Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pepper Eye Fillet with Red Wine & Anchovy Reduction and Pommes Puree

The first time i can remember feeling like i was actually cooking and taking a joy in it for the process itself, was when i made what quickly became my specialty: kangaroo with red wine jus and 'smashed' potatoes.

Well slowly my tastes have changed, and my signature dish has changed with it. So many things in this dish today i would have thought were completely wrong when i first started out cooking. Like
  • how could you ever use beef instead of kangaroo! Kangaroo is like paying $5 for a prime rib! Well, i still love my kangaroo, but the marbled fat in a good beef steak is a luxury unmatched by kangaroo.
  • Anchovy in my sauce? Disgusting! I've become a complete convert to the little anchovy- but only when i can't see the damn things. Anchovies i consider to be a seasoning agent; use sparingly to add a bit of depth to the dish
  • How can you not boil down a bottle of wine to one 30ml shot glass worth! Ok this one took me a while to learn. For so long i would reduce my jus until it was a as thick as possible, and i would flesh it out with beef stocks and pepper. Now, i  follow the credos Keep It Simple Stupid. I want to taste the wine. 
Anyway! This is a dish to impress. Especially if you can find those fancy vine tomatoes (hint: if you can't find those, then use dutch carrots for looks)

Ingredients (Serves 2)
  • 2 200gm eye fillet steaks
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 4 medium baking potatoes
  • Another 1 tbsp butter, heaped
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • Salt to season
  • 12 Vine ripened cherry tomatoes
Pommes Puree (Stolen and adapted from Joel Rubouchon)
Boil the potatoes, skin on, in salted boiling water for 30 minutes.

Remove the potatoes and set aside to cool
When cooled enough to touch, remove the skins, and place in a fine sieve over a saucepan.
Using the back of a spoon, push the potatoes through the sieve.
Place the saucepan over medium heat, and add the 1 tbsp butter.

Vigorously stir the potatoes as the butter melts in, and the slowly add the milk as you continue to stir.
Reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook until you recieve the consistency you like. Then season with salt.

Peppered Eye Fillet
20 minutes before cooking the steaks, remove them from the fridge and place on a plate to reduce in temperature.
Place a frying pan over medium heat.
Sprinkle the black pepper very generously over both sides of the steaks, pressing the pepper into the steak.

Add the 1tsp of butter to the frying pan, and swirl around until melted and browning.
Add the steaks.
Flip after 30 seconds then cook on each side for approximately 3 minutes (cook how you like them).

Remove the steaks from the pan and cover with foil.

Reduce pan to low heat.

Red Wine & Anchovy Sauce
Mash the anchovy by first chopping it, and then pressing the pieced into the chopping board with the back of a knife, pulling the knife toward you.

Add this to the frying pan that you just cooked the steaks in, along with the red wine.
Stir the contents of the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to get the crisp steak bits.
Reduce the liquid until it has thickened slightly.

Blistered vine tomatoes
Place an oven rack over a hotplate, and place the tomatoes on top of this.
turn on the hotplate and wait for the tomatoes to blister.

First, pour the red wine reduction equally over 2 plates so that there is just enough to barely cover the shallow of the plate (the indentation).
Then place the other ingredients on top.

This is the best meal i have made this year. Absolutely loved it. Food heaven. If only i had mum's strawberry mousse to finish off.

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