Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
As I was growing up, my folks would sometimes make, what they imagined to be,a ‘beef stew’. It was a simple affair of chuck beef
cubes with chunks of tomato, potato and onion in a slow cooker with a bit of salt and served with white rice.
Fast foward to today.
Knowing what I knew of Chef Ron Siegel’s red wine braised short ribs, it occurred to me that what I really needed to make was:
2 c cabernet or bordeaux
2 c chicken stock (if you use commercial stock in quart form, reduce it by half)
3 lbs of beef chuck cubed into 1 to 2″ pieces
1 lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 medium carrots (cut into bite size pieces
1 large yellow onion cut into 1 to 2″ chunks
2 ripe beef steak tomatoes de-stemmed, cored and chopped into chunks
Add the yukon gold potato cubes, carrot chunks and chunks of tomato to the bottom of the pressure cooker.
Season beef all over with salt and pepper.
Heat a sautee pan and add canola or grapeseed oil and sear the beef in the sautee pan until the beef is well browned all over and then
transfer the beef to a pressure cooker (you may need to do this in batches).
Add the reduced stock to pressure cooker
Sautee and caramelize the onions in the same pan you seared the beef in with a bit more oil and once the onions have taken on a nice
color, transfer to the pressure cooker over the beef.
Deglaze the sautee pan with the wine, bring to a boil for a minute or two and transfer all the contents to the pressure cooker.
Just before sealing the pressure cooker, I had noticed that the ingredients weren’t quite covered with enough liquid and so added 3 more cups of water. I then sealed the pressure cooker, brought it up to pressure, lowered the heat so that pressure was maintained and cooked for about an hour after the cooking pressure was reached. After the hour was up, I released the pressure and served to my Revol plates. My wife was surprised how well the stew turned out with the addition of the wine and the reduced stock.
In hindsight, I thought about the comments on the internet about the use of tomato paste, salt packed anchovy, worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce and tomato paste and it occurred to me that this was all about increasing the level of umami in this stew.
Recalling Iron Chef Michiba’s famous thought: Ingredients do not recognize national boundaries, it dawned on me that I could put an Iron Chef twist on this dish and replace the chicken stock with sheung tong/chinese superior stock made from chicken wings. That stock would supply BOTH the necessary gelatin AND umami with one go. Probably the only other change I would make would be to replace the cabernet sauvignon with either a shiraz or a cotes du rhone to blend in with the ginger flavor profile from the chinese superior stock.
Thank you Chef Siegel for introducing me to the use of red wine in stews
ありがとうございます Iron Chef Chen for your technique on making classic chinese chicken stock
ありがとうございます Iron Chef Morimoto for your admonition on the proper use of twists for fusion cooking
ありがとうございます Iron Chef Michiba for your wisdom on ingredients