One of my favorite parts of cooking is that there is almost never a right or wrong way to cook. It's always deeply personal and one of few areas of life where it's completely ok to be selfish in the way you create-- as long as you share the fruits of your labors with others. This recipe was from a dish I cooked quite a while back that was shared on facebook. The recipe was offered up, but I didn't have it, so I had to recreate it and I'm so happy that I did. The salad is made of cabbage which really takes me back to my time in Denmark. Outside of coleslaw, you almost never see cabbage salad in the US but I'm a big fan and my brother Mike and I ate a TON of it while we were stagiaires at NOMA. I crush the cabbage with salt before mixing the salad which keeps the salad from getting too wet and gives a really nice soft, yet crunchy texture.
The dish is actually quite simple as long as you have the right ingredients on hand, mainly really good quality stock, great cheese and great olive oil. It just so happens that I had just made a few gallons of stock with beef neck bones, pork joints and femurs, and the usual aromatics-- carrot, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, peppercorns. This is an excellent mid week meal, yet the sauce is enough to impress any of your friends for a special event. Switch out the salad for some classier side dishes and you're instantly cooking like a professional chef. Try it out!
Keep it simple. I used Bottom Sirloin because it's a lesser known, really tasty, tender and cost effective choice. The steak that my girlfriend and I shared was approx 9 oz; only $6-7. I rubbed with salt, seared in a small sauce pan over medium high heat, and transferred to a clean pan into a 350 degree oven until 119 degrees F. Let rest 10 minutes. Note: I seared over medium high heat because I used the sauce pan to make a pan sauce and didn't want any burnt bits. If you don't have a high quality, heavy bottom pan, you'll want to sear over higher heat.
Again, this is quite an inexpensive salad, but very fresh and very good. Be sure to use top quality ingredients since the salad is so simple. Let them shine on their own! This is easily enough salad for 3-4 people but it will hold well for a day or so in the cooler since some of the water was extracted.
- 1/2 head or about 4.5 cups cabbage, finely shaved
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley, chiffonade
- 1/4 small vidalia onion, shaved and stored in ice water
- 1.25 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil, I used laudemio frescobaldi 30th anniversary, raccolto 2018 (This is delicious and expensive and should be eaten as is. Not for cooking)
- 1.25 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon good whole grain mustard, dijon, stone ground. NOT YELLOW.
- 20 month aged gouda or other hard cheese to your liking
To make the salad, First toss the cabbage with the salt and crush with your hands for a minute or two. This will draw out some of the water from the cabbage and keep it from getting too watery if it sits for any time. Start this process before you start cooking your steak. Finish the salad while your steak is resting.
To finish the salad, drain off all liquid from the cabbage, then toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley and mustard. Add shaved onion and shaved cheese to the top of the salad to your liking.
Note: the sharpness of onions that makes you cry is a chemical reaction that occurs when cells of the onion are split. Soaking the onion in ice water removes much of this reaction and the cold water ensures a supremely crispy texture. You'll adopt this practice, I promise.
Ultimately, this sauce is the most expensive, technical part of the dish. I used very concentrated stock that was reduced by about 1/2 prior to using it. All said and done, the 8-9 cups of 'demi' that I have had about 15 lbs of bones and 2 lbs of mirepoix and aromatics. It's pricey but well worth it. This is why your side of 'zip sauce' costs so much in a good restaurant. Technically speaking, the sauce is based upon glace de viande, which is a stock that is reduced to 1/10th its original volume! DO IT!!!
- 8 ounces of concentrated stock, or 16 ounces stock. I used beef and pork bones to make it.
- 3 tablespoons small diced vidalia onion
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced green peppercorn and 1/2 teaspoon brine from the peppercorns (if you can't find green peppercorn, swap it out for capers)
- 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley, chiffonade
- 2 tablespoons of cold, unsalted butter, diced.
- 2-3 scratches of nutmeg
Using the sauce pan that you seared your steak in, sweat the onion over medium low heat while scraping the brown bits (fond) from the bottom of the pan. The liquid from the onion will help dissolve the fond into the sauce. Once translucent, add in the garlic and black pepper, and sautee another minute or so until the garlic is cooked through. Add in the stock and bring to a strong simmer, reduce until the volume is about 2 ounces or 1/4 cup. The liquid should be getting quite thick. Remove from heat and whisk in butter until emulsified. Stir in green peppercorn, brine, parsley and nutmeg. Check for seasoning before serving. Keep in mind that the sauce needs to be intensely flavored or it may get lost in the dish.