3.153 Biftek Sauté Bercy with Pommes de Terre Sautées en Des

Cycle 3 – Item 153

6 (Wed) May 2012

Biftek Sauté Bercy with Pommes de Terre Sautées en Des


by me

at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with W and DJ

Getting more adventurous in my ongoing if sporadic exploration of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I attempted my first main course.

First, I started with the basic technique for biftek sauté (pan-broiled steak), searing in butter and oil.  As far back as I can recall, it’s been my preferred technique, because the meat juices are sealed in, the crispy crust contrasts nicely with the soft rare interior, and the drippings are collected in the pan for a quick gravy if necessary.  It’s also easy.  Not until recently did I realize that it’s “very” French, as Julia puts it.

For the bercy variation, the sauce calls for the addition of butter, shallots (or green onions), white wine (or dry vermouth), more butter, salt & pepper, and parsley; optionally, poached beef marrow – alas, I was out of poached beef marrow!   I found the sauce to be somewhat too subtle/light for the richness of the ribeye.  Moreover, even though I’d spent a little extra getting what had seemed to be a decent white wine from Côtes du Rhône – 25,000 won, which isn’t a lot, especially by Korean standards, but much more than I’m used to spending on wine as an ingredient, a stingy habit that I promised in a prior post to redress – the wine was too acidic, rendering the sauce rather tart.  On the upside, I could see it going well with a fatty fish, like sea bass.

Finally, the topping involved the master recipe for pommes de terre sautées (potatoes sautéed in butter) – cooked in butter with salt & pepper and minced herbs, then finished in yet more butter to make them “glisten” – but with the simple en des variation of first dicing the potatoes into uniform cubes.  The de Hollande potatoes commonly used in France are small and narrow (prolate spheroid), cooked and served whole.  Otherwise, the book suggests whittling larger spuds into “elongated olive shapes all the same size, 2 to 2.5 inches long and 1 to 1.25 inches at their widest diameter.”  In addition, “cut them smoothly, so they will roll around easily and color evenly.”   No thanks.  The dice method is offered as a shortcut.  Yes thanks.




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