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.