Wednesday, May 11, 2011
purple cabbage shallot puree, polenta and steak with brown beer mustard sauce
This dinner was definitely one of the best things I have cooked this year. From left to right we have a nice rare steak with a beer and grainy mustard sauce, creamy polenta with parsley, and a purple cabbage and shallot puree. I won't beat around the bush. It. Was. Awesome.
This meal came about when I saw this recipe. Unlike the gloppy looking purplish goo that I came up with, the photo that accompanied original recipe was so damn pretty that I couldn't believe it wasn't actually a dessert. I when I realized that it was actually the prettiest cabbage that I've ever seen, I knew what I was making with some of my seemingly endless supply of purple food co-op cabbage. (Seriously, that stuff doesn't go bad, and it multiplies like Jesus with the loaves and fishes when you try to chop it up!)
While my dish didn't quite compare visually, I am happy to report that it was super delicious. I'd even go so far as to say that this may be the tastiest cabbage preparation I've ever eaten. The cabbage is cooked slowly with plenty of chopped shallots in some olive oil, so everything turns sweet and mellow as the shallots caramelize. Then you blend everything up with some milk or half and half to make a nice smooth puree.
I am telling you, this was such a pleasant surprise. I never knew that cabbage could be so silky and sweet. I couldn't stop eating it. And, even if it wasn't as pretty as I thought it would be, I definitely enjoyed having something purple on my plate. What can I say, sometimes I am girly like that.
I used this nice Belgian beer to make a sauce for my steak. I swear to you that I got the idea for a beer and mustard pan sauce from some recipe I saw on Serious Eats or perhaps some other food blog, but I can't seem to find the original anywhere. So I guess I will just have to take all the credit. Perhaps I merely dreamed that I read about a delicious steak, seared on high heat and then left to rest while the pan is deglazed with a nice ale and some grainy mustard. Sounds like a pretty sweet dream to me!
The steak was perfectly rare on the inside with a nice crust on the outside, and the beer and mustard sauce thickened up into a wonderfully rich glaze. It was very easy to make up this sauce, and it was a good way to scrape up all those lovely brown bits that are left behind in the pan after you sear the steak. A pan sauce is such a great thing, and I really should try to make them more often.
Paired with some easy, cheesy polenta and a nice green parsley garnish, the steak and cabbage were a great dinner, and one of my 2011 dining highlights to date!