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

Posts tagged ‘pork cutlet’

Day 23 – Eggs, Veal and Pork – Wed 15th Feb

Today we started off with a demo with chef Eric on the subject of cooking eggs, then we had a couple of practicals.

The chef demonstrated lots of different ways of cooking eggs.

Scrambled eggs cooked in a little butter and finished with cream were served with a croute (circle of bread cooked in a little clarified butter) and smoked salmon.

Eggs Florentine – poached egg on a bed of cooked spinach, topped with sauce mornay and glazed under the grill (called a salamander).

A soft boiled egg.

Oeuf sur plat – cooked in a buttered ceramic dish over gentle direct heat until the white just cooked.

Oeuf en cocotte – cooked in a ramekin in a bain marie in the oven until almost set and finished with a little cream around the yolk.

Deep fried egg – an egg broken into hot oil and a couple of spoons used to form the white around the yolk and deep fried until the white is golden and crispy and the yolk still runny.

Omelette fines herbes – omelette with parsley, tarragon, chervil and chives, chopped finely.

 Then we had our first practical which was to make the blanquette de veau, or white veal stew.

Chef John took us for this practical and turned up 10 minutes late, when we have been told that we must be there at least 10 minutes before class. This means that we start late and setting up does not get done before class, cutting into our class time.

One of my classmates said to the chef that it wasn’t good that the chef wasn’t on time when we had to be, which seemed to annoy the chef greatly, and told the class that we weren’t his only responsibility and that if he was late for class because a previous class had run late, or for any other reason, it was just tough and ‘I don’t care’! And wasn’t going to discuss it.
Can’t say I am particularly impressed with the attitude. He merely needed to say ‘Sorry I’m late. Previous class ran late. Thanks for being patient’ or something like that, but he does give the impression that he really doesn’t care. He spends half of the time in class on his mobile phone and everyone has commented on it within our group.
Having said all that, he didn’t keep any signs of anger towards the class and happily answered any questions and helped students as needed.

Making the veal blanquette went well. Not too hard, though my sauce was just a little thick. Quite a light flavour to this stew. Would probably have more flavour of the veal was cooked in white veal stock, rather than just water. The rice pilaf was also fairly simple though if I’d used a narrower pan, there would have been less evaporation of the stock and the rice wouldn’t have got browned around the edges. The chef was fairly happy with it all though, just noting the above points.

Then we had another practical, cooking the pork cutlet and mashed potato. Chef Gilles took us for this practical, which was good as he gave us the demonstration of this the day before and is very friendly to students (but not above chastising the class when necessary).

I had a fairly thin pork cutlet which made is quite hard to tie into a round shape as the string kept slipping off the thin edge, but I did have lots of trimmings with which to make a tasty sauce. Being so thin, it took only 10 minutes in the oven, once browned, to cook it through.

The potatoes were straightforward though, disappointingly, I didn’t find any gold when doing the panning. The drum sieve did create a fine mash though and it was wonderfully rich and tasty when finished with milk, butter, seasoning and a little butter.

The sauce had a great rich flavour and I managed to balance the honey, lemon mustard well. Chef Gilles liked it a lot and apologised for eating half of it!

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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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