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Tuber magnatum

Sous Vide Pepper Steak for a Crowd - Advice needed

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Advice sought re SV pepper Steak for Crowd. I have been tasked with hosting family XMAS dinner and will be serving 24+ people.  Request was made for pepper steak.  Normally I do a traditional treatment: season filet with very course black pepper, pan sear in clarified butter, flambe, remove steak, make sauce with cream, small amount dijon, and of course green peppercorns.  My idea was to avoid any timing issues and having to sear multiple steaks on the stove, to SV them all in advance and for fun, rather than sear on gas grill or pan, to try and sear them on a Tuscan Grill that I have set up in my fire place. The fireplace is open on all sides located in the kitchen dining area. Grill is big enough to hold probably 8-12 steaks at a time. Pepper sauce made in advance and served restaurant style in "gravy boat".

 

My questions are:  

 

1) Should I still use coarse pepper before placing in bags?  I have read different views on whether you should use pepper in SV bag as this can create some off flavours.  And whether I put pepper on pre or post SV, should I be concerned that searing on an open flame I will just burn the pepper? (This has never been an issue when pan searing traditional style in clarified butter).

 

2) How concerned should I be making pepper sauce without having the scrapings or juices from pan searing as I wasn't planning on pre searing before placing in SV bag. Should I use the juices from the bags (with or without reducing depending on volume produced) and add to pre-made cream based pepper sauce?

 

3) I have seared SV steak on gas grill which I can get very hot, so nice crust  and Maillard reaction.  Do you think I will be able to get bed of charcoal hot enough to sear SV steak?  Below is set up I use so you can see what I am talking about re Tuscan Grill where I was cooking some thin sliders from raw, ie not SV in advance.

 

Hopefully there are some caterers out there with suggestions! Thanks in advance.

IMG_0154.GIF

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I've done pepper steak for over 50 people. My responses to your questions are as follows:

 

1. I wouldn't bother, it's not going to add anything and could detract. I'd also put pepper on post searing if you want to use.

2. The bag juices contain a lot of solids that normally form the burnt bits in the pan if the steak is fried. As they are liquid, you will never get the same effect by adding them to the sauce. I often heat the juices and then strain off the solids to get the strong beef flavour of osmazome. This can be added to the sauce to get beefy flavour but it would most likely need to be thickened. If you cook a lot sous vide, you can add this from previous cook. The sear on the steak should give enough of a Maillard effect without adding any in the sauce. Adding osmazone adds a beefy flavour. If you wish to add more umami oomph, I'd add powdered dried porcini mushroom to the sauce. I add French soft green peppers to the sauce as well as normal pepper.

3. Of course charcoal can get hot enough for a high sear. The Japanese serve seared wagyu done over charcoal that is thoroughly seared on the outside and very rare inside. Make sure you dry the steaks before putting them on.

 

On one previous cook, I used chuck eye steak that was cooked for 24 hours at 57C (135F). It was then sectioned into individual serving pieces, dried, and seared on a very hot flat top. Mine wasn't a cream-based pepper sauce, instead I used sous vide juices, chicken stock, tomato paste, Merlot and pepper. The sauce was thickened with potato flour. See photo below.

 

image.png.12439f9679a8871e2765d74cde2e47e0.png

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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13 hours ago, nickrey said:

I've done pepper steak for over 50 people. My responses to your questions are as follows:

 

1. I wouldn't bother, it's not going to add anything and could detract. I'd also put pepper on post searing if you want to use.

2. The bag juices contain a lot of solids that normally form the burnt bits in the pan if the steak is fried. As they are liquid, you will never get the same effect by adding them to the sauce. I often heat the juices and then strain off the solids to get the strong beef flavour of osmazome. This can be added to the sauce to get beefy flavour but it would most likely need to be thickened. If you cook a lot sous vide, you can add this from previous cook. The sear on the steak should give enough of a Maillard effect without adding any in the sauce. Adding osmazone adds a beefy flavour. If you wish to add more umami oomph, I'd add powdered dried porcini mushroom to the sauce. I add French soft green peppers to the sauce as well as normal pepper.

3. Of course charcoal can get hot enough for a high sear. The Japanese serve seared wagyu done over charcoal that is thoroughly seared on the outside and very rare inside. Make sure you dry the steaks before putting them on.

 

On one previous cook, I used chuck eye steak that was cooked for 24 hours at 57C (135F). It was then sectioned into individual serving pieces, dried, and seared on a very hot flat top. Mine wasn't a cream-based pepper sauce, instead I used sous vide juices, chicken stock, tomato paste, Merlot and pepper. The sauce was thickened with potato flour. See photo below.

 

image.png.12439f9679a8871e2765d74cde2e47e0.png

 

Would you get a bigger table next time please!?  The one glass of white is feeling quite left out!

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Greetings!  I hope everyone's holiday season is going well.  For those interested in how I solved my pepper steak for a crowd: 25 6-8oz filets, salted just before bagging, sous vide 130F x 2hrs.

On removing from bag pat dried with paper towel but I tried experimenting with drying with heat gun (I know, controversial but thought I would try.  Have also tried on chicken and seems to work better as the steak had a lot of juice).  Steak then very lightly coated with mayo which I read somewhere improves maillard reaction (it certainly did!), seared on Tuscan grill (used lump charcoal in fireplace), coated with coarse black pepper, and served with green peppercorn sauce in individual 2oz sauce cups rather than added to plate so didn't run all over the place.

 

The sauce which I was worried about and was focus of original question solved as follows: Morning of dinner shallots sautéed, cognac added and cooked au sec, veal stock added and reduced to a demi glace.  Both demi glace and the shallots then pureed with 0.1% xanthan gum (not sure if necessary, but was worried that sauce would break using  half and half rather than full cream even though I would later add dijon mustard both for flavour and emulsification) and passed through fine drum sieve and set aside till service.  At service, half and half with the mustard blended in and warmed with green peppercorns and seasoned.  Ratio of veal stock to cream I would guess 1:2.  The sauce was a huge hit and didn't break.

 

Plated with grilled asparagus, watercress / pea and squash purée. Steak garnished with sprig of watercress. Starch was ciabatta sliced, cut side lightly coated with EVOO, grilled and seasoned with truffle salt.  Ciabatta also worked well as the Italians call it, "scarpetta" (slipper in English) to sop up sauce! Asparagus blanched in advance and grilled at service. (Got help from family with grilling the bread and asparagus while I seared the steaks and plated)

 

As a pre desert and which was actually the most time consuming and difficult part of the meal (aside from the planning and worrying!)  were the "Unreal Quail Eggs" of which I made 60.  Fooled a lot of people with those but a LOT of work!

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Yes, a beautiful dinner. But I have to ask, what are unreal quail eggs?

 


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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They are a reverse spherification passion fruit "yolk" with a "white" of lemon grass thickened with locust bean and xanthan gum.  I first heard about these from a video featuring chef Anjana Shanker from the kitchen at Modernist Cuisine.  The recipe wasn't fully explained but I later came across it here:

https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/unreal-quail-egg

Rather than use scissors to cut the tops off the quail eggs, I used "quail egg scissors" which do a perfect and very quick job. They cost about $3 dollars on Amazon.com.  Also, as I of course don't have a centrifuge to clarify the lemon grass, I just let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days for the fine particulate matter to settle) and then carefully decanted it into a coffee filter.  While my guests enjoyed the "unreal eggs", I have been eating fried and scrambled real quail eggs for the last week! 

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Looks great. Thanks for the feedback. Was wondering how it went. 


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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1 minute ago, Tuber magnatum said:

They are a reverse spherification passion fruit "yolk" with a "white" of lemon grass thickened with locust bean and xanthan gum.  I first heard about these from a video featuring chef Anjana Shanker from the kitchen at Modernist Cuisine.  The recipe wasn't fully explained but I later came across it here:

https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/unreal-quail-egg

Rather than use scissors to cut the tops off the quail eggs, I used "quail egg scissors" which do a perfect and very quick job. They cost about $3 dollars on Amazon.com.  Also, as I of course don't have a centrifuge to clarify the lemon grass, I just let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days for the fine particulate matter to settle) and then carefully decanted it into a coffee filter.  While my guests enjoyed the "unreal eggs", I have been eating fried and scrambled real quail eggs for the last week! 

If you want to clarify in another way, try freezing the mixture then letting it thaw in the fridge through a coffee filter into another receptacle. It’s the way that clear tomato water is made.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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1 minute ago, nickrey said:

If you want to clarify in another way, try freezing the mixture then letting it thaw in the fridge through a coffee filter into another receptacle. It’s the way that clear tomato water is made.

 

Thank you for suggestion!  I have read about that technique and using gels as well, but I think not having done it before and feeling a bit overwhelmed with new techniques as it was, I just let it sit!  Admittedly, freezing something and letting it thaw is't that complex...  next time though, assuming I ever want to see a quail egg again!

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14 minutes ago, Tuber magnatum said:

They are a reverse spherification passion fruit "yolk" with a "white" of lemon grass thickened with locust bean and xanthan gum.  I first heard about these from a video featuring chef Anjana Shanker from the kitchen at Modernist Cuisine.  The recipe wasn't fully explained but I later came across it here:

https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/unreal-quail-egg

Rather than use scissors to cut the tops off the quail eggs, I used "quail egg scissors" which do a perfect and very quick job. They cost about $3 dollars on Amazon.com.  Also, as I of course don't have a centrifuge to clarify the lemon grass, I just let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days for the fine particulate matter to settle) and then carefully decanted it into a coffee filter.  While my guests enjoyed the "unreal eggs", I have been eating fried and scrambled real quail eggs for the last week! 

 

How very cool. Also a lot more work than I want to attempt! I do love quail eggs; I pickle them with knockwurst or good bologna, or, if I'm being ambitious, devil them. Also love to boil and halve them and use them as garnishes on salads, etc. And they make perfect Scotch eggs!

 

 

 

 


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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40 minutes ago, kayb said:

 

How very cool. Also a lot more work than I want to attempt! I do love quail eggs; I pickle them with knockwurst or good bologna, or, if I'm being ambitious, devil them. Also love to boil and halve them and use them as garnishes on salads, etc. And they make perfect Scotch eggs!

 

 

 

 

Scotch eggs wth shellfish mince instead of meat works very well.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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22 hours ago, nickrey said:

Scotch eggs wth shellfish mince instead of meat works very well.

 

Sounds interesting!  Have a recipe for this to share?


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2 hours ago, Tuber magnatum said:

 

Sounds interesting!  Have a recipe for this to share?

 

150g scallops. 650g crab meat. Blend to puree.

10 quail eggs.

Add quail eggs to pan of boiling water for exactly 100 seconds. Plunge into ice water to rapidly cool. Peel eggs after five minutes.

Take 70g of mixture and wrap around quail egg to evenly coat.

Crumb (flour, mixed eggs, and then panko bread crumbs).

Deep fry until golden, season with salt. Serve.  

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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1 minute ago, nickrey said:

150g scallops. 650g crab meat. Blend to puree.

10 quail eggs.

Add quail eggs to pan of boiling water for exactly 100 seconds. Plunge into ice water to rapidly cool. Peel eggs after five minutes.

Take 70g of mixture and wrap around quail egg to evenly coat.

Crumb (flour, mixed eggs, and then panko bread crumbs).

Deep fry until golden, season with salt. Serve.  

 

Thanks!  Will try next time I get some quail eggs and let you know what I think! :)

 

 

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