Friday, 19 October 2012

Steaming Ahead!

Involtino di Manzo con Peperone & Senape in Agrodolce su Puré di Patate
Sweet & Sour Beef, Pepper and Mustard Roast on Mashed Potato

And so the countdown begins on my final week with my old trusty kitchen- sigh! The place is a mess, what with me moving things out little by little... but one by one all those bits and pieces will have to disappear! Still, a fellow has to eat- especially with all of this chaos on top of a full working day- and even more so if he is to put together something good enough to share with you good people!

So time was of the essence of course this evening - but then again that's usual when I cook! Time for trickery again on my part! In this case, before I baked this juicy roll of beef here, I wrapped it in Ceran wrap and steamed it for 15 minutes... which got the meat tender and juicy and which at the same time produced a delicious gravy all by itself! Which is a very good thing if you ask me!

I started off by getting my potatoes boiling, ready to be mashed later, but as soon as they were bubbling away, I continued with a very thin slice of beef flank steak- the kind that is meant to go on your grill for a minute each side ;-) That would be great at a warmer time of year, but this evening, I spread mine with some dijon mustard, sprinkled it with fresh thyme, laid out a few basil leaves on it and seasoned with salt and pepper.

In the meantime, I sautéed some thinly sliced bell pepper, with a little garlic, salt, pepper and sugar, in just a little olive oil, until it became slightly translucent and soft. I laid the pepper slices out on the beef slice and then rolled it up tightly. As I already mentioned earlier though, rather than tie it with kitchen garn or using a skewer, I wrapped mine very tightly in Ceran wrap, twisting the ends tightly like a party-cracker. I then wrapped it into a double-layer of aluminum foil and steamed it for 15 minutes, turning the little parcel over at half time to make sure that it cooked evenly.

By now, the potatoes were boiled and ready to be mashed, with a little milk, nutmeg and a little crushed garlic... but no butter as I had a little secret ingredient I wanted to use. The onions you can see in the photos, were pickled in white balsamic vinegar and preserved in a jar in sweetened olive oil- this made it quicker and easier for me this evening, but unless you have something similar, what you will need to do is to sautée some onions in a little olive oil and flavor them with balsamic vinegar and a little sugar yourselves... don't worry- they will be fine!

After 15 minutes of steaming, I carefully opened my little parcel and snipped the end off the Ceran wrap, being careful to do so over a small bowl to catch all of the juices... it smelled so good! I set the rolled up beef onto a bed of mashed potato and added a few of the pickled onions along with some of their oil from the jar, which I gently stirred into the potatoes... yummy!

I added a little balsamic vinegar to the meat juices and reduced them down briefly in a frying pan, then poured it over the meat and popped everything into the oven for 10 more minutes at 250°F. After 10 minutes, the potatoes were bubbling away, so I fetched it out of the oven and added a generous sprinkle of fresh thyme, which infused its flavor into the mash wonderfully! I added a light drizzle of honey over the beef  and put it back in the oven to "rest" for 1-2 minutes, turning on the broiler briefly right at the end, to give the honey a hint of caramel-flavor as it turned rich and brown... and I have to say, the result was pretty amazing! This is one dish you are guaranteed to love- just let me know when you decide to make it so I can get there on time!

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