Black tip shark is a medium size reef shark. The flavor is similar to a young mako shark. Black tip shark steak meat is clean, white colored and savory. The meat has a tight grain like swordfish, wahoo or white marlin. Tight grained shark meat is juicy and it takes some severe over cooking to dry the meat out. Even if black tip shark is overcooked, the meat still is palatable.
Black tip sharks are fairly docile as far as reef sharks go. They are aggressive feeders of wounded fish and they become very aggressive in spring when they travel into bay water to lay their egg sacks. You really do not want to be in the water with an open wound around black tip sharks in springtime!
Springtime is the best time of year to catch young black tip sharks. Once any large shark reaches a mature age, the meat becomes very susceptible to ammonia contamination because of overexertion while being caught. A large shark's urine can "back up" into the blood stream and leave an undesirable flavor. If a shark is not gutted quickly after it dies, the urine will back up into the blood.
When buying a shark steak, ask to smell the steak before making the purchase. If the shark is odorless and clean smelling then it was well prepared and very fresh. There are some red blood meat strands in shark just like swordfish and red fish. The red meat in a shark steak will cook to a brown color and it has a nice beef steak kind of flavor. So, do not trim off the flavorful red meat!
This black tip shark steak au poivre recipe is an old Florida recipe. There was a master chef about 20 years ago who published a mako shark steak au poivre recipe as his own personal creation. A few Florida chefs and myself laughed about the master chef publishing that recipe, because we had been cooking that recipe for over 15 years already! Some of us Florida chefs worked so hard that we shunned basking in glory. In Florida, if a recipe sells during a tourist season, then that successful enough!
In Florida, the winter season is very busy. A fine dining restaurant in Florida can serve over 400 people per night. I was very fast when I was a Florida chef and very precise as well. Culinary school chefs automatically assume that if there is a high volume of business, then the quality of the food and presentations must be very poor. Not so!
For an inexperienced culinary school chef, 400 customers would be too much. Apprenticed chefs seem to desire increasing business, so they can cook for even more customers! Our food and accuracy was superb in those old days of cooking gourmet food in Florida. You can still find a few restaurants in Florida that conduct business with the positive attitude that we had, but they are far and few between. As a Florida chef, you must be able to market cutting edge and nouveau seafood cuisine to some very wealthy and discerning customers.
It does not matter how bizarre the presentation of an entree is, if your customers prefer old classic standard presentations and perfection. I could present this shark steak with unnecessary sprigs of herbs, crispy leek straws, crispy onion straws, gastriques, flavored beurre blancs or serve this as a Napoleon style stack. Many customers view a fancy presentation as an uncomfortable distraction and it adds a costly price. Florida customers tend to be concerned about the accuracy and the flavor of an entree and they like conservative classic presentations. In Florida, an entree does not need to be "dressed in a rhinestone zoot suit" to be fantastic! Old traditional French and Italian classic presentations do please Florida customers the most!
Classic presentations in a restaurant do save quite a bit of money, when compared to a complicated exotic presentations. That factor is very important during an economic depression, just in current times. When times are tough and money is tight, the old classic entree presentations are king! A customer does get more food for their hard earned money, because with less money spent on garnishing, the portion size can be larger.
On a serious note, shark sustainability is now an issue. In recent years shark populations of every kind have drastically declined in numbers. This recipe was written back when black tip shark was sustainable. Since it is now taboo to purchase shark, because the numbers are too low, another fish with firm texture meat is the best choice. All billfish are listed as being low in numbers and most tuna are also low in numbers. Be wise with what fish that you chose or that species of fish may become extinct. I posted a link for the Monterey Bay Aquarium seafood watch sustainability list at the top of the Seafood & Freshwater Fish page in this food site. Since shark sustainability is a critical issue, here is the link, so you can see for yourself: Seafood Watch
Glace Viande Recipe:
Place 4 pounds of veal bones, lamb bones, beef bones, pork bones and meat scraps into a roasting pan.
Add 5 ounces of tomato paste.
Add 8 to 10 ounces of rustic un-peeled mirepoix of carrot, celery and onion.
Stir the mixture together.
Roast the mixture in a 350º oven, till the bones and vegetables caramelize to a deep brown color. (Stir the ingredients occasionally.)
Place the roasted bones and mirepoix into a stock pot.
Deglaze the roast pan with water and add the jus to the stock pot.
Cover the bones with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
Turn the temperature to medium low heat and simmer for 4 hours.
Add water occasionally to cover the bones.
Strain the stock through a fine sieve.
Discard the bones and vegetables.
Skim off the grease.
Reduce the meat stock by a little more than half.
This is a very rich unseasoned stock that can be frozen in portions for later use.
The glace should be able to thinly coat and glaze the back of a spoon.
When the glace viande is used in recipes, it will be reduced to a slightly thicker glaze to order.
The combination of oil and aluminum foil for initially baking the potato will keep the skin moist and it will remain natural color. There is nothing worse than eating a twice baked potato out of a very overcooked, dried out potato skin shell! It compare to eating a twice baked potato stuffing out of a worn out old leather shoe. Many second rate restaurants serve old worn out overcooked potatoes as twice baked potatoes. Those dried out potatoes are better off being sent to a pig farm!
Wash 1 whole large russet potato under cold running water.
Lightly brush the potato with vegetable oil.
Wrap the potato with aluminum foil.
Bake the potato in a 350º oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
When you can gently squeeze the potato and it is no longer hard, then it is ready.
Let the potato cool to room temperature.
Remove the foil.
Place the potato on a cutting board.
Cut the ends off of the potato, so the potato can stand evenly.
Cut the potato in half through the middle and not lengthwise.
Use a spoon or parisian scoop to scoop out the baked potato flesh and to form a hollow pocket for stuffing. Leave about a 1/4" to 3/8" thick border wall of potato "shell" attached to the skin.
Set the hollowed potato half on an oiled baking pan.
Place the potato flesh that was scooped out into a mixing bowl.
Add 1 pat of softened unsalted butter.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of sour cream.
Add sea salt and white pepper.
Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
Thoroughly mash the mixture, till it becomes very smooth.
Blend 4 to 5 pinches of sliced chives into the potato stuffing.
Load the potato stuffing into a star tipped pastry bag.
Pipe the potato stuffing into the hollowed baked potato shell.
Drizzle a little bit of melted unsalted butter over the potato.
Sprinkle a very small amount of paprika on the potato stuffing.
Bake the stuffed potato in a 350º oven, till the highlights on the potato stuffing become lightly caramelized.
The shark steak can be cooked while the twice baked potato is in the oven!
Black Tip Shark Steak au Poivre Recipe:
Shark of every kind currently has sustainability issues. Check the current sustainability status, before purchasing any shark or fish, to prevent the extinction of a species.
Select a nice looking and clean smelling 8 to 10 ounce black tip shark steak.
Remove the skin.
Coarsely crush 2 to 3 tablespoons of black peppercorns.
Press the crushed black pepper into the surface of the shark steak.
Season the shark steak with sea salt.
Heat a saute pan over medium/medium high heat.
Add 2 pats of unsalted butter.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of blended olive oil.
Place the shark steak in the hot pan.
Sear and saute the shark steak on both sides till the meat is lightly caramelized with brown highlights. (Do not flip the shark steak excessively or the peppercorns will fall off!)
Drain the excess grease out of the pan.
Add 1/2 of a minced garlic garlic clove.
Add 1 teaspoon of minced shallot.
Add 1/3 cup of cognac or brandy.
Add 1 cup of dry red wine.
Add 1/3 cup of glace viande.
Place the pan in a 350 degree oven.
Allow the shark bake for a few minutes, so the center of the shark steak finishes cooking. Remove the pan from the oven. (The handle of the pan will be hot during the rest of the recipe, so use caution!)
Set the pan on a burner that is set to medium heat.
Use a spatula to set the shark steak on a plate.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice to the sauce in the hot pan.
Simmer and reduce the sauce in the pan, till it becomes a thin glace sauce consistency.
Take the pan off of the heat.
Add 2 pats of unsalted plugra butter to the sauce, while whisking. (Monte au beurre. If no european plugra butter is available, then regular unsalted butter will do.)
Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.
Spoon the sauce over the shark steak and onto the plate.
Serve with the stuffed baked potato and a vegetable of your choice.
The vegetable in the pictures is sauteed yellow squash that is flavored with dill weed.
The flavor of this black tip shark steak au poivre is superb! Cream is an option in this au poive sauce, but it is not required. Higher class au poivre sauces are usually finished with butter instead. As you can see in the pictures, a butter finished glace sauce is very rich and translucent.
Black tip shark has a clean rich flavor. The texture of black tip shark is perfect for this recipe. The baked stuffed potato is a nice accompaniment for any steak. The stuffed potato has no cheese or bacon flavors that may compete with the flavor of the entree. This is a very nice plate of Florida style seafood!
The wine is last year's French Mommessin Beaujolais Nouveau. This is a fresh celebration wine that is made with the first grapes of the harvest. Beaujolais Nouveau is sold in November and it is never aged. Beaujolais Nouveau labels are always colorful and pretty. Mommessin made several different style labels for this year. I have posted a few pictures of the different labels in this blog so far.
Fresh French harvest celebration wine and a nice seafood entree! Yum! ... Shawna