At the restaurant we fly through steaks and our customers are always looking for the next best way to enjoy a good steak so here lies a dilemma for the home cook ‘got the steak, was expensive but picked up a couple at the supermarket/butcher, now how do I cook them and how can I make a great sauce’. It is very difficult if not impossible to make a good beef flavored sauce without taking the time and foresight to do it correctly (involves time + effort) many commercial food companies all over the world try to replicate ‘the instant gourmet sauce for steak’ and fail 100% of the time, trust me, even as a chef, I have tried many at home, all have been very disappointing.
So that leaves you with 3 options (I use the same three options myself at home)
1. Go simple-good salt-cracked black pepper and good old Dijon mustard
2. Old School French (deglaze in the pan sauce) steak diane or steak au poirve
3. Make a beef stock ‘fond de veau’ as the Frenchmen like to call it
So option 3 then !!! here we go.
Your decision to opt for Option 3 brings me nicely to the point of my post and the truffle, surely one of the best food things in the world and something that you should not be afraid of, you can eat it (them) more than once a year for a birthday or anniversary, here is a good economy truffle tip
Get the peelings (bits) and not the whole truffles they cost the earth and go to Michelin starred places to be shaved in nice circles over dishes that cost as much as a nice suit or Prada handbag, the bits are sold for a fraction of the price and work great to enhance a steak sauce. If you follow this recipe you will finally see how you can use ‘said’ truffle peelings to their full potential, bear with me will get there eventually.
let’s move on.
Beef bone fact ‘they are cheap’.
Ask your butcher or supermarket for some, they usually give them away
Give yourself 3 days to produce your sauce, believe me you will enjoy the meaty flavors you will be smelling over the 3 days, it’s not 3 day’s standing at the stove, just get the stuff on slow bubble simmer, very slow, and let it do its work while you go about your usual life-laundry-kids-Facebook-etc.
Beef stock step 1
Throw your bones in a hot oven on a tray and roast them till they look golden brown. remove from the oven and smear tomato paste on the bones, add a rough chopped mix of white onion, celery, carrot around the bones and return to the oven for 30 minutes. Once done throw the whole lot into a large stock pot, cover with water and bring to a boil, a this stage at some whole black peppercorns, bay leave, thyme
Simmer this for as long as possible, a least 8 hours, if the bones are really big overnight is recommended, when you go to bed turn off the gas, when you get up turn it back on and continue (what they do in restaurants and hotels daily)
Then strain your stock and throw away your precious bones, or give them to the dog.
Beef stock step 2
So now you have basic beef stock, with which you need to turn into fond de veau, or reduced beef stock, so put your stock back in a clean sauce pan and on the stove and boil uncovered rapidly until it is reduced, around 50% reduction (less stock) should result in a glossy dark deep brown thin sauce. this is fond de veau with which we will use to make our truffle steak sauce.
you might notice up to this point we have not mentioned salt, none has been added thus far, this is due to the fact salt does not go away, thus with reduction salt, saltiness would increase (less liquid, same amount of salt) so never season your steak sauce until the very end)
finally we get there
RECIPE Truffle red wine sauce (now comes the easy part)
This is where we get to add the black truffle. Black truffle peelings provide a cost-effective way to get the essence of what whole truffles taste of. When cooking with black winter truffle peelings, remember that preserved black truffles are milder than the fresh truffles and will not deliver a strong aroma when raw – adding them to a hot sauce will bring out their full flavor, they are not expensive when used in this way, and pound for pound deliver full truffle aroma.
Heat a non stick Teflon skillet or cast iron pan whichever you prefer to cook your expensive steaks to the degree of doneness you like, remove and keep warm, in the same pan add chopped shallots, garlic and then red wine (lots of it) watch it instantly bubble and reduce, once you have a sticky red wine glaze add you fond de veau and do the same bubble on high heat, when it starts looking thick & shinny now is your time to season, sea salt, cracked pepper, a cube of whole butter, herbs, such as thyme, sage, rosemary and finally a good helping of minced black truffle peelings-Viola instant truffle sauce, that only took 3 days to make
Again there is no way to take short cuts and get the same results
Sorry, good things take time, but well worth it in the end.
I will feature this dish at Roti Roppongi during the winter months, so no time, stop by and order a Truffle Steak.
See you soon perhaps.