Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Shallot Puree

There are some recipes that, for the home cook, remain nothing but food porn. Almost impossible to re-create in a domestic kitchen, except for only the truly masochistic or the utterly deranged, they remain exclusively the domain of chefs in the professional restaurant kitchen.

Often, the stumbling block is the lack of some expensive piece of kitchen kit. I’m thinking sous vide and vacuum sealer, siphon and N20 cartridge. Or perhaps it’s just the sheer impossibility of making and storing umpteen different component parts for one dish, in your postage stamp sized domestic fridge.

But that’s not to say these problematic recipes don’t have uses. I often scan through inspiring cookbooks, mentally discarding overly complicated elements and settling on a part of the recipe that’s a bit more do’able.

As was the case with my New Favourite Thing, shallot puree from the recently released Galvin Cookbook De Luxe.
The dish it’s featured as a component in isn’t ridiculously complex, although the recipe does ask for a very specific red wine and uses both chicken stock and chicken jus in the 2 1/2 hour cooking time. The real problem with this dish for me is that it’s a quite a bit of faffing around, when it’s pretty likely I’d be the only one eating it. It’s slow cooked short-rib of beef and ‘E’ is a frigging pescetarian. Bugger.

Forcing the thought of beef short-rib from my mind, the shallot puree element of this dish was a revelation for me. It’s just so bloody nice! I made it out of sheer curiosity, and it just blew me away. Subtly sweet, creamy and flavoured throughout with that sticky golden savoury taste of slow cooked onions. I fell instantly in love and started thinking what I could serve it with.

The Galvins obviously serve it with beef, but as ‘E’ can’t eat that – I thought it might be nice piled with some chargrilled purple sprouting broccoli, sautéed potatoes, garlic and tarragon crumb…and a poached egg – just for the sheer hell of it.

Oh yeah, frigging spot on. It was, even if I say so myself, muchos delicious’osh.

Shallot Puree

60g unsalted butter
300g Shallots, finely sliced
50ml Double Cream
200ml Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Sea Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Melt the butter over a low heat in a pan, and add the shallots. Sweat on the lowest heat for 1 hour until soft and golden brown. Add cream and stock, cook for another 5 mins. Puree in a blender and season to taste.

That’s all there is to it. Almost too simple. I used veg stock, instead of chicken and it was great. Now I’m wondering what else would it go well with.
What do you think?


Matt Inwood said...

Wahhay! I think I actually love it more when people who use the books take a part of the recipe and make it their own. That's almost nicer than duplicating; innovating something of their own after being inspired by what they read. I have to say, I remember setting the type out on that very page out and constantly tripping on the words 'shallot purée'. It sounded so damn good. I must now also make this and be sure that Chris and Jeff never come to know that one of their own Essex brethren introduced me to it. I like your simple take a lot. What's garlic and tarragon crumb when it's at home?

Dan said...

Matt - What a lovely comment, thanks mate! It's a great book, you must be extremely proud. I'm not surprised that you tripped over 'shallot puree' at all. I homed in on it straightaway, it really is amazing stuff. The 'Garlic and Tarragon crumb' is breadcrumbs and chopped garlic fried off in olive oil and then mixed with finely chopped Tarragon and scattered over for some crunch.

E said...

You fixed our bog *and* made me this for dinner. One of your finest moments, I reckon! SO delicious. Thanks :) E xx

Kavey said...

E, that's romance right there, fixing the bog AND making this for dinner!!

Dan, I reckon recipe books where dishes have lots of elements are begging to be broken out and the separate parts used however you like.

It's not even 9 am and I'm hungry, you bugger!

The Ample Cook said...

Soooperb. I thought that photo had been taken in a restaurant Dan. Well done, sounds and looks delicious.

Pavel said...

Good work Dan; bog fixing and cooking. You truly are a king amongst men!

The Little Dinner Lady said...

This looks delish, and delightfully simple, can't wait to try it. Could have it on the side with a lovely steak perhaps? Sausages? ANYTHING! Your post encouraged me not to be scared of scary recipes, I will now see what I can pull out off my 'too hard' section.

Dan said...

E - You're welcome. I rock x

Kavey - Oh massive totes! break those recipes into parts and smash em! I am massively multi skilled....its true.

The Ample Cook - Hey Jan, what a fantastic comment, I like you. Thanks!

Pavel - It's often been said that I am indeed a king among men, but one of my other excellent traits is tact and modesty...so, I'll say no more.

The Little Dinner Lady - Exactly, really simple and frigging amazing. Don't be scared of the scary recipes...oh no, embrace them.

Matt Inwood said...

Like the sound of that Crumb. In the sincerest form of flattery there is, I intend to copy this recipe some time in the next week for Mrs I. So a sort of after-Dan-after-Chris-and-Jeff-style homage. I might even break the toilet and then fix that first as I want Mrs I to feel that exact same form of worship that E did.

German said...

Very nice indeed. I will try it as well, but from where the green colour came, I guess for the vegetarian stock?

Dan said...

German - Think the colour had more to do with the lighting, it didn't actually look that green when I made it.

Anonymous said...

Shallots go well with goat cheese ... served with bacon and walnuts ...

Nick Loman said...

I tried this yesterday as a steak accompaniment and it was great. Didn't actually use any cream or stock, just loosened it with water and it still turned out intensely flavoured and rich. I think just need to ensure you cook long enough to get some serious colour on the shallots and some sticky bits.