Sauce Soubise, Keller-Style

I recently came across a French Laundry course item from the 11 Nov 2018 menu.  That menu had an offering of Sauteed Sea Trout, Vidalia Onion Potato Relish, potato puree and ‘Sauce Soubise’.   It inspired me to consider making Chef Keller’s Sauce Soubise to pair with roasted arctic char.   But where to find the sauce recipe? Well, a sous-vide version of the sauce recipe can be found here:

https://books.google.com/books?id=7IyI1jetwWUC&lpg=PA60&ots=tPOJMUVuDD&dq=soubise%20recipe%20thomas%20keller&pg=PA60#v=onepage&q=soubise%20recipe%20thomas%20keller&f=false

Effectively, the sauce is:

A nice white onion to cut down to size

Preparing the onion to be cooked down

10 1/2 oz thinly sliced white onion
3.38 oz vegetable stock (2 oz+3 T)
1.7 oz heavy cream        (2 oz)
1.7 oz canola oil
.85 oz champagne vinegar (2 T?)

the other cast of characters

Since I didn’t have a sous vide rig, I consulted ‘Serious Eats’ to see how they prepared the sauce (https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/03/re-introducing-soubise-classic-three-ingredient-onion-sauce-french-roast-meat.html).  So basically, it looked like I’d need to sautee

Cooking down the onions on medium heat for about 10 minutes

the onions slowly for about 10 minutes, add the vegetable stock to cook for another 3 minutes and then add the cream, cook it

Cream for the sauce aspect of the soubise

on low heat for another 5 minutes and finally blitz it in the food processor to puree the contents. Once that was done, I could put it through

Running the cooked mixture to ‘puree’ in the food processor

the fine strainer and then season with 1/4t 4:1 salt/white pepper AND 1/8 t salt.

After adding the vinegar, salt and pepper and warming the sauce through

As it would turn out, I had to spend a bit of time peeling brussel sprouts to pair the dish with broiled arctic char (didn’t have access to Scottish Sea Trout) and ended up in a little bit of a rush to make dinner tonight.  As a result I didn’t get the time to run it through a fine

broiled arctic char, sauteed brussel sprouts, sauce soubise

strainer for this Wednesday dinner.

As we tasted the meal, my wife commented how the soubise could stand alone relative to the other dish components; but wished it had less vinegar in it.  I liked the way the soubise balanced the richness of the arctic char when eaten together.  Since soubise is supposed to be an incredibly simple item to prepare (requiring very few elements), when I make this again, I will try to make sure I have more time so that I can pass it through the fine strainer and reduce/eliminate the vinegar.  I would be curious to see if this is one of those things where less is more.

In any event, I might consider this dish as an offering for the holidays since I doubt I will have the physical ability to create the multi-course meals given the recent surgery I just went through.

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