Friday, January 18, 2013

Gourmet Monte Cristo of Bourbon Ancho Beef and Emmentaler with Blackberry Preserves

Another nice tasting gourmet monte cristo sandwich!

     Plenty of information about monte cristo sandwiches have been posted in previous monte cristo recipe articles that I wrote.  I mentioned that the original meat for a monte cristo was ham.  Turkey and ham became a popular monte cristo version a couple decades later.  Relatively few alternative meat choices have been suggested since then, for making monte cristo sandwiches.  
     Since many modern chefs are just too egotistical to bother with making a lowly monte cristo or they are just too anal to deal with the mess involved with the making of a monte cristo, I gladly took the opportunity to hog the gourmet monte cristo market!  Older classic chefs still like a good monte cristo sandwich.  Younger chefs have no clue as to why a monte cristo is highly regarded.
     Monte cristo sandwiches were originally classy gourmet sandwiches.  Monte cristo sandwiches can be gourmet items once again.  Every chef seems to have created gourmet slider recipes and gourmet street food recipes in recent years.  There has been no new gourmet monte cristo recipes introduced.  The monte cristo was one of my favorite sandwiches when I was a kid, so I naturally think of new ideas for making these sandwiches.
     I made a small batch of blackberry preserves just for a series of gourmet monte cristo sandwiches.  Being a chef chef means that the selection of the ingredients for this monte cristo sandwich recipe must be a good match for the flavor of the accompanying fruit preserves.  Mild ancho chile goes very nicely with beef and bourbon.  Beef and bourbon is a classic flavor combination.  Swiss emmentaler (swiss cheese) tastes nice with all three of these items.  This Gourmet Monte Cristo of Bourbon Ancho Beef and Emmentaler tastes great with blackberry preserves! 

      Blackberry Preserves:
     This is a small batch recipe that makes about 1 1/2 cups of preserves!  No canning is involved and this small amount can easily be consumed within the Servesafe prepared food time limit of 7 days.  The preserves do have to be refrigerated.  If this recipe is multiplied for large batch canning, then it will have to be slightly modified, so the preserves do not turn out to be too thick. 
     When selecting fresh blackberries for making preserves, fresh black berries that are on the verge of becoming overripe are the best!  The only problem is that fully ripened blackberries can have tough crunchy seeds.  It is best to taste a few of the blackberries and decide from the start whether the seeds will be too tough.  If the seed are unpalatable, then press the finished batch of preserved through a small mesh strainer to remove the seeds.  When the seeds are removed, it can no longer be called blackberry preserves and it must be called blackberry jam! 
     Place 2 1/3 cups of blackberries in a colander and thoroughly wash the berries under cold running water.
     Place the blackberries in a small stainless steel sauce pot.
     Add enough water to cover the blackberries with an extra inch of water.
     Add 1 small pinch of cinnamon.
     Add 1 small pinch of nutmeg.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
     Add 1 pinch of ground ginger.
     Add 1/2 cup of sugar.
     Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer till the blackberries become soft.
     Add 3 ounces of liquid pectin.
     Simmer and reduce, till the blackberries melt into the sauce and the sauce is able to coat the back of a spoon like a glazing syrup.
     Cool the preserves to room temperature.
     Strain the preserves if the seeds are too tough.  (optional)
     Refrigerate the preserves in a container, till the pectin and sugar gels.
     Serve small portions in a ramekin at room temperature, so the flavors are at their peak! 

     Bourbon Ancho Beef:  
     This steak can be cooked on a char grill, but cook the steak a shade lighter than the desired finish temperature.  The steak is then placed in a pan with the marinade.  The marinade is then reduced with the steak, till it glazes the steak.  
     Place a 5 to 6 ounce piece of sirloin steak in a container.
     Add 2 ounces of Kentucky bourbon whiskey.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ancho chile powder.  
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of garlic powder.
     Add 2 pinches of onion powder.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 teaspoon of sugar.
     Rub the steak in the marinade, to mix the ingredients.
     Cover the container.
     Marinate for 30 minutes.
     Flip the steak in the marinade.
     Marinate for another 30 minutes.
     Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Place the steak in the pan and reserve the marinade.
     Sear the steak, till it is cook a shade lighter, that the desired finish temperature.
     Add the small amount of marinade to the pan. 
     Quickly reduce the marinade, till it glazes the steak.
     Set the steak aside and let it cool to room temperature.

     Monte Cristo of Bourbon Ancho Beef and Emmentaler: 
     Place 2 eggs in a mixing bowl.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced Italian parsley.
     Cut 2 slices of French bread.
     Place a few thin slices of emmentaler on one slice of bread.
     Thin bias slice the bourbon ancho beef steak at a 45º angle across the grain.
     Place the sliced bourbon ancho beef on the emmentaler cheese.
     Place a few thin slices of emmentaler on the beef.
     Place the top slice of bread on the sandwich.
     Heat a seasoned or non-stick saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 pats of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Dip both the top and bottom of the sandwich in the seasoned egg wash.
     Place the egg dipped sandwich in the hot pan.
     Saute till the bottom half becomes a golden color.
     Flip the sandwich over.
     Immediately place the pan in a 325º oven.
     Bake till the sandwich becomes hot and till the egg dipped bread becomes a golden brown color.
     Gourmet Monte Cristo of Bourbon Ancho Beef and Emmentaler with Blackberry Preserves:
     Place the sandwich on a cutting board and cut it in half.
     Place the monte cristo halves on a plate.
     Dust the sandwich with a small amount of powdered sugar.
     Place a ramekin of blackberry preserves on the plate.
     Serve with gaufrette potato chips or chips of your choice.  
     Note:  A French mandolin is required for making gaufrettes.  The gaufrette chips are fried in 360º oil and seasoned with sea salt.
     Garnish the plate with an Italian parsley sprig.
     Viola!  A nice modern gourmet monte cristo with classic beef flavors!  Yum!  ...  Shawna 


  1. Nice Blog..with awesome recipe & pics!

    1. Thanks... this food site just keeps getting better!