Kobe Sirloin Tips In Mushroom Wine Sauce With Duck Fat Potato Dominoes and Rocket


1 pound kobe sirloin tips (or just the best beef your store carries…)
1 cup diced white onion (or shallot, if you were smart enough to buy it, like I wasn’t
2 tablespoons duck fat (or clarified butter, if you’re not lucky enough to have harvested your
1 cup red wine (I used a Shiraz)
1 quart beef broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
a handful of rocket (arugula)


I trim my two potatoes into the largest squarest bricks I can. Needless to say, this creates a good deal of waste; but my worms will love it.
Setting my mandoline on it’s lowest setting, I run both blocks across the blade until I’ve sliced several decks of cards.
I know this looks like smooth applesauce butter, but it is really my pure, perfect duck fat – harvested from a duck a roasted on Sunday, in honor of my new niece. Although the recipe called for clarified butter, I couldn’t help but dig into this lusciousness; it was, metaphorically speaking, burning a hole in my fridge.
Using a butter knife, I spread about a tablespoon of this fantastic fat along the top and sides (sliding in between the leaves – and even shoving underneath) of my stacked, toppled, and loosely packed together tower of slender potato slices. I sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and place into a 400 degree oven to roast for 40 minutes.
I melt the remaining tablespoon of duck fat in my wok over medium high heat to sizzling…
Before I add my minced onion, which I let soften and translusce…
Before I add my mushrooms, which I’ve scrubbed clean, and which I let brown…
Before I add my red wine, which I let simmer and reduce for a few minutes…
Before I add my beef stock, which I bring to a boil.
And I let it boil, and boil, and boil — for the entire 40 minutes that my potatoes are cooking, which reduces and releases all the stock’s extraneous liquids into my kitchen’s atmosphere, while concentrating the flavors of beef, wine, and mushroom. Here I am at the 20 minute mark; one can see how far down the wok the sauce has simmered — about 50%.
I was willing to pay $30 for Wagyu steaks tonight, but Savenor’s only had two cuts available: ribeyes, which were upwards of $50/lb (too rich for my purse), and sirloin tips for a very reasonable $14.99/lb – which is less then what I pay for dry-aged steaks from Whole Foods. I usually equate sirloin tips with Golden Corral, though, and I’ve never really worked with them – plus, I certainly didn’t know how to work with them on my crappy electric stovetop. Most recipes I immediately encountered suggested marinating sirloin tips in burgandy, but I simply couldn’t imagine adulterating the fragile flavor perfection of such an excellent quality cow by drowning it in wine. But the beauty of Waygu is its tenderness — their Japanese progenitors are massaged by hand, and nipple-fed beer, for crying out loud, and our American cross-breeds are better-eating vegans than Gwenyth
See how marbled? These threads of fat will turn to aspic under the searing heat, leaving tender sinews the beg to burst under the pressure of piercing, tearing canines.
I need to buy some grapeseed oil, which is what I prefer when searing meat. Olive oil smokes to quickly, and its flavor does heat well, IMHO. So I used a 60/40-ish hand blend of vegetable oil and sesame oil – providing a high-smoking point and a gentle, toasty flavor. I’ve cut my sirloin tips into large cubes, and I now throw those big ol’ bites into my sizzling oil.
Action Shot! (Ok, crappy shot — just work with me here…) Using tongs, and a little patience, I cook each cube for about 1 minute on each side: that’s top, bottom, and each of its four (or so) sides. With the heat set to high, this imparts a quick caramelization on each surface, trapping in the sweet sweet juices, encrusting the edges with crisp flavor, and evenly cooking the insides to leave a cool, pink, supple center.
It’s now 40 minutes, and my mushroom wine stock has reduced to a rich, thick jus.
Using my smallest bowl, I scoop about a tablespoon of cornstarch out of the bin, and mix it – using a pastry brush to smoothen it – with a few tablespoons of my hot gravy stock.
I dribble and blend this thickening mixture into my sauce, setting the heat on low and stirring well. This will tun my thin, savory jus into a thick, rich gravy.
At the final moment, I pull my potatoes out of the oven. They are crisp at the edges, and sizzling underneath. Craftily employing a serrated knife, I saw the crunchy base off the bottom, and very carefully move halves of the stack to two waiting plates.
Clayton and I oohed and ahhed and melted and purred and raised our hands heavenward before, during, and after each bite: the steak bites were tender, pink, and Lucy-in-the-sky-with-diamonds juicy, the mushroom sauce a mink blanket of rich delight rubbed across the surface of my tongue, and the potatoes were crisp-edged, dripped in meaty fat, with supple, warm centers. Topped with peppery rocket drizzled with the finest of EVOOs, this $30 dinner was worth millions to my weeknight well-being.


1 servings


Thursday, February 24, 2011 - 7:53pm


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