This week as we prepare for dinner meal services we moved onto the next menu item. Red pepper stuffed flank steak, with fried shallots and sauteed asparagus, acorn squash puree, and a pepper cream sauce. Incorporating many techniques in butchery skills, pureeing vegetables, vegetable cookery, and improving our presentation skills.
The flank steak was first butterflied, which is easier said than done for an even whole piece of beef without tearing holes, or uneven thickness that could affect even cooking. After the steak was butterflied, seasoned with meat tenderizer we rolled it with the red pepper stuffing. Trussing it and letting it rest. You have to take great care in which way you roll it, so that the “grain” of the meat; the strands of muscle fibers are in such a way that when you cut the medallions, you’re cutting against the grain. This shortens muscle fibers making the meat more tender and easier to consume. We seared and roasted the steak to about 140 degrees and let carryover cooking do the rest.
Once the meat was resting, we moved onto the pepper sauce that I got to take a lesson learned in sauce making to practice. Just because you can make a roux, doesn’t mean you should use one. Reduce and have patience. Adding a roux to a vegetable thickened sauce can make it too thick and then you start the cream vs roux battle that costs unneeded time and resources. Let nature takes its course, if you mise correctly you’ll have plenty of time to reduce it without a starchy roux.
The acorn squash recipe was to be roasted, luckily we can experiment and I went with brushing on honey, chipotle, and butter to sear it on the grill before finishing it in the oven to soften it. The result was a delicious caramelized squash pureed beautifully to a smooth mouth feel that complimented the crunchy fried shallots very well.
When it came to plating I did some research on modern plating styles today’s chefs are using. Watching a few tricks and ideas, I watched so much that I had a dream of what the plate should look like. I kid you not. So, I woke up in the middle of the night sketched it out and drifted back to sleep. I was so excited that we could plate what was in my head and put it on a plate. It’s like an artist being able to put on canvas what they see in their head. All in all a successful day for certain.