I'm studying the Grand Diplome at Cordon Bleu in London

Posts tagged ‘Fillet steak’

Day 39 – Fish practicals, plaice timbale and fillet steak – Tues 6th March

Today we started off with back to back practicals, then 1 demo.

First was making the trout. The trickiest bit was filleting the trout and not leaving too much flesh on the bones.

Then it was on to the mussels and dressed crab. Removing the meat from a crab is a fiddly job but one I’ve done lots of times before so I know how to do it. The chef thought my mussels sauce was lovely and the crab just right too, so I was pleased with that. Plus I had a 3 course meal of fish that evening.

Chef Neil took us for the demo – his first at Cordon Bleu, though he has taught at other cookery schools. He is quite serious and precise in classes, but does give quite a bit of background info about the food he or we are cooking.

He demonstrated 2 dishes: a fish timbale and a grilled fillet steak.

The fish timbale was a mousseline made from plaice fillets and cooked in a timbale (small metal mould) lined with blanched leek and served with a beurre blanc, which is a sauce made from a reduction of white wine, finished with lots of butter and chopped chives and garnished with slices of grilled prawn.

The fillet steak was grilled to medium rare and served with pommes pont neuf, which are essentially chips cut to a width of 1 cm, and a bearnaise sauce. Bearnaise is a derivative of hollandaise sauce, but the acidity comes from a reduction of white wine, vinegar, shallots and black pepper and tarragon stalks, and then chopped tarragon and chervil added to the sauce at the end.

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Day 22 – Pork and a Fillet Steak – Tue 14th Feb

Valentine’s day and the chef said that yesterday’s heart shaped pieces of toast for the boeuf bourguignon were pure coincidence and he wouldn’t be making anything heart shaped today.

We started with a practical making the pepper steak demonstrated yesterday. We had chef Eric for the practical again. I do like him – he has a lot of time for us, is very helpful, but at the same time doesn’t stand any nonsense.

Not a hard practical. Shame we were only given one piece of fillet steak each. Would have liked more.

Plus using the mandolin again. The chef asked us in the demo if we knew how to protect our hands when using it. I muttered to my neighbour ‘Yes, use someone else’s hand.’

Anyway it was just a case of tieing the steak, cutting potatoes on the mandolin, cooking them in a ring in a pan and cooking the steak with peppercorns, then making the sauce. Only difficult bit was not overcooking the steak. I like mine rare and I managed to cook it rare. Learnt the technique of testing the steak by touch which is very useful.

Very tasty for dinner last night – steak au poivre and darphin potatoes. Yummmmmmmy.

Next we had a demonstration on pork with chef Gilles.

He made a roast rack of pork with pommes boulangere and a pork cutlet with mashed potato.

The rack of pork was prepared similarly to the rack of lamb last week with fat, sinew and skin removed (no crackling!!). Then it was browned and roasted on the trimming and mirepoix. Once roasted, the sauce was made by deglazing the pan with veal stock and reducing.

The pommes boulangere was sliced potatoes layered with sautéed sliced onions in a gratin dish, then covered in chicken stock and baked in the oven until the potatoes were soft and the stock all absorbed.

The pork cutlet was just a slice off the rack of pork above, with one bone. The chef trimmed the cutlet to just a circle of meat attached to a clean bone, wrapped a strip of fat around it. tied to preserve the shape. It was marinated in olive oil and sage, then browned on both sides then finished in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
The sauce was made from the trimmings of pork, browned in the pan, then a sautéed shallot, deglazed with white wine, then veal stock, reduced and finished with a little honey, lemon juice, mustard and sage leaves.

For the mash, potatoes were boiled and then pushed through a drum sieve, which is a large flat sieve in a cylinder and looks like something from a gold panning camp. Then finished off with milk, lots of butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

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