So, I didn’t have brunch with these two gentlemen as the post title suggests… but this is what I think Bobby Flay and Wylie Dufresne would cook for brunch if they were collaborating… That would be a brunch that I’d like an invite to! The Ingredient list left to right: Blue Corn Meal, half and half, scallions, Beef “Cowboy steak” (Rib Eye), eggs, Activa RM (aka transglutaminase, aka meat glue), jalapeño, huitlacoche, and butter.
Here’s what I made: Steak, stuffed with egg yolk, over blue corn jalapeño “grits”, topped with huitlacoche butter and scallions.
I’m really excited about this idea… The concept of putting things -liquids- inside of a steak. I started with an egg yolk because it’s nature’s perfect sauce. Also, a steak cooked 55 Celsius in a Sous Vide Bath is just about perfect. At 55 degrees, the yolk will remain liquid indefinitely. I had also considered using beef short rib meat to “construct” a steak and cooking it 63.2… the higher temp will tenderize the tough short rib and a 63 degree egg yolk is an unbelievable life changing experience… custardy. I’ve also thought about making a holandaise or a bernaise sauce, freezeing it into a small puck, and putting the frozen puck inside of the steak. In the water bath, the sauce would melt out to a liquid while the meat cooks… I did this dish mostly as a proof of concept, and will try the expanded ideas at a later date.
Here’s how I did it:
For the Blue Corn Grits
2 Jalepeno peppers.
1 Cup Blue Corn Meal.
6 tblspn butter.
3 1/2 Cups half and half.
Salt to taste.
For the Steak
One thick cut Beef Ribeye (~1 1/2 pounds) there will be unused meat.
1 egg yolk.
~1/2 tspn Activa RM.
3 tblspn Grapeseed Oil.
Salt to taste.
Immersion Circulator set to 55 Celsius.
For the Huitlacoche Butter
1 tblspn Butter (room temp).
1 tblspn Huitlacoche.
Salt to taste.
Sliced Green Onions to garnish.
Using a ring mold, I cut a center piece of the rib eye. I used a pairing knife in a jig saw motion and just used the mold as a template.
Then I sliced about 1/4″ off of the newly created medalion.
You could also start with a filet mignon here, but I think filet is stupid. Tender but one of the least flavorful bits of the animal. The rest of the steak is “scrap” for this recipe… but I have plans for it on another night.
Then cut a shallow pocket in the larger piece of the medalion. Be CAREFUL not to cut through the bottom of the medalion. I measured the tip of the knife against the side of the beef. Then used my finger as a depth guage.
The pocket cut…think the size of an egg yolk.
Put the beef cup into the ring mold, then dust the top of the cup and the cap with Activa RM. Drop the yolk into the cup and place the cap on top.
Place into a ziplock and use the water displacement sealing method… next time I might try vac sealing this in the ring mold. I was concerned about breaking the yolk.
Circulate at 55 Celsius for about 45 minutes.
While the steak and egg is cooking, get the grits going… start by torching two jalapenos.
Once the skins are fully charred, stick the peppers in a small ziplock Bag and let them steam for about 5 minutes so the skins come off easily. Scrape the skins off with a pairing knife.
Seed and dice the peppers, sautee in a sauce pan with about 1 tblspn of butter and a two finger pinch of salt.
Add one cup of coarse blue corn meal and three cups of half and half… cook over medium low heat, stir often to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom of the pot.
Finnish the grits by seasoning with salt (mine took about two three finger pinches of salt). I also added about 4 tablespoons of butter (this isn’t really a health conscious meal) and a touch of cream to adjust the consistency.
While the grits are cooking, knock out the huitlacoche butter. Huitlacoche or “Corn Truffle” as it is sometimes called, is a fungus that grows on corn. Jeffery Stiengarten, The Man That Who Everything, calls it the truffle of Mexico. It’s slightly smokey, tangy, earthy… it’s good. Plays well with the steak, the richness of the eggs, and the blue corn.
This is just equal parts room temperature butter, huitlacoche, and a heavy pinch of salt.
Okay, the grits and steak should be done around the same time. Since your cooking Sous Vide in a circulator, you’ve got about a two hour window on the steak so get the grits to your liking and set them aside… they’ll stay plenty warm while you finish the steak.
When your grits are ready, remove the steak from the waterbath. Take it out of the plastic bag and CAREFULLY remove the ring mold. Pat it dry on paper towels.
See how grey and unappealing it looks? We’re going to take care of that. Get a dry pan smoking hot. While the pan is heating, season all sides of the beef with salt and pepper. Once your pan is REALLY hot (shouldn’t be able to hold your hand over the pan for more than about 5 seconds) add a couple of tablespoons of hi-temp oil (peanut or grapeseed). Carefully drop the steak into the oil… more on why to be careful later.
After about 40 seconds, flip the steak. Baste the steak with hot oil using a spoon. Once both sides are seared, roll the edge of the steak in the pan moving about every 20 seconds. Keep in mind that when we first put the steak in the pan it was just about 2 degrees from being PERFECTLY done. If we overcook this steak not only do we have dry meat but also a hard cooked egg yolk… all we’re looking to do is create a light crust and add some color. The steak should be taken out of the pan and placed on a paper towel after about 2 minutes total pan time.
Okay, up until this point, everything was going perfect… until I set the steak on the paper towel to rest… I squeezed it a touch too hard and yellow started to run out. At first I was like, “WTF is that?”… Then I was like, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I plated as quickly as I could to retain as much of the yolk as possible.
This just goes to show how PERFECT this type of cooking needs to be. One small mistake and the dish is ruined…
“Two is one and one is none…”
Well, it tasted good, but the intent of the concept failed… so this dish/concepts goes back into development mode. I’m confident that with some minor tweaks, this concept will be a genuine break through! I don’t know of anyone doing anything similar right now… I’ll try vacuum sealing the steak to try and get a better seal, expect to see this idea way more often than you see vegetarian dishes from me!