Tuesday, 24 January 2012
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.
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?