Potato Wrapped Cannelloni of Beef Brasato

WITH TRUFFLED VERDURE

Potato Wrapped Cannelloni of Beef Brasato with Truffled Verdure

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truffle1 In 2012, Chef Suzette Gresham of Michelin star Acquerello in San  Francisco, joined the Napa Truffle Festival for its second year of  the Truffles & Wine Dinner at La Toque and its first year of Winery Truffle  Lunches. Her user-friendly approach to food preparation made the  cooking demonstration at Robert Mondavi Winery as fun as it was  thrilling (complete with tips on how to use knives). For the demo and the  lunch she prepared this extraordinary truffle cannelloni dish, which serves as an excellent main course.

Suzette Gresham, Acquerello’s co-owner and Executive Chef, has had a profound impact on the culinary world over truffle2the course of her over 35 years in the kitchen—a career honored by numerous awards and accolades. She was the first female apprentice to be on the US Culinary Olympic team, returning as an individual competitor four years later to take home the bronze medal. She holds the coveted Antonin Carême award, and was the first Junior Member of the ACF, later being voted to the Board of Directors for three terms. Acquerello has held a spot every year on Michael Bauer’s Top 100 Bay Area Restaurant List since its inception 19 years ago, and has received a Michelin star every year since 2007. In 2014 it was awarded a second star, making Gresham the third woman in the US to hold that title. While these prestigious achievements are a source of pride, they are not the driving force behind her career. Food, above all else, is what keeps her in the kitchen!

“I am a purist at heart. I adore food and nothing brings me greater joy than sharing my passion for Italian cuisine. Very simply, I pour my heart and soul into the dishes I create and enjoy sharing my love for food with other people.”

NEWS: Every fall, Acquerello presents a White Truffle Tasting Menu and throughout the rest of the year, they highlight black European truffles, featuring their signature dish: Ridged Pasta with Foie Gras, Black Truffles and Marsala Wine. The very BIG news is that the restaurant was awarded a second Michelin star in 2015, making Chef Suzette the third US female chef to receive this honor!

BRAISED BEEF – INGREDIENTS:

2 tbls beef fat, rendered (or olive oil)

To taste kosher salt

To taste black pepper, ground

8-10 lbs beef short ribs, boneless

1 head garlic, whole, cut in half

4 celery stalks, large chunk

2 yellow onions, large chunk

3-4 carrots, peeled, large chunk

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh oregano

2 bay leaves

7oz tomato paste (preferably Italian imported)

1 quart red wine, Italian (Barolo if you’re brave enough!)

2 quarts chicken stock 2 quarts water

BRAISED BEEF – DIRECTIONS:

Heat a large heavy bottom pot, add rendered beef fat or olive oil and quickly coat the pan. Add the seasoned meat (beef short ribs with salt and pepper). Sear on all sides then remove from the pan. Add the halved head of garlic and the chopped vegetables into the same pan and begin to sauté. Add the herbs and continue sautéing, looking for a little caramelization. Add the tomato paste (if it’s an American brand, dilute with a little water to make it easier). Work this over the vegetables and continue to sauté. This is known as “rusting”. Add the red wine and cook 8-10 minutes, until alcohol has evaporated. Add chicken stock and water to just cover. Turn the heat low, cover and cook gently for 2-2 1/2 hours until the meat is tender. Never allow to boil. Preferably, if done the day before, the meat would be allowed to rest in the liquid in the refrigerator overnight.

RED WINE SYRUP – INGREDIENTS:

2 cups red wine

3/4 cup granulated sugar

RED WINE SYRUP – DIRECTIONS:

Place the red wine in a small heavy bottom pot, heat and allow to reduce by 50%. At this point, add the sugar incrementally, as you taste and check for viscosity. Return to the heat. Watching closely, cook until sugar and wine are just incorporated. Remove and cool. Check tackiness by placing small amount on a saucer in the refrigerator for 5 mins, then putting a bead between two fingers to see how it acts when you pull your fingers apart. A thin line should be made that holds together briefly. If not, return to the stove and gently reduce further. Hold.

RED WINE SYRUP – INGREDIENTS:

prepared braised beef

1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

RED WINE SYRUP – DIRECTIONS:

Return the braised beef and vegetables to the stove. Gently reheat. Separate the meat and hold aside. With a large slotted spoon, remove the vegetable solids, drain and hold aside. Pour remaining liquid through a large holed strainer. You should have approximately 2 qts of liquid. In a pot, reduce the liquid by about 75%. Set aside (a percentage of this will be used in the filling). While still warm, pulse meat with 50% of the cooked vegetables until there are no large chunks and the meat is fairly smooth. Transfer to a large stainless steel bowl and drizzle a small amount of the wine syrup and the reduced braising liquid over the pulsed meat. Mix well, season with salt and ground black pepper, add chopped parsley and then season fully. Avoid making it too sweet.

SAUCE – INGREDIENTS:

2 tbls beef fat, rendered (or olive oil)

3 lbs. beef, scrap or stew meat

1 head garlic, skin on, cut in half

5 ribs celery, rough dice

2 each yellow onions, peeled, rough dice

3 each carrots, peeled, rough dice

1 spears rosemary

1/2 bunch thyme

7 oz tomato paste (preferably Italian imported)

8 oz. red wine 3 qts. beef or chicken stock

1 Tbsp. black peppercorns

1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cubed (optional)

SAUCE – DIRECTIONS:

Heat a heavy bottom pan to medium and add the beef fat or olive oil. Render and sear beef until slightly caramelized. Pour off any excess fat and add the half heads of garlic. Allow to color. Add vegetables and sauté, then add the herbs and tomato paste and let “rust” for 15 minutes, but do not scorch. Deglaze with red wine. Cook down for about 5 minutes then deglaze with stock. Add peppercorns and cook for 45-60 mins at a slow simmer. If the sauce needs thickening, add the cubed potato during the simmering (this will give the sauce body and a silky finish). When it looks like there is not enough liquid left and the meat is poking up, pull off the heat. At this point, you can leave to steep overnight, or strain through a heavy metal china cap. Push through to get every drop of liquid. Strain again through finer strainer and return to a pot. Reduce further for about 20 minutes, until sauce will just nape or coat the back of a spoon. Cover and set aside.

CANNELLONI ASSEMBLY – INGREDIENTS:

3-4 each Yukon Gold baker sized potatoes, peeled

1 pot water

To taste kosher salt

1 pastry bag 1 egg, mixed with pinch of salt and drop of water

1 can spray grease, “Vegelene”

6 deli squares of waxed paper, 6”x 6”

CANNELLONI ASSEMBLY – DIRECTIONS:

On a meat slicer or mandolin, thinly slice the potatoes (1/16th”) into a bucket of water. You will need 5 slices per person. Bring the pot of water to boil and then season with salt. Drop the sliced potatoes into the water for 13 seconds. Remove and immediately plunge into ice water. Meanwhile, load your beef filling into a disposable pastry bag. Cut the tip the size of a pencil’s diameter. Set aside. Remove your first 5 slices of potato from the water. Pat dry and line up lengthwise on a cutting board. Don’t trim yet, but cut one straight leading edge where the first roll inward begins. The filling should line right along this edge (think small burrito).

From the pastry bag, squeeze out a pencil’s thickness of the meat filling horizontally on the potato slice. Do all 5. Before rolling them, crack the egg into a small bowl, and add a drop of water and a pinch of salt. Mix well. Paint the shortest edge with the egg. It is what will be used to help seal the cannelloni shut. Roll the beef filling in the potato wrapper for 1 1/2 revolutions. Trim here if needed. Avoid making it double, as they will not cook correctly. Paint the seam where the cannelloni will need to sit. Now, trim each side with a sharp knife and push the stuffing a little with your finger so that the sides look perpendicular and full. You should have a little cigarillo about 2 inches long. Spray grease the wax paper square with Vegelene and place all 5 rolls on it. Sit them on their seams all facing the same direction. Spray another paper square and cover the rolls with it. Wrap and refrigerate until ready to heat in the oven. When ready to serve, heat in oven for about 5 minutes at a medium high heat. Be careful to not overcook them – they will explode, or pop their filling out the ends!

GARNISH – INGREDIENTS:

4 tbls tiny brunoise of Mirepoix

1 tbls extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tbls truffle oil

To taste kosher salt

To taste black pepper, ground

1 tbls parsley, Italian flat leaf, chopped

6 pinches fines herb mix

1 oz fresh black truffle, tuber melanosporum

1 truffle slicer

GARNISH – DIRECTIONS:

Do a tiny, fine dice of equal parts: Celery, onion and carrot. This is called “Mirepoix”. Cook quickly in olive oil in a small frying pan. Do not allow to color. Remove to a container. Allow to cool, slightly. Add the oils. Season and add chopped parsley. Stir. Set aside.

TO SERVE!!

Finally! Gently heat plates. Set the cannellonis on their papers in their tray in the oven for 5 minutes. Warm the sauce. Remove the rolls from the oven and place on plate in a row with equal spacing between them. With a spoon, nape sauce over each roll and finish with a broader flourish around the plate. Quickly, drizzle the mirepoix, or truffle trail as we call it, right through the middle, in a straight line over all 5 rolls. Pull a fluff of fines herbs in the same direction. Pass one more drizzle of truffle trail around the outside of the rolls. Lastly, shave 5 small slices of fresh truffle over the cannelloni. Arrange abstractly. Serve – yeah!!

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