Posts Tagged ‘Gastrique’

Lesson 22 Duck breast pommes annaThere are so many reasons to love duck, especially duck breast or magret du canard.  I love the slightly tangy flavor of the meat, the juiciness of a rose pink breast and the crunch of crispy cooked skin.   I am more apt to cook a duck breast or confit duck legs than roast a whole duck, perhaps for me the parts are better than the sum.

The duck breast is trimmed of excess fat and sinew and then the skin is scored with a harlequin pattern.  The breast is seasoned on both sides and placed fat side down in a cold pan onto the med heat.  The skin should be golden and crisp, which will take around 10 min, then the breast is flipped onto the meat side.  Continue to cook on the stove top until the internal temperature reaches 52-53C, then remove from the heat and rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  So simple you will need to prepare all your other elements before you begin cooking the duck!

The duck is served with a puree of cumin spiced carrots, which was a surprise.  Usually carrots are only included as an aromatic in most of our recipes to heighten the flavor of sauces, so once their flavor is extracted they are tossed away.   For this preparation the carrots are simply cooked in salted water, pureed with a little cream and cumin.  Just delicious!  This is an easy accompaniment that could make any weeknight meal more special.

This recipe included a new potato preparation, Pommes Anna. Anna potatoes are a classic French dish of sliced, layered potatoes cooked in a very large amount of melted butter.   For our method we peeled the potatoes then used a metal form to cut them into even rounds.  The rounds were then sliced thinly using a mandolin.   To create small a galette, we used a bilini pan to make single serving size.  There are many sizes the galette can be made, the main decision is the size of the pan or form you decide to use.

The galette is cooked on the stove top until the bottom is crispy, then gently – very gently flipped over, to brown the presentation side.  If you try too soon or the top layer is not stuck together with enough butter it could fall apart, so don’t rush or skimp on the butter.  That’s so French – don’t you think?

Continue for Pommes Anna recipe

Read Full Post »

SC Lesson 12In Europe, filet of beef on a menu is recognized as tournedos, and veal filet in France has a special name, Grenadin.  Not to be confused with the awful sugary liquid used to make Shirley Temples!

New techniques with this recipe included creating a gastrique for the sauce and working with poivrade artichokes.   A gastrique is made by blending a caramel with vinegar or sour element, in this case citrus juice.  The poivrade artichoke is a different varietal with purple leaves at the end.  It is much smaller and has less of a choke to worry about.

Poivrade artichoke

The sauce is fairly simple to make with ingredients that are readily available.

Veal Filet trimmed and tied with kitchen twine then cut into small steaks.  Save trimmings for the sauce.

To make the gastrique sauce:


  • Brown veal trimmings in canola or peanut oil as olive is too strong; degrease
  • Prep the citrus – grate a lemon and lime & juice both
  • Caramel
    • Heat equal parts sugar and honey until blond about 30 g each.
    • Add lemon and lime juice, continue on heat
    • Now this is called a “gastrique”
    • Deglaze the pan with veal stock
    • Add the veal trimmings to the caramel
    • Add the fresh grated ginger, a little water and the zest (add gradually as it can be quite strong)
    • Skim the sauce of impurities while continuing to reduce and thicken
    • To finish; pass through a strainer and continue to reduce and skim

Sauté the veal steaks or grenadin in vegetable oil and butter to brown each side.  Place in a 200C oven until the internal temperature of the veal is 53C.  Take out and rest until temperature reaches 55C.

Serve with polenta, cooked, cooled, cut and pan fried; or simply with mashed potatoes if you don’t fancy all the work.  A lovely cabernet franc will do nicely here!

Read Full Post »