Friday, November 26, 2010

Halibut, Braised Beef Short Rib Napoleon Stack with Sauce Magdelaine

This dish takes some work but it is well worth the time spent cooking!
     This was a menu item at the last great star rated French restaurant that I worked in.  I was working as a roundsman chef for three restaurants at the resort but my full time job was the line chef at the French restaurant.  The menu was a modern French comfort food menu written by the Executive Sous Chef who came from Greenbriar for a post 9/11/2001 clientele.  Our executive chef was from the French border of Switzerland.  We served comfort food like no other restaurant ever has!
     We broke all sales records that season when other restaurants were dying from uncomfortable, tired fusion food menus.  A lesson not easily learned by restauranteurs in the recession of the current era is that edgy eclectic overpriced cuisine does not sell as good when people tighten their budgets.  For example, so many of the "cutting edge" high end restaurants have closed their doors permanently in recent years.
     The smarter French chefs have recently switched to fixed price multi course menus and modern comfort food to capture the customers who don't want to pay $80 for a 2 ounce piece of rare tuna with a "hit or miss" preparation.  The chef of the decade, Joel Robuchon has had great success with the pre fixed and comfort cuisine menu concept in Las Vegas, while many other chefs abandoned their restaurants during this recession.
     Some of the haute comfort food that I have posted in my blog shows that I am ahead of the recent fine comfort food trend.  Experience and making changes to get more business during adverse trends is part of restaurant and chef survival.  People want comfort in bad times!
     Braised Beef Ribs Recipe:  Sear some beef short ribs seasoned with sea salt and black pepper in clarified butter in a sauce pan till browned.  Add garlic, onion, chopped tomato and bay leaf to the pan.  Add enough beef bouillon to cover the ribs.  Bring to a boil and cover the pot.  Place the pot in a 350 degree oven.  Let the ribs cook till they are tender.  (About 45 minutes)
     Remove the ribs from the pan.  Reduce the pan juices till half of the broth is evaporated.  Add a little bit of blonde roux and stir till a thin espagnole sauce is formed.  Reduce till the sauce thickens.  Add some cabernet sauvignon wine and reduce the sauce again.  When the sauce coats a spoon, strain the sauce espagnole and return the short ribs to the sauce and simmer on low heat.
     Creme Dill Potato:  Boil peeled potato chunks till soft.  Drain off the water.  Add unsalted butter, cream, sea salt, white pepper and chopped fresh dill.  Whisk the potatoes till they are mashed and creamy.  Load the mashed dill potatoes into a star tipped pastry bag.  Lay the bag on the stove top to keep it warm.
     Potatoes Anna recipe:  Very thin slice a peeled potato.  Set the potato slices layered like a 1/2" thick round disk.  Drizzle a generous amount of melted unsalted butter over the slices.  season with sea salt and white pepper.  Bake in a 350 degree oven till golden brown.
     Halibut:  Trim a fresh halibut steak.  (Save the bones, trimmings and skin)  Place the filet of halibut on a buttered baking pan.  Form the halibut in a round shape the same size as the Potatoes Anna.  Brush the halibut with melted butter.  Season with sea salt and white pepper.   Squeeze a little lemon juice over the fish.  Broil in an oven till it is fully cooked.
     Magdelaine Sauce:  Saute the halibut scraps, onion pieces, bay leaf, chopped tarragon leaf, sea salt, white pepper and garlic till lightly browned.  Add water and dry white wine.  Reduce till half evaporated.  Strain the liquid and discard the fish scraps and vegetables.
     Add a little bit of blonde roux while stirring and cook till the veloute sauce covers a spoon like a glaze.  Remove the beef ribs from the beef sauce.  Mix the two sauces together at a 50/50 proportion and let simmer.
     Assembly:  Remove the bones from the short ribs and trim off the fat and sinew.  Thin slice the prime short rib beef.  Pipe the cream dill potatoes on a plate in a circle the size of the Potatoes Anna.  Set the braised short rib slices on top of the cream potatoes.  Set the Potatoes Anna on top of the short ribs.  Set the broiled halibut on top of the Potatoes Anna.  Pour the Magdelaine Sauce around the plate.  Garnish with tomato cancasse and thin scallion strips.
     Think of this recipe as being a refined "Surf and Turf" plate.  LOL  This is one of a few dishes that use the Magdelaine Sauce.  Its based on beef and fish broth sauces combined.  The "Napoleon" stacked presentation glorifies this dish.  Two preparations of the same potato on the same plate is not taboo.  Halibut goes so well with beef short ribs.  The short ribs are juicy and tender!  The flavors will make you want to open a bottle of fine wine.  Red or white wine?  Either wine will match this modern French comfort food dish!  Bon Apetit!  ...  Shawna

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