Entrecôte with Béarnaise and Goose Fat Fried Potatoes

EntrecoteLast weekend Anders’ parents were in town and we took them to Gutta på Haugen to secure the Saturday night dinner. Anders wanted to cook with his dad. Ever since Anders was a kid his favorite meal if he can choose is a juicy piece of meat with Béarnaise sauce. Gutta’s Entrecôte is a perfect choice, and we also got some French unsalted butter and goose fat for the potatoes.

Ingredients

200 g per person of high quality entrecôte from Gutta på Haugen
1 tbsp whole black pepper
Sunflower or rapeseed oil and clarified butter

6 small potatoes per person
1/2 jar of goose fat
Maldon salt

Béarnaise sauce:
500g butter, unsalted
2 egg yolks
1 shallot
1 dl white wine
1/2 dl white wine vinegar
fresh tarragon, 1 medium plant
fresh flat-leaf parsley, 1 handful
salt & pepper

Gutta's Entrecôte

Gutta’s Entrecôte

Mise en place

Mise en place is usually a good idea, especially for food like this. Place your meat on a cutting board in room temperature. Cut all of the potatoes in two, vertically, to expose as much as possible of the “meat” inside without peeling. Leave potatoes under running water to remove some of the starch. Meanwhile, separate the egg yolks from whites. Keep the whites for something else.

Chop the flat-leaf parsley and put aside. Take 3/4 of the tarragon plant and remove the leaves, chop them finely and put aside. Take the remaining 1/4 and chop the leaves along with the sprigs. Put this aside in a separate bowl where you also put the finely chopped shallot. Measure up the white wine and white wine vinegar in a measurement cup.

Roast the tablespoon of whole black pepper in a frying pan on high temperature. Watch as the pepper corns look like they are popping and jumping around in the pan. Remove from heat and mortar into medium fine pieces. Sift the pepper to remove the finest pieces. Use the medium fine pieces and rub it all into the entrecôte.

Mise en place

Mise en place

Time to cook

Béarnaise sauce:

We start by making the Béarnaise sauce. Melt the 500g of unsalted butter on low heat in a pot. Once melted, skim off the top layer of milk foam with a spoon. To remove the lower level of milk solids you slowly pour the butter into a new container, leaving behind the milk in the pot. You now have clarified butter. Set aside, but try to keep somewhat warm. Remove 2 tbsp of the clarified butter that you will use for frying the meat later.

In another pot on medium heat; add shallots, 1/4 of the tarragon and the sprigs, white wine, white wine vinegar and 4-5 twists of a pepper mill. Cook until 1 tbsp of liquid remains, then sift through a strainer to remove the herbs and onions. Allow the liquid to cool while you ready a water bath. Bring the water to a boil, then turn off heat completely.

In a glass or stainless steel bowl that can be lowered slightly into the water, add the egg yolks and the concentrated liquid. Start whisking. A big heavy whisk is preferable. You want a good foamy consistency before you start pouring the melted butter very slowly into the mixture. Whisk heavily. Start with a few drops of butter, then add more when you are comfortable. It may take a bit of butter and some time for the temperature of the egg yolks to rise in order for the emulsion process to start properly. As long as you do it slowly it should work out fine. Once all butter is added and you’ve whisked it together to a thick sauce, add the 3/4 of the chopped tarragon and all the chopped parsley. Add salt to taste. Leave the sauce in the bowl immersed in water to keep it warm, but pay attention to the temperature to make sure the emulsion don’t start to break. If it does; quickly add some drops of cold water and whisk heavily.

Béarnaise sauce in the making

Béarnaise sauce in the making

Entrecôte:

This can be done simultaneously as you start cooking the potatoes, but the procedures are separated here for a better overview. In a mixture of sunflower/rapeseed oil and clarified butter, on high temperature, fry the meat about 2 minutes on each side to give it a caramelized crust. Wrap in aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Set your oven to 180 degrees C. Cooking time for medium/rare is about 6-8 minutes with the weight and thickness of the meat we used, which was roughly 350g per piece and a thickness of 4 cm. You can also use a cooking thermometer. In such a case you’re looking for 52 degrees C at the core before you remove the meat from the oven. It will rise to at least 55 degrees C while cooling. Wrap in aluminum foil and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are ready.

Meat

Cooking

Goose fat

Goose fat fried potatoes:

Boil the potatoes for 5 minutes in a pot. Remove water, put the pot back on the heat and shake it quite heavily back and forth to dry the potatoes for water and give them a rougher surface. This is important to allow the potatoes to soak the oil. Set your oven to 245 degrees C. In a deep baking tray; pour half the jar of goose fat and distribute it evenly. Place in oven to increase temperature, but pay attention as it starts to give off smoke if you leave it too long. Once warm put the potatoes into the goose fat. Cooking time is roughly 15-20 minutes, but you have to pay attention as all ovens are different. Flip the potatoes around a bit every 5 minute. The last 5 minutes you want to activate the hot air program to really finish off that crispy outside. If done perfectly the potatoes should still be soft inside, while out-of-this-world crispy on the outside. Sprinkle with Maldon salt.
Goose fat fries
Good food deserves good wine. A magnum Château Beauséjour Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 1986.

Good food deserves good wine. A magnum Château Beauséjour Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 1986.

Dining

Also posted on Two Foodies Eating

Take Over at Smalhans

Aji

An early Sunday morning in November the two of us along with Jose “Pepe” Talavera took the bus to neighbourhood restaurant Smalhans at St. Hanshaugen. The mission: To take over the intensive two hour daily lunch/dinner service between 4pm and 6pm.

Anders prepping

The main dish was Ají de Gallina. A creamy hot dish with shredded chicken and yellow Peruvian chili (aji). Served with rice, potatoes (much carb love), eggs and black olives. In addition we decided to decorate it somewhat untraditional with Blue Congo potatoe chips. We kindly asked our assistant chef to go to Gutta på Haugen and buy some potatoes for us. Meanwhile we started prepping. We thought we were prepared for the amount of work that lay ahead of us, but in hindsight we had no idea. Making this dish for eight people is easy, but we had to prepare for more than a hundred just in case. Anders was finely chopping 80 cloves of garlic, and Andrea was shredding almost 100 chicken filets and that took an immense amount of time.

Pepe prepping

Pepe did an amazing job peeling nearly 150 potatoes. He probably valued his experience from the time as a marine commander, sometimes cooking for his staff of several hundred people. Chef Pepe was calm.

Pepe cooking

We had been prepping all day when suddenly it was less than an hour to service started. We brought everything upstairs from the prepping kitchen into the main kitchen. The big pot of Aji de Gallina was simmering and getting ready, but with just ten minutes to go, and the first orders already ticking in, our fellow Smalhans chefs suddenly noticed that the rice had not been boiled properly in the rice cooker. Thankfully Captain Hipstakokken entered at this moment and took control over his ship. Rice was put to boil everywhere. In the steam oven. In pots. High and low rice was being cooked. Service began at 16.05.

Pepe Anders cooking

Meanwhile, downstairs in the prepping kitchen still, Andrea was facing her own race against time with the dessert. The damn dulce de leche cream just refused to thicken! However, the biggest problem was that it still had to be cooled before we could put Italian meringue on top of it. At one point it almost looked like we would have to cancel the already heavily marketed dessert. Andrea has worked as a chef before too so she kept her cool, though.

Jinx cooking

To Anders and Pepe’s surprise, desserts arrived in time for the first guest to finish their main course. Our assistant chef had given Andrea a great tip to put the Suspiros in the instant freezer. One lesson we learned this day is that chefs help each other a lot, and we would not have managed half as well without the great help of our coworkers.

Suspiro

More than 50 people ordered Suspiro a la Limeña (“the sigh of the Lima woman) this afternoon. Which turned out to be a new record! As for the main course we didn’t sell enough to break Hipstakokken’s own record of 103, but we landed a nice fourth place with 88 pax.

Record board

Cooking at Smalhans was such a great experience for us, and we know a lot of our friends that came to eat had a good time as well. Thanks to Smalhans for inviting us and giving us this opportunity. We hope to return for another take over at some point. Until then we have learned that the chef life is even harder and more stressful than we think about, and that you should eat and drink something during eight hours of work or else you get a headache.

Hannibal

To our great surprise Smalhans decided to donate 5000 kroner of the profits this day to the Movember movement in support of prostate cancer research. Thanks!

Movember