Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Steak, etc.

In my quest for squid, I did find a huge, local London broil. Painting went a little late, so it only got sous vide-ed for an hour (at 54˚ C, with salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence) but it still ended up more tender than it otherwise would have been. While it was having its therapeutic soak, I steamed sunchokes and puréed them with yogurt and feta, caramelized cubes of rutabaga with guanciale and onion, and steamed shredded kale. It ended up being kind of a meat and potatoes without the potatoes; the sunchokes are incredibly sweet, almost like parsnips, and the caramelized rutabagas are like insane earthy home fries with sweet onions and a nice porky richness- all aided by bringing them to just shy of burnt. Finished with juices from the cutting board and little pats of black truffle butter.

Had I world enough and time, I would have puréed the kale and integrated it into the plating, and it would have been Marvellous. It was pretty great on the side, especially mixed into the purée with a bite of meat. To complement this near-ultimate rainy day feast (it's above freezing!) I opened a 1997 White Cottage cabernet. Good, and refreshingly nimble for a Cali cab; it's totally different from the 2000 Gemstone I had over the weekend, which was really thick and jammy, due no doubt to the different site and the Bordeaux blend, especially the merlot, which no doubt contributed. The boutiqueness (and concomitant excessive price) of the Gemstone no doubt demand the more extracted style of winemaking, but Screaming Eagle (overrated as well) it ain't. The more I drink of these wines, the more I only like them after 20+ years, when time has softened them into something special- like the 78 Stag's Leap we had a while back, or the 92 Beringers we liked so much; it's an open question whether the wines made today will age as elegantly.

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