Winter vegetable fireworks sided by a Delmonico steak
I know, one would typically says:
Delmonico steak served with colorful winter vegetables,but here, honestly, the (delicious) steak was quite pissed off as for once, it was not the star on the plate... the vegetables were!
This is a recipe inspired by, and freely adapted from, the French chef Jean-François Piège (Farandole potagère). It is based on a few simple and succulent principles:
- non root vegetables, fennel and cabbage leaves, were just briefly seared in the butter used to baste the steak. To illustrate the brevity, the French term is tomber, meaning you just "drop" the veggies in the pan and they are done... well, count a couple of minutes yet! For my version, I also blanched first the fennel (Piège uses bok choi instead),
- root vegetables were all baked in an aluminum foil papillote, with olive oil and salt, at 400 F for around 90 minutes. In order to concentrate the flavors and to avoid the vegetables to disaggregate, they were just washed with a brush before wrapping them, and they were peeled after cooking... as Piège says it, like a pineapple!
- the other exciting originality of the recipe was that each vegetable was associated with a different spice or herb.
- last but not least point, the vegetables, as well as some vegetable leaves and stems, were treated in different textures: coulis, mashed, pesto, or "whole" piece (slice or wedge).
Vegetable textures and herbs/spices associated
- celeriac root: baked with bay leaves, served as a wedge
- yellow beet: baked with thyme leaves, served as a wedge
- red beet #1: baked with smoked paprika, and served as a wedge
- sunchoke: baked and served mashed with grilled flax seeds
- parsnip: baked with fennel seeds, and cut in half lengthwise
- carrot (not pictured): baked with ginger and cut in half
- red cabbage leaves: stem removed, seared with grated orange rind in the meat butter
- fennel leaf: seared in the meat butter with grated orange rind
- carrot leaves, celeriac leaves and watercress: high speed blended with heavy cream and piment d'Espelette, and served as a "green" coulis
- red beet #2: baked with smoked paprika and served as a "red" coulis incorporating red wine and smoked paprika... a killer
- carrot stems and celeriac stems: mixed with pistachios and garlic, and served as a pesto (another killer) on the meat*
* Ah oui! I forgot, there was also a Delmonico steak, classically seared with rosemary and basted with butter. It was the perfect complement of all those colorful and tasteful vegetables. But honestly, those vegetables could have been served as a main dish by themselves. I mad a try a couple of days ago with slightly different vegetables (sweet potatoes and bok choi instead of celeriac and fennel, respectively) with just grilled pepperoni sausage "crumbs" to bring some crunchiness...