In honor of last night’s episode of The Taste, we asked guest mentor Naomi Pomeroy to share one of her favorite recipes with us.
This special-occasion recipe is as much about the meat as it is about what goes with the meat. A strip loin roast–or a boneless rib roast, which is slightly fattier but very similar–is a very practical and servable dish for a group. Resting is of the utmost importance–wait at least 20 minutes before slicing.
I use grass-fed beef because it aligns with my politics, but not everybody does. It’s important to consider your source for this dish, because the way your beef was raised will impact the way you should cook it. Corn-fed or corn-finished beef tends to have more fat and marbling, so it can take a hard sear in high heat. Grass-fed beef tends to be leaner, so I cook it on a slightly lower heat, and baste it with plenty of butter after searing to keep it moist. Either way, you’ll need to apply some weight to get a proper, even sear–whether you press the beef down with your tongs or toss another pan directly on top of it, make sure something is there to ensure the meat makes contact with the pan. Rotate the beef every 30 seconds or so until every side is evenly seared.
But the true hero of this dish is the demiglace. I cannot understate the importance of knowing how to make demiglace–it’s time-consuming, but a simple process that yields one of the most powerful ingredients in my kitchen. The only way to describe the taste is to call it the highly concentrated essence of savory. It’s a natural flavor enhancer, and a little bit goes a long way. We make two batches of demiglace a week at Beast, with 150 bones at a time, because we serve it on so many things. Once you taste it, you’ll want to put it on just about everything. A modest drizzle of demiglace will instantly heighten any piece of meat, and marrying it with rich heavy cream as you do in this recipe creates the most refined version of gravy you’ll ever encounter.
You can substitute different kinds of mushrooms if necessary, but do try to find a cultivated wild variety like oyster if you don’t have access to truly wild ones themselves–this is such a special dish that it really deserves the best you can find.
Ingredients for the beef
1 (6-7) pound strip loin or boneless rib roast
Ingredients for the mushroom cream
1 lb wild mushrooms(morel, porcini, or chanterelle are best)
2 cups heavy cream(reduced to 1 ½ cups with 4 whole cloves garlic
Ingredients for demiglace
Good demiglace starts with good stock. This recipe yields about 8 quarts of stock, or about 1.5 cups of demiglace
5 lbs duck bones
5 lbs veal bones, roasted to dark golden brown
2 ½ lbs lamb necks roasted to dark golden brown
6 large yellow onions
4 carrots, peeled
4 celery stalks
1 oz thyme
2 tps black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 head of garliccut in half
Method for the demiglace:
Preheat oven to 500F. Using your largest roasting pans, or working in batches to avoid overcrowding, roast the bones in single even layers until they’ve achieved a very deep, chestnut-golden brown hue. The time this takes will be largely dependent on your oven, but will be a minimum of 20 minutes. Be careful not to burn the bones by moving them around if you have hot spots in your oven. If some of the bones finish roasting before others, carefully remove the brown ones, and return the others to the oven until they are deeply colored. Under-roasting your bones will result in an off-putting, “boney” flavor, rather than a rich, deeply delicious flavor.
Place all ingredients in an 8”-deep restaurant quality hotel pan. (Home cooks can purchase online). Cover generously with water, cover with parchment, and then with aluminum foil. Set oven to 250F. Cook for 8-10 hours (can be done overnight). Strain and reduce the stock over high heat, skimming all fat and particles constantly, until volume is reduced to about 1.5 cups, about 3-4 hours, to make the demiglace.
Method for the mushrooms:
In a heavy cast iron skillet, heat 1 tbs butter over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms. Season lightly with salt. Cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the liquid has partially evaporated, approximately 6 minutes. Set aside.
Method for reducing heavy cream with garlic:
In a 4 quart pot set over medium high heat, reduce 2 cups of cream with the peeled garlic cloves. It is important to use a much bigger pot than the amount of cream you want to reduce, because as the cream heats, and just as it begins to boil, it bubbles up like crazy, and has a tendency to boil over if your pot isn’t big enough. Once the cream has reached a boil, lower heat a little to medium, and allow to simmer until reduced to 1.5 cups (about 15-20 min)
Method for the beef:
Cut the beef into 2 approximately 3”x5” roasts. Tie with kitchen twine. Season generously with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Set aside to come up to room temperature, approximately 1 hour.
In a heavy bottomed (preferably cast iron or steel) skillet, heat 3 tbs olive oil over high heat. Place the beef in the skillet and sear on all sides until golden brown, about 4 minutes total. When the beef has browned, add in about 6 tbs soft room temperature butter and spoon up over the beef. Place the skillet into a 400F oven. Set a timer for 20 minutes and check the internal temperature. Continue to cook the beef until the internal temperature reaches 116-118F, approximately 4-8 minutes more depending on the size of the roast. Remove the beef from the pan and place on a shallow baking dish with 1 bunch thyme placed at the bottom. Tent lightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest a minimum of 20 minutes before slicing.
In a small 4-quart saucepan, melt 3/4 cup cooled demiglace over medium heat. With the heat lowered, add in ¾ cup reduced heavy cream. Whisk well to combine. Add sauteed mushrooms and serve immediately with sliced beef.