, and toss just before assembling the dish.

Add the fumet to the Mornay sauce and stir. Warm it. It should be thick.

Sauté the lobster tails for a few minutes. They should not be fully cooked. Chop the smaller end of the tail and add to the pasta. Slice the fatter end.

Heat the broiler. Make single skillets or a large skillet with handles that can take the broiler.

Spoon the pasta into the dish. Lay the sole over 2/3 of the dish. Pour the Mornay sauce over the sole and tuck the lobster at the edge of the Mornay sauce. Heat the pan on the stove for a few minutes at medium-low heat.

Put under the broiler on high for a few minutes. Pay attention, it goes from perfect to burned in no time. Remove and top with chopped herbs. Tuck the truffle slices in and drizzle with remaining truffle oil.

*(I always freeze bones and shrimp/lobster shells and make this when I have enough to make a quart of stock. Then freeze it flat and break it off when I need it or freeze in ½ c portions). You could use chicken stock in a pinch.

Bechamel mornay 2

Béchamel

2 c milk
1 small shallot, sliced
1 clove (optional)
3 T butter
2 T flour

Heat the milk and simmer while you melt the butter. Add the flour to the butter and stir over low heat till all bubbly. Do not let it brown. Strain the milk. Pour the hot milk slowly into the flour mixture, stirring all the while over medium heat till all the milk is used and the sauce is thickened. Add the cheeses and set aside.

bechamel mornay 3

Mornay Sauce

2 c béchamel
½ c fish reserved fumet
1 c grated Parmesan
1 c grated Gruyere

Add the fumet to the béchamel and reduce a little. Add the Parmesan and gruyere and stir till smooth.

Super Bowl Sunday, the Meat of the Matter

For something beyond finger food…that will stick to the ribs and help absorb some of the alcohol on game day, here are our picks.

You can’t go wrong with chili. It’s a one-pot, make-ahead meal that can be ladled out in haste between plays. Melt some cheese on top, serve with corn chips. Or with bacon cornbread. Everyone loves chili. We take ours with buffalo, thank you. 

Chili & Cornbread banner vertical

For a variation on the theme, this tomatillo and lamb stew is hearty, warming, and a lovely surprise for your Super Bowl guests. You might serve it with tortillas to soak up the luscious juices.

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Tomatillo Lamb Stew

Forget about the Velveeta shortage and try eating real macaroni with real cheese. And real truffles.

Whether you follow directions and make individual ramekins of this decadent mac ‘n’ cheese, or  whip up a huge batch and dole out spoonfuls, this is a dish not easily forgotten. Which is to say that when truffles and cream meet over noodles of any kind, there is true magic.  Get good at making this, because it will be requested again and again.

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Black Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese

No sooner do we think of mac-n-cheese than sliders come to mind. Did we promise a foie-gras-free zone? Sorry about that! These buffalo mini burgers with foie gras are too tempting. Not to worry, it’s just our medallion of foie  gras with truffles, which we treat as a spread in this recipe. So easy! The sweet-sour tangy flavor of the onion marmalade balances this burger beautifully.

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Buffalo Burgers with Foie Gras Spread and Sweet Onion Marmalade

Class up the party with a massive Berkshire pork loin, prepared simply: stuffed with garlic and herbs, rolled, tied and then roasted. It’s an easy way to serve up to 10 people and it sure looks impressive.

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Garlic Roasted Pork Loin

And there’s always ribs. Glorious ribs. Smoky, sweet, sticky ribs. Roasted in the oven and slathered with sauce…pork spare ribs or St. Louis style, beef short ribs or even wild boar ribs …  we never saw a rib we didn’t like.  Serve up platters of ribs and make everyone happy this Super Bowl Sunday.

Ribs Recipes

Super Bowl Sunday, the Snack Edition

We have to get in on the action — after all, Super Bowl XLVIII is happening only  a few miles away from our office!  The entire area is filled with excitement, banners are waving high, hotels are filling up, stores and restaurants are having super sales.

And every where we look online, there are football-shaped meatloaves and other wild suggestions for Super Bowl snacks.  We’ve even see lists of foods that should never be served at a Super Bowl party (kale chips are apparently not cool).

We take eating seriously, as you do. So without succumbing to kitsch, or worse, the junk food trap, how can your maintain your high food standards? Without getting too highfalutin? We have a few ideas that don’t involve foie gras or dainty canapes.

Behold the snacks….

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Wild Mushroom Bacon Dip

This dip is no joke. It is thick, creamy, smoky and totally addicting. Maybe that’s due to the hickory-smoked bacon doing its magic, or the porcini powder which adds an element of umami. Let’s just say that you will want a flexible spatula to scrape every last bit out of the bowl. Licking is allowed.

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White Bean Dip with Truffles

OK, we’ll admit this seems a bit fancy, what with the truffles and Tarbais beans. But there are some Super Bowl parties with discerning eater in attendance. Why not give them something worthy of their well-trained palate?  Plus this dip is tremendously tasty.

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Super Pigs in a Blanket

It can’t get much easier. Wrap our log of garlic sausage with pastry dough and bake. Serve with mustard. It’s a simple and elegant take on a classic.

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Mushroom Salsa

Here’s our fresh take on salsa. Who says it has to be tomato-based? We love mushrooms — especially in this “meaty” salsa. It’s safe for vegetarians (you’ll note there is not even duck fat in this recipe), and delicious for everyone.

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Game Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Continuing our mushroom theme, these easy, stuffed fungi are a little more special with game sausage inside. We like the wild boar sausage for this recipe, though venison sausage works well. And of course, for a lighter flavor, rabbit and ginger sausage is quite nice.

If you are looking for something more substantial, click on through to our next post

Saucy Series IX: Cumberland

Welcome to guest blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered, a blog dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. In this saucy series she demystifies one of the cornerstones of classic French cuisine: the mother sauces.

Cumberland Sauce

Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were giants of the American stage from the 1920s to 1960. They were also legendary entertainers at their home in Manhattan but mostly in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin. All of the greats of stage and screen dropped by their out-of-the-way farm for R&R. Everyone loved it. Fontanne was the perfect hostess and Lunt the master chef. After retiring from the stage, Lunt even got a Cordon Bleu degree and wrote a cookbook that was published after his death by the foundation that took over the house. It is chock full of amazing recipes, all the more so when you think that the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Lawrence Olivier, Noel Coward and Joan Crawford enjoyed them at one time or another.

Cumberland at table

I loved the book and its stories and photos but fell in love with his take on Cumberland Sauce. I LOVE Cumberland Sauce and couldn’t leave it off my Sauce Series list. It is a classic game sauce that has been around in one form or another for a hundred years. Although named after the Duke of Cumberland and thought to be thoroughly English, it has its roots in Germany. Lunt adds a touch of magic in his version with the addition of a bit of horseradish. Best I ever tasted. Although I have always associated it with venison, it would be great with any pork (chops, loin, tenderloin or even sausage or ham) or a game bird (duck to grouse and pigeon) and even would work for vegetarians because it is amazing on sweet potatoes (sans the demi-glace).

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If you like venison, run, do not walk to D’Artagnan for the best venison tenderloin ever. It’s butter tender and full of flavor –– I made it rare and loved it that way. It is also extremely lean, so best not to cook it too much. The sweet and savory combination with a bit of heat from the horseradish and cayenne is masterful and you understand why this sauce has been a favorite for generations (something like it has been used since at least the 18th century). The best part? It takes about 15 minutes to make and can be done ahead of time. That means a world-class dinner could be ready in 1/2 an hour. It’s low in fat and high in flavor, how cool is that?

Cumberland 3

Venison Tenderloin with Cumberland Sauce (serves 3-4)

2 venison tenderloins from D’Artagnan
1 c red wine
2 t juniper berries
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1 bay leaf
1 t dry thyme
2 T butter or oil
Cumberland sauce
Steamed sweet potato (a squeeze of orange is great on them)
sautéed spinach

Combine the wine and spices and marinate the venison overnight. Remove from the fridge. Dry the meat and heat the oil in a skillet. Add the meat and sear on all sides. Cook for about 5 more minutes for rare. Tent for 5 minutes, slice and serve with Cumberland sauce and sweet potato and spinach.

Cumberland 1

Alfred Lunt’s Cumberland Sauce (serves 4)

1 t chopped shallot
1 T orange peel in fine julienne
1 T lemon peel in fine julienne
¼ c port
2 T D’Artagnan demi-glace (optional)
1/3 c currant jelly
juice of 1 orange
juice of ½ lemon
½ t dry English mustard
dash of cayenne
1 t freshly grated horseradish with 1 t sherry vinegar or 1 t prepared horseradish*

Boil shallots for 2 minutes in a little water and strain and reserve. Do the same with the lemon and orange peels. Melt the currant jelly and add the peels and shallots. Reduce till thickened and serve warm or at room temperature.

*I am kind of crazy about horseradish so I added a bit more after the sauce had cooked for extra kick.

Cumberland 2

Saucy Series VIII: Bordelaise

Welcome to guest blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered, a blog dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. In this saucy series she demystifies one of the cornerstones of classic French cuisine: the mother sauces.

Bordelaise Sauce

Sam Ward was one of the great entertainers of the 19th century.  He virtually invented lobbying in Washington.  He had a talent for creating great dinners with perfectly assembled guests who then made deals since they were in a great mood after great food and conversation.

Uncle Sam Ward

When I looked at one of Sam’s dinner menus, I could see what all the fuss was about –– it is everything you would imagine it to be. The menu is thoughtful and yet full of piquant touches like the Sorbet au Marasquin –– a touch of prussic acid from the cherry pits in maraschino liqueur in the sorbet to aid in digestion and cleanse the palate for the last of the dinner. His nephew, another renowned tastemaker named Ward McAllister, said Sam made sure he would never allow that lest “the fatal mistake should occur of letting two white or brown sauces follow each other in succession; or truffles appear twice in that dinner.” It was always a perfectly choreographed dance of flavors –– and conversation. Without both, the event will never be as great a success.

menu 1

What would I chose for the 4th dish from Sam’s dinner table? I think that Crêpes a la Bordelaise are the perfect choice –– a great addition to a beef dinner with steak or roast, potatoes and a vegetable. My crêpes are light and airy with a winey, mushroom-y bordelaise sauce. They could be served flat or as a beggar’s purse. I know they will delight at your dinner. I have made a white wine bordelaise before for you HERE, but this calls for the red wine version.

Bordelaise is another addition to my Sauce Series that uses both the mother sauce Espagnole and demi-glace. I have included recipes for both but it’s a breeze to order your demi-glace from D’Artagnan and store it in the freezer. I just slice off what I need and put the rest back in the freezer. Bordelaise is great for any steak. You can make it ahead and freeze it easily so you can make your meal in a snap.

Menu 3

Delmonico’s Chef Filippini Recipe from Sam Ward’s Era

Menu 2

Delmonico’s Chef Ranhoffer’s Recipe from Sam Ward’s era

If you are so disposed, you can dissolve a spoon of marrow into the mix, as was done long ago. I skipped that step and let the meatiness of the mushrooms add additional flavor and depth. It’s really pretty easy to make if you have the basics in your freezer.

Crêpes Bordelaise for 4

1 recipe for crêpes
1 recipe for bordelaise
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 T butter

Sauté the mushrooms in the butter. Add the mushrooms to the bordelaise. Fold your crêpes into quarters on your plate and ladle the sauce over them or serve the sauce on the side. They can be plated separately or served on a platter.

Crêpes (makes 12)

3/4 c milk
2 eggs
1/2 c flour
1/4 t salt
butter for pan

Throw the milk, eggs, flour and salt into the blender and let it rip for a minute.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.

Use a stick of butter like a marker and run it all over your pan (or you can use a spoon of clarified butter if you have it). Be especially generous for the first few and use butter before each pour of batter. Swirl 2 T of batter around the pan and flip once it has set –– do not allow to brown too much. Keep warm or reheat gently when you are ready to serve.

Bordelaise

2 shallots, chopped fine
2 t oil or butter
1 c red wine
1 clove garlic, chopped
6 T demi-glace from D’Artagnan
3 T Espagnole sauce* (or add a t. of flour to the sautéed shallots with 1 t. of tomato sauce or ketchup and a little more demi-glace)
stems from 4 mushrooms
1/2 bay leaf
pinch of cloves
1 1/2 c mushrooms, sliced
1 T butter or oil

Sauté the shallots in the oil till softened somewhat.

If you are skipping the addition of Espagnole, you can add a teaspoon of flour to the shallots to give the sauce the extra body and add a t. of tomato sauce or ketchup for the right flavor.

Put the wine, garlic, shallots, demi-glace, Espagnole (if you are using it) and stems from mushrooms into a pan and reduce at medium heat until thickened.

Strain the sauce –– you should have about 1/3 cup of sauce about the texture of chocolate syrup –– a bit less if you don’t use the Espagnole. This sauce keeps well for a few days.

*Super-quick version of Espagnole Sauce

1 T butter
1 T flour
1 T bacon
1 T onion
1 T white wine
1 t ketchup
1 cup stock
2 T demi-glace from D’Artagnan

Sauté the flour in the butter till medium brown. Add the rest and cook on low for 20 minutes to 1/2 an hour — till thickened. Keep watch lest it go too far. Strain and use.

•Quick Version of Espagnole Sauce

4 T butter
4 T Flour
3 T diced carrot
3 T diced onion
3 T bacon
2 c stock
1 t thyme
piece of bay leaf
2 T white wine
1/4 c demi-glace from D’Artagnan
2 T tomato sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the flour and butter till it is a medium brown on a medium flame –– stirring all the time.

Add the vegetables, ham and bacon and stir. Slowly add the stock, wine and demi-glace. Cook over a low flame for 45 minutes and add the tomato sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes and strain, pressing hard on the solids. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Save the rest for other uses. It is an invaluable addition to sauces. Freeze it in small portions. Quickest and easiest is to put it in ice-cube trays in 1 T portions and store them in a baggy in the freezer. Then it’s a breeze to use.

Venison Recipes

FZRVR004-1_VA1_SQOur venison is unlike the venison you may have tried in the past.  Hunted venison is the most common stuff we come across, and there is a lot of uncertainty in the wild. Stress, age and diet all play roles in the taste and texture of the meat.

The venison we sell is farmed in the vast pastures of New Zealand, which means these deer eat a controlled diet of grass, and are processed at the ideal age. They are certified by Cervena, which guarantees that the animals are raised with humane care, fed only a controlled grass diet and are processed at a certain age.  As a result, many people are surprised when they first try our venison. It is lean yet tender, and not at all gamey. It’s a perfect option for red-meat recipes when you grow tired of beef. Venison is both elegant (think the lord of the manor) and rustic (think generations of hunters).

Here are a few recipes to inspire your cooking adventures with venison.

Recipe_Venison_Tartare_CAPT

Ingredients

1 to 1 1/2 pounds Hudson Valley Grade A duck foie gras
1 3/4 pounds venison stew meat, sinew and tendons removed, if any
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo chile pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Smoked salt
Coarsely-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon capers, coarsely chopped
1 loaf country-style bread, sliced 1 inch thick

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Season the foie gras with salt and pepper. Place the foie gras in a small roasting pan or ovenproof sauté pan that is slightly larger than the size of the foie. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the liver has browned and the flesh is firm to the touch. Reserve the fat that has rendered from the foie gras and let the lobe cool in the refrigerator until ready for use.

2. While the lobe of foie gras is cooling, put the venison through the meat grinder on a 1/4 inch cutting die. Grind the meat into a cold bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Once the meat is cold again, dice the cooled foie gras into 1/4 inch pieces then add to the bowl with the meat. Add remaining ingredients and mix gently. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper then mound onto cold plates to be served. Slather the slices of grilled bread with foie gras fat and grill both sides, serving 2 pieces per person with a few extra for folks who need more.

Recipe_Venison_Spoonbread_CAPT

Ingredients

1 frenched venison ribrack, cut into 4 double chops
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt
Coarsely-ground black pepper
1 pound red radishes
1/2 cup sugar
1 container veal demi-glace, diluted in 1 cup of water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 duck leg confit
4 eggs
1 pint heavy cream
8 ounces brioche, cut into small pieces

Preparation

1. For the spoonbread: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a bowl, combine duck confit, eggs, heavy cream, and brioche. Stir gently until bread is evenly saturated. Season with salt and pepper. Place in an 8×8″ baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until set.

2. For the radishes: In a medium saucepot over medium heat combine radishes, sugar, and diluted demi-glace. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the radishes are tender. Strain the radishes out and reduce the liquid until thick and syrupy. Stir in the butter. Keep warm until ready to use.

3. Season the venison on both sides with the salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan over medium high heat add the oil and sear the Cervena on both sides to get a good crust. Cook until medium rare, about 4 minutes on each side. Allow to rest on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes before plating.
Spoon some of the spoon bread on each plate, add radishes and venison chop. Drizzle with the radish reduction.

Recipe_Risotto_Con_Cervo_HomeMedium

Ingredients

2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion, minced
1/2 cup minced ventrèche
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 pounds venison tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary + small sprigs to garnish, if desired
2 whole cloves
1/2 cup dry red wine, preferably Barolo
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 quarts chicken stock, reserving 6 cups for risotto
1 shallot, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preparation

1. Soak porcini in 2 cups of hot water until softened, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat half of the olive oil in a large casserole over medium-high heat. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the onions and all of the ventreche to the pan, and sauté until golden, about 8 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper, add the venison, and cook until all the meat liquids have evaporated, about 15 minutes.

3. Pick out porcini and chop them coarsely, reserving the liquid except for the last 2 tablespoons of gritty sediment. Add porcini to casserole, along with bay leaves, rosemary, cloves, and red wine, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until the wine has nearly evaporated.

4. Stir in tomato paste and seasoning lightly with salt and pepper. Add chicken stock slowly, except for reserved 6 cups, and reserved mushroom liquid, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered until meat is tender, and the sauce is thickened, about 1½ hours.

5. Remove bay leaves and rosemary, adjust seasoning, and set aside. Recipe may be made several days in advance, covered, and refrigerated. Warm before continuing.

6. Heat the remaining 6 cups of chicken stock and keep warm. Heat remaining olive oil in a medium casserole over medium-high heat. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons of onion and the shallot, and sauté until golden. Stir in rice, turning to coat with oil. Pour in white wine, stir well, and add ½ cup of the hot stock, and season with about a teaspoon of salt.

7. Cook, stirring constantly, until all liquid has been absorbed. Stir in half of the venison and sauce. Continue to add hot stock in small batches, and cook until each successive batch has been absorbed, stirring constantly, until rice mixture is creamy and al dente.

8. Remove from heat, stir in butter and cheese, and season with pepper. Ladle risotto onto 6 large plates. Spoon the remaining venison and sauce over each portion, add a small sprig of rosemary, and serve.

Featured Recipe: Wagyu Shepherd’s Pie

Why not elevate the homey cottage pie with ground Wagyu beef and a truffle butter mashed potato crust? Equal parts comfort food and haute cuisine, this is a pie to savor. Serve with a pint of pale ale or dry stout for a bit of “pub grub” authenticity.

shepherdspie

Ingredients

4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 cups cream (or milk)
5 tablespoons D’Artagnan Black Truffle Butter
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
2 pounds D’Artagnan Kobe-Style Ground Wagyu Beef
1 large onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup peas
1/2 container D’Artagnan Veal Demi-Glace, dissolved with 1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup red wine

 Preparation 

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, add 1 tablespoon salt. Heat over medium-high flame until simmering. Cook until a fork slips in and out easily. Drain potatoes then transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until lumps are gone, about 2 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons black truffle butter, mix until blended. Turn mixer down to low speed. Add cream, salt and pepper to taste, and nutmeg. Do not over mix. Cover with foil, set aside.
  2. Heat a large Dutch-oven or other heavy pot over medium-high flame. Add ground Wagyu beef, cook, breaking up meat with a spoon or spatula until evenly browned and no longer pink. Remove meat with a spotted spoon and set aside. Drain off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat.
  3. Place pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and carrot. Cook, stirring up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add beef back to the pot. Add tomato paste, mustard and cocoa powder, stirring well to combine. Stir in peas. Add red wine and demi-glace mixture. Again, stir up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, turn heat down to low. Maintain simmer until most liquid is evaporated and mixture reaches a thick, saucy consistency, about 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  5. Transfer meat mixture to a large baking dish. Spoon mashed potatoes over the top and evenly smooth over the meat using an off-set spatula. Use a fork to make an attractive swirled pattern on the top of the potatoes. Brush with melted truffle butter. Bake until top is golden brown, about 15 – 20 minutes.
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