What do I love more? When they’re on sale! But there seems to be a rule that when you buy a bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables, you’ll be too busy to cook them. Since it’s the holiday season, Chef has been busy with large parties at work. And because I went home to see my parents for a few days, I couldn’t take advantage of the tomatoes, either. But the ever-resourceful Chef had a solution for the now mushy tomatoes, Bœuf Chasseur. (Which is just the fancy French way of saying hunter-style beef.)
Sauces are the stars in classic French cooking, with recipes dating back to the Middle Ages. In the 19th century, Antonin Carême, aka King of Chefs and Chef of Kings, classified all the sauces into four categories — Béchamel, Espagnole, Velouté, and Allemande.
|The King of Chefs, chillin’ after categorizing the mother sauces|
A century later, Auguste Escoffie said, nu-uh, homeboy, there are five: Béchamel, Espagnole, Velouté, Hollandaise, and Tomate.
|Escoffier telling Carême, “I don’t think so.”|
Anyway, Chausseur is a small sauce, or one that’s made with a mother sauce base. The traditional recipe, coined by Phillipe de Mornay, is a brown sauce made with espagnole and demi-glace bases, mushrooms and white wine, but of course there are countless variations.
For ours, we’ll be using tomatoes and red wine in place of the mushrooms and white wine. Normally I’m hesitant to cook sauces, but Chef modified this recipe for ease, i.e., he took out the mother sauce.* Seriously, I didn’t even need supervision; Chef just shouted instructions to me from the laundry room.
*Obviously the “chausseur” in the name of this recipe isn’t for the sauce, but for the style of cooking.
2 hunks of meat (We had filets, but you can use any cut you want. Just keep in mind leaner ones are best.)
1. Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze the seeds out. (Seeds are sour, and sour does not a good sauce make.)
9. Cook that for about five minutes, add the red wine and let that simmer down. Once it’s reduced, put it aside until you’re ready to pour it over your steak.
1. Add about 2 tsbs olive oil to a pan & let it get hot. Then add 1/2 tbsp butter and let it melt.
2. Sear one side of the beef.
Now, you can either sear the other side, cooking it to your preferred temperature, or you can take it off the heat and let it finish cooking in the oven to get a more tender piece of meat. We chose the latter option. (Our meat took about 5-7 minutes for a nice medium rare.)
|Add a glass of red wine and ta da — the perfect winter meal. (cooking.com)|
You couldn’t ask for an easier entree. As for the sides, you’re on your own.