angus tenderloin with sausaged-mashed potatoes and balsamic soaked cippolini onions, originally uploaded by aarn! +16th December, 2009+.
joshua robot came over for dinner last night and brought some really awesome ceramic plates by the very talented autumn higgins, out of portland.
just as an experiment in a normal cooking setting (as in trying to turn out a meal in about an hour, and not slow cooking, and not a tough cut of meat), rubbed two small angus tenderloin cuts in salt, pepper, crushed garlic and fresh thyme, vacuum sealed them in plastic bags, and threw them in the thermal immersion circulator at 115-degrees F for about an hour. the goal was to either partially cook them or to at least infuse the flavor of the seasonings into the meat.
quartered two large russet potatoes length-wise, then cut into 1/4-inch thick slices, tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper. placed the sliced potatoes in a 425-degree oven on a baking sheet, covered in parchment paper, until fork tender, flipping them at some point. threw the potatoes in a mixing bowl with 3T. of butter, 1 clove of garlic, and fresh thyme (all of which had been mashed together in a mortar and pestle, making a compound butter of sorts). mashed the potatoes by hand, adding some chicken stock, and a splash of milk. removed a link of the garlic sausage from the casing and sauteed the meat in a little vegetable oil until cooked. added the sausage to the mashed potato mixture, once the mash consistency seemed good. a splash of sherry vinegar, and a little salt and pepper to taste finished these off.
peeled, and removed the ends from a handful of cippolini onions. melted a few tablespoons of butter in a sautee pan and browned both cut sides of the small onions until they were a little bit tender and had some good coloring. placed the hot onions in a small prep bowl containing about 1c. of balsamic vinegar and let sit covered until the meal was ready to plate.
pulled the tenderloin cuts from the circulator and removed the chunks of garlic from the surface of the meat. in a very hot skillet, seared off both sides of the steaks in butter with a few sprigs of thyme, basting as necessary. pulled the steaks when they felt right, tented with foil on a plate and let sit for a few minutes.
removed the onions from the balsamic soak, and plated everything up.
[notes: the flavor was nicely infused into the cuts of meat, but with such a tender cut, it seemed unecessary. it's possible that the hour or so in sous vide produced a more uniform tenderness in the meat, but it's hard to tell. haven't been cooking/eating much beef. probably because pork is better.]