I had the particular pleasure of dining out at a fundraiser hosted by a friend of mine Aidan Sheeran, who is cycling from Paris to Nice (in France). He is doing this to raise funds for Pieta House, a very worthy cause and one dear to his heart. I would encourage you to hop over to his fundraising page and be generous. In a fit of selfishness and malevolence, I am putting the link at the bottom of this post in the vain hope that it might get you to read all the way through.
The event was hosted by the affable and generous Chef Patron at the multi award winning L’ecrivain Restaurant, Derry Clark. Derry is a former Paris to Nice cyclist himself. I won’t make you seethe with jealousy by taking you through the menu or by telling you about the wines and the company and the craic. But, I will tell you about a little nugget Derry imparted to me. He gave me my first taste of the Butcher’s Secret – the Cap of the Ribeye. Imagine the concentrated flavour of a slow cooked Jacobs Ladder combined with the gentle chew of a prime rib. Well, you’re not even close. This is a divine cut of meat and I know I will be in trouble for revealing it.
I had to pull every string there is to get my friend, James Lawlor (He too a former Paris to Nice cyclist and known to his friends as The Bicycling Butcher of Old Rathmines Town) to prepare me some of this beautiful cut. You have already feasted your eyes on it in the picture above. Here’s what I did to prepare Cap of the Ribeye with Spinach Cream and Red Wine Reduction. The spinach bit is taken almost directly from my friend Stefan over at Stefan Gourmet. It’s delicious too.
The beef took very little preparation. I cut it into serving sized pieces (4), seasoned and vacuum packed it before placing it in a sous vide at 55ºC for an hour.
The Spinach Cream adds a lovely bit of flavour.
I washed the spinach and steamed it. Then I squeezed the water out of it in a tea towel. Next I blended it with a couple of tablespoons of yoghurt and a handful of parmesan and a grating of nutmeg. Then I put it into the saucepan to keep warm.
The beef needed a quick browning on a hot pan to add a nice colour and a little crust. Then I let it rest while I made a very flavoursome jus.
Side note on creating delicious sauces. I put a fair deal of time into making highly concentrated stocks. At the time of making, they seem to be a lot of trouble. However, when one wants to make a nice highly flavoured sauce together, the concentrated stocks come into their own. This time, I used some concentrated beef stock cubes from my stock (Geddit?) in the freezer.
I love having an excuse to show off a nice bottle of wine. This Arelius 2010 from St. Emilion is a hangover from a French holiday. I thought it would work well both as a basis for my sauce and as the wine to drink with the meal. Here’s a big picture of a big flavoured wine.
I added a glass of the wine and a few ice cubes of stock to a saucepan. These were reduced until thick. I added a knob of butter for a nice glaze.
The beef could be cut with a butterknife.
All that is left to do is to “plate up” and enjoy the rarest of beef treats – the Butcher’s Secret, Cap of the Ribeye.
If you have read as far as this, get over to Aidan’s fundraising link and give a couple of quid to this extremely worthy cause.