Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Day 10 of PCA II – Beef is just Good!

I love beef. I really feel sorry for vegetarians on beef day. But I’m very happy for me cause I get more beef.

This evening brought us back to the grill for New York Steaks and Filet Mignon. The NY steaks were great but the filets were iffy. They are not my favorite cut of beef and they take a long time to get cooked just right because they are so thick.

Now let’s talk sauces. We served with the NY steaks Bordelaise. This sauce is made my reducing veal stock and adding shallots that have been sautéed in red wine. Right at the end you add fresh veal bone marrow. You let the marrow melt into the sauce. Now I know what you’re thinking…”Oh gawd…bone marrow? The pure fat from INSIDE the bones?” Yes that is exactly what you do. But when it melts into the stock it creates a very rich intensely flavored sauce. At the very end before service you mount this with butter to give a glossy sheen and yet another layer of flavor. This is one of those sauces you had better serve the dish with bread so it can all be mopped up.

The second sauce was for the filets, Béarnaise. In a nut shell it’s Hollandaise with tarragon added. I didn’t care for this sauce because to me it had way to much vinegar flavor still left in it. We were told not to reduce the shallot/tarragon/vinegar mixture as much to allow for more flavor but I think it over powered the flavor of any other flavors in the sauce.

The other dish we prepared was a Steakhouse Salad. This was made with heirloom tomatoes, arugula, fried shallots and our house vinaigrette. I call it house vinaigrette because it’s the same one we’ve been making since PCA I. It’s very tasty though.

My partner this week is Carrie. This woman is focused and very fun to have for a partner. I grilled all 4 of our NY’s and she grilled all 4 of our filets and while the other was grilling we were able to continue our dishes and get things done.

The Béarnaise sauce was a single dish. Meaning we were to each prepare our own since it’s on our finals. Well we did and we didn’t. I started the yolks and whipped them for a while and then she did. Then I went back to whipping while she added the butter and then we switched. So it’s not like one of us did all the work, we both did but put it into one bowl to save on time and dishes. Then we separated it out and seasoned accordingly. Darn if we both didn’t more salt. Now I’m a salt freak and it tasted fine to me. But then I don’t like this sauce so if crap was salty enough this was good.

Very fun night. I enjoy grilling. It would have been a lot better if they gave us a beer to drink while standing at the hot grill.

Until Tomorrow…


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