Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Buffalo Steak a la Chanterelle Espagnole with Goat Cheese Polenta and Ancho Piloncillo Mayocoba Beans

     Buffalo is also known as American Bison.  Buffalo is now a free range wild game animal that is farmed on ranches rather than hunted.  The flavor of buffalo is stronger than beef and it is slightly milder tasting than venison.  Free range buffalo is very lean and it is chemical free!
     Buffalo is so lean, that it must be cooked rare to medium rare.  Overcooked buffalo can be tough and chewy!
     Mayocoba Beans are known as Peruvian Yellow Beans, Parrot Beans and Canary Beans.  The flavor of mayocoba beans is much milder than pinto beans and they have a slight buttery taste.  Piloncillo is raw sugar.  If no piloncillo is available in your area, then light brown sugar can be substituted.
     Goat cheese polenta has a rich sharp goat cheese flavor, when soft French chevre goat cheese is used.  Grecian feta cheese also can be used, but it is a brine packed goat cheese, so adding salt may be unnecessary.
     Chanterelle mushrooms have a classic flowery, woodsy flavor.  Chanterelles are also a very healthy wild mushroom to eat.
     There are several rich flavors on this plate that do not clash with each other.  The combination is interesting.  This is a very elegant tasting rustic style American bison steak dinner!

     If fresh chanterelles are used, then gently saute and sweat the chanterelles with butter, before adding the espagole sauce.
     For dried chanterelles, soak 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of dried chanterelle slices or pieces in 2 cups of water  in a refrigerator overnight.
     Classic Sauce Espagnole:
     This espagnole recipe is by the book!  This recipe yields several portions of sauce.  The espagnole can be used for other recipes or it can be frozen in portions
     Place 4 pounds of veal bones, lamb bones, beef bones, pork bones and meat scraps in a roasting pan.
     Add 4 tablespoons of tomato paste.
     Add 12 ounces of a rustic un-peeled mirepoix of:
     - carrot
     - celery 
     - onion  
     Roast the mixture in a 350º oven till the bones and vegetables caramelize to a deep brown color.  Toss and stir the ingredients occasionally. 
     Place the bones and mirepoix into a stock pot. 
     Deglaze the roasting 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 low heat and simmer for 4 hours. 
     Add water occasionally to cover the bones.
     By now the meat stock should be a rich brown color.
     Skim the grease off of the top of the simmering meat stock.
     Make a brown roux with equal parts of unsalted butter and flour while constantly stirring over medium high heat.  (3 1/2 ounces of unsalted butter and 3 1/2 ounces of flour should be enough.) 
     Do not stop stirring or the roux will scorch! 
     Keep stirring as the roux changes color from blonde to tannish red color and to a brown color. 
     Add enough of the brown roux to the meat stock pot to thicken the broth to a thin sauce consistency. 
     Simmer the thickened meat stock for one hour and stir it occasionally. 
     Strain the thickened meat stock through a fine mesh strainer into a sauce pot. 
     Discard the bones, meat scraps and vegetables. 
     Add 1/2 cup of sherry wine per quart of thickened meat sauce. 
     Add 1 bouquet garni of bay leaf, chervil and thyme. 
     Add 1 small handful of mushroom trimmings.
     Add 2 of chopped shallots. 
     Add sea salt and black pepper. 
     Simmer the sauce espagnole, till it becomes a medium thin sauce consistency. 
     Strain the espagnole sauce through a fine mesh strainer and set it aside.

     Ancho Piloncillo Mayocoba Beans:
     This recipe makes 2 to 3 small portions!  Canned mayocoba beans are fine for this recipe.
     Rinse the starchy water off of 1 cup of canned mayocoba beans or cooked mayocoba beans.
     Set the beans aside.
     Remove the stem and seeds from 1 dried ancho chile.
     Simmer the ancho chile in 1 1/3 cups of water over low in a sauce pot.
     When the ancho chile becomes soft and tender, pour ancho chile broth through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.
     Slice the ancho chile into thin julienne strips.
     Place the ancho broth into a sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 3 tablespoons of piloncillo sugar.
     Add the sliced ancho chile strips.
     Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a very thin syrup consistency.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add the reserved rinsed mayocabo beans.
     Gently stir, till the beans are coated with the syrup glaze.
     Keep the beans warm over very low heat.
     Goat Cheese Polenta:
     Boil 2 cups of water in a sauce pot over medium high heat.  (No broth is used to make this polenta.  The sharp flavor of the goat cheese should not be masked!)
     Slowly add some corn meal while whisking, till the water just starts to thicken.  (About 3/4 cup to 1 cup of corn meal is plenty.  You must constantly stir the polenta, till it is fully cooked.)
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Continue whisking the polenta, till it starts to become smooth, thick and creamy.
     Add 1 pat of unsalted butter.
     Add black pepper.
     Add 3 ounces of crumbled feta cheese or 2 ounces of French chevre cheese while whisking.
     When the cheese becomes thoroughly blended into the polenta, remove the pan from the heat.
     Add 2 pinches of finely chopped Italian parsley while whisking.
     Taste and add salt if necessary.
     Spoon the polenta into a star tipped pastry bag.
     Keep the polenta warm on a stove top.
     Chanterelle Espagnole:  
     Place the chanterelles and their soaking liquid into a sauce pot.
     Bring the mushroom broth to a boil over medium high heat.
     Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Simmer till the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup.
     Add 3/4 cup of the espagnole sauce.
     Simmer and reduce the chanterelle espagnole sauce, till it becomes a medium thin sauce consistency.
     Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.
     Buffalo Steak:
     Buffalo is very lean.  Buffalo browns faster than beef and it cooks quicker than beef.  Take care not to over cook the buffalo steak!  Buffalo is best when it is cooked rare to medium rare.  Cooking the buffalo more than medium rare will cause the meat to become very tough.
     Season a 10 to 12 ounce buffalo sirloin strip steak with sea salt and black pepper.
     Heat a saute pan over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 pat of unsalted butter.
     Pan sear the buffalo steak on both sides, till it becomes cooked rare to medium rare.  (A probe thermometer should read 115º to 130º.)
     Place the steak on a wire roasting rack and let it rest for 1 minute.
     Buffalo Steak a la Chanterelle Espagnole with Goat Cheese Polenta and Ancho Piloncillo Mayocoba Beans:
     Place the buffalo steak on a plate.
     Spoon the chanterelle mushrooms and espagnole sauce over the middle of the buffalo steak.  Try to mound the chanterelles high on the steak!
     Pipe the goat cheese polenta on the plate with a star tipped pastry bag.
     Place a small mound of the Ancho Piloncillo Mayocoba Beans on the plate.
     Garnish the polenta with an Italian parsley sprig.
     If you like the flavor of Boston Baked Beans, then you will like the flavor of ancho piloncillo mayocoba beans.  Ancho is a very mild chile that has a deep raison and classic rich dried chile flavor.
     I always try to share a special recipe every time that I cook wild game.  Especially buffalo.

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