Luxury Saturday Dinner – Entrecôte, Parmesan- and Canelli Bean Cream, Warm Puy Lentil Salad with Root Vegetables and Panchetta, Semi Dried Tomatoes and Read Wine Sauce

Entrecôte with plenty of goodies on the side and a glass of red wine is unbeatable! Okay, I admit, I’m not in agreement with myself regarding the previous sentence since I dislike red wine. But even I find a few sips of good red wine to be just fine with this combination.

The recipe for this dish has continually evolved after hours in front of the stove and just as many hours googling after inspiration. I wanted to make an innovative and luxury dish far from the classic potato gratin and béarnaise sauce. It’s not an understatement saying that I was filled with nervousness and skepticism the first time I cooked this dish. How did I come up with the idea of including both beans and lentils? I who usually have a distaste for these ingredinets. But gosh I was wrong, every single piece of this dish was divine! All the right flavours and textures were there – tender meat, hearty and tangy red wine sauce, creamy and smooth bean- and parmesan cream, salty and crisp pancetta, sweet tomatoes and root vegetables, earchoplentils and fresh rocket.

I recommend going the whole hog and making the broth to the sauce from scratch; it tastes like a thousand times better than the store bought alternatives which often are either too salty, too bitter or has a too intense umami taste. If you haven’t got the time to make your own stock, which is totally understandable, buy the best you can afford. It will make a difference! My tip for those of you who want to make your own broth is to make a big batch, reduce it (so you have a concentrated flavor and it takes up less storage space) and store in the freezer. It lasts for years. Let the broth cooking take time, a good couple of hours, preferably around 8-12 hours, this will give the flavours a chance to flesh out. Boil it low and slow and after straining the broth let it reduce with the same low and slow thoughts in mind. Reduce it until it tastes “nasty” because when you later on uses the broth you’re just simply diluting it with water, milk, cream or wine. But enough about stocks for now, maybe in the future I could make a deeper post describing the subject.

In this case I prepared a whole piece of entrecôte instead of cooking it in individual slices. When cooking a big cut of meat I prefer to give it a nice seared surface in a hot pan and then throw it into a low temperature oven. By doing this the meat will be evenly cooked all the way through. Letting the meat rest in tin-foil afterwards and not salt until after cooking are two other tips of how to make the juices stay inside the meat and you will end up with a succulent and tender result.

It might take some time to make the whole dish, but I guess you could come up with a bunch of other dishes only including one or two of these components. The puy lentil salad would be great with grilled chicken and the semi dried tomatoes enhances any kind of pasta.

Entrecôte, Parmesan- and Canelli Bean Cream, Warm Puy Lentil Salad with Root Vegetables and Panchetta, Semi Dried Tomatoes and Red Wine Sauce – 6 servings

Ingredients:

Dried tomatoes
400 g tomatoes (Romantica, San Masso or some other kind of baby plum tomatoes)
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt
Black pepper

Meat
800 g (approx.) entrecôte
1 bunch of sage
2 big garlic cloves (or 4 small)
Olive oil
Butter
Salt
Black pepper

Parmesan- and Bean Cream
250 g drained canelli beans (1 tin or 400 g when undrained)
2 big cloves of garlic (or 4 small)
60 g parmesan cheese
100 g crème fraiche
Olive oil
Salt
Black pepper

Lentil Salad
100 g shallots
100 g carrots
100 g celeriac
75 g pancetta
1 big garlic clove (or 2 small)
Butter
Olive oil
100 g puy lentils
275 g chicken stock, diluted to taste
Salt
Black pepper
30 g red wine or red wine sauce
(Juices from the meat)

Sauce
50 g peeled schallots
500 g red wine
500 g veal stock, diluted to taste
Dried thyme
Butter
Salt
White pepper
Corn starch
Granulated sugar

To serve
6 thin slices pancetta
6 new carrots
60 g rocket

Oven: 125 °C and 75°C

How to:

Dried Tomatoes: Rince the tomatoes and cut them on the middle, lengthwise. Put them in an oven proof dish and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Scatter some salt and freshly ground black pepper on top and bake in a 125 °C oven for about 3 hours or until the tomatoes are crumpled up a little but without having dried out completely.

Meat: Sear the entrecôte on all sides in a hot pan with some butter and olive oil. Transfer the meat to an oven proof dish. Finley shop and fry sage and garlic on medium heat in some olive oil. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. The mixture should not be colored; just heat it up so all the flavours start to burst. Spread the herb mixture over the meat and place it in a 75°C oven. When the meat has reached an inner temperature of 56 °C it’s medium and ready to take out (if you want a rare piece of meat take it out a few degrees earlier), this will take about 2 hours.

Parmesan- and Bean Cream: Chop the garlic and fry in some olive oil on quite low temperature. When the garlic has taken on a roasted smell and starts to brow (be careful, you don’t want to end up with bitter burnt garlic) it’s time to transfer it into a food processor together with the drained beans and grated parmesan. Mix to a smooth paste. Add crème fraiche. Taste with olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix once again until everything is combined and you will end up with a smooth, creamy but rather thick cream.

Lentil Salad: peal and chop onion, carrot and celeriac into small dices. Cut the pancetta into equally small sized dices. Fry the vegetables and pancetta in some butter and olive oil until nicely golden. Add finely chopped garlic and fry for another minute. Rince the puy lentils under cold water and boil them in chicken stock for about 20 minutes or until al dente (you don’t want to end up with mushy lentils, they should just have a slight bite left). Drain of the excess liquid in a bowl (you are going to use it later so don’t throw it away). Combine lentils, root vegetables and pancetta. Add salt, freshly ground black pepper, some of the boiling water and a splash of red wine or red wine sauce to taste.

Sauce: finely chop the shallots and fry them on low temperature until soft and translucent. Add thyme and wine and reduce by half. Reduce the stock by half as well so you end up with quite a strong flavoured broth. Combine the stock with the wine tasting as you go. You are aiming for a nice contrast between the acidity in the wine and the richness from the stock. Add salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of sugar if needed. Sieve the sauce to get rid of the onion and thyme and thicken it with some cornstarch diluted in water. Whisk as you incorporate the starch into the sauce and bring it up to a boil before serving.

To Serve: Peel and precook the carrots in salted water for a few minutes. They should have quite a strong bite left since they will be cooked again later on. Drain the carrots and put them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Cut the carrots lengthwise and fry them in butter and oil until golden brown. Fry the pancetta slices one by one on quite low temperature until crispy.

Place a pile of rocket on the bottom of each plate, spooning some of the warm lentil salad over. Pipe/click up some bean- and parmesan cream. Place two carrot halves on each plate and finish with a slice of entrecôte, a pancetta crisp, some dried tomatoes and a spoon of red wine sauce.

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