Saturday, November 13, 2010

Boeuf, champignon, gruyere en crut au cabernet sauvignon glace

Steak, mushrooms and gruyere cheese baked in pastry with a cabernet sauvignon glace!
     The crust of the puff pastry seals in all the flavor of this great pastry entree.  The aroma is mouth watering when the pastry is cut open!  The sauce is a simple cabernet sauvignon and beef stock reduction that is a very nice accompaniment for this pastry.
     I used a store bought, frozen puff pastry for this recipe, but a home made puff pastry dough can add more character to this dish.  I used to cook this recipe as a lunch menu item in a little French Cafe located in Philadelphia.  This pastry can be made ahead of time and then popped in the oven for an easy meal.  In a busy restaurant kitchen, it was nice to have a few "pop it in the oven" entrees on the menu to give relief to the busy a la minute cooking.
     Recipe:  Saute a lean eye of round steak or a top sirloin steak in a little bit of unsalted butter over medium heat.  (A cheaper cut of beef does fine in this recipe.)
     Season the beef with sea salt and black pepper.
     When the beef is cooked medium rare, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
     Add a little bit of finely chopped shallot and garlic to the hot pan.  (Add a little more unsalted butter if necessary.)
     When the shallots have sauteed to a clear color, add a generous amount of thin sliced mushrooms.
     Add a little pinch of Herbs Du Provence, sea salt and black pepper.
     Saute till the mushrooms have sweated soft.
     Place the mushroom mixture into a mixing bowl.
     Slice the steak into thin, bite size strips.
     Add the sliced steak to the mushrooms in the bowl.
     Add a generous amount of grated gruyere cheese to the steak and mushroom mixture.  (Swiss cheese can be substituted for gruyere if none is available.)
     Toss the steak mixture together and set it aside.
     Cut a large square of puff pastry dough.  (I used an 8" x 8" square piece of dough to make this recipe.)
     Place the pastry dough on a lightly floured counter top.
     Place the steak and mushroom filling on the center of the pastry dough.
     Pull the pastry square corners up so they meet at the center of the top of the pastry "ball."
     Press the pastry corners together so they stay in place.
     Pull the loose folds up and press them together on top of the pastry "ball".
     Be sure to completely seal the filling inside the pastry or the melted cheese will leak out when baked!
     Brush a baking pan with melted unsalted butter.
     Gently set the pastry ball on the baking pan, so the part where the pastry is pressed and sealed together is on the bottom.  The pastry should look like a perfect ball shape.
     You can decorate the pastry with any extra pastry dough cut into flower petal shapes if you want a fancier presentation or just leave it plain for a modest presentation.
     Brush the pastry "ball" with egg wash and bake it in a 350 degree oven.  Turn the pan occasionally while baking so that the pastry cooks evenly.  The pastry is done baking when it turns to a nice brown color.  (About 20-30 minutes.)
     Cabernet Sauvignon Glace Recipe:  Reduce some cabernet sauvignon wine and a splash of strained rich beef stock over medium high heat.  When the wine reduction becomes a syrup like consistency, then it is ready to be served.
     Spoon and stream the wine reduction onto a plate in a decorative manner.
     Place the steak, mushroom and gruyere pastry on top of the wine reduction.
     Serve with a vegetable medley of your choice that is sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with herbs.
     Garnish the plate with a parsley sprig.
     The aroma is so very nice when this simple pastry is cut open!  Beef, mushrooms, cheese and herbs are a classic combination.  Because the filling is sealed by the pastry, the beef will be cooked well done after baking.  That is why it is important to slice the beef thin.  The cabernet reduction has a very strong flavor, so it should be used sparingly.  The flavor of the wine reduction compliments the pastry filling flavors so very nicely!  The flavor of melted gruyere cheese is so comfortable with beef and mushrooms.  This is a very nice, quick, comfort food entree that is very satisfying in chilly weather.  Yum!  ..... Shawna

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