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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

“Old-Fashioned Home Cooking, Pt. XVII: Tender Eye-of-Round Roast Beef ala Marchand Du VIN—Low-Cost Beef Dish braised in the Classic French Red Wine Sauce” by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti



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Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti

END Commentary 07-04-2012

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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Wednesday, July 04, 2012 by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti

OLD-FASHIONED HOME COOKING, PT. XVII

 Old-Fashioned Home Cooking, Pt. XVII: Tender Eye-of-Round Roast Beef ala Marchand Du VIN—Low-Cost Beef Dish braised in the Classic French Red Wine Sauce” by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti



Bakersfield, CA, 07-04-2012 W: I realize on Wednesday that for a “chick,” I am not doing any “sexy” dishes, I am doing the dishes of the people, the kinds of things found in truckstops nowadays by other names or in old-time restaurants that serve a specific clientele who are most likely senior citizens.  There are always places like that in every city that caters to a dying segment of the population who still remember the old dishes and see them as comfort foods or truckstops that serve them under different names because the chefs preparing them know no different.  I realize that the readership expects female chefs to be doing up-and-coming, new wave cuisine, salads, soups, baking recipes, or other fun and exciting things and not old-time dishes that are more suited to Stinkbug or one of the other older guys.  That is not a slap at them, it is just an observation and a good one at that as the dishes I have been doing are somewhat blasé and boring.  Still, someone has to do them; someone has to keep their memories alive by burning candles to them on a blog site!

Today, we are going to make a beef dish that features an old-timey French wine sauce that goes by other names depending upon where it is served.  Marchand du Vin is French for “wine merchant” and that is what the sauce is: a red wine sauce, which blows the competition away day after day.  It utilizes a cut of beef that modern consumers see as something new but which, in fact, has been with us since the beginning of culinary history!  The eye-of-round cut is part of the bottom round, a much-worked cut of beef that is tough and overdeveloped but which can be tenderized for perfection. If you look at meat charts that denote the different cuts, there are ONLY so many cuts of beef, veal, pork, and lamb but modern-day butchers are forever in search of different ways of cutting the same damned thing over-and-over. They do this so they can package it differently under a different way so that the consumers will “oooh and ahhh” over them and buy them.  Like anything else, if nothing ever changes, people lose interest and end up buying and eating something completely out of their comfort zone like tofu!

Anyhow, you will enjoy today’s dish and it won’t cost you very much:

(#1644) BEEF EYE OF ROUND ROAST MARCHAND DU VIN

Trade Winds® Spices available at Smart and Final and other fine Culinary Stores

Back when I was learning to cook in the late 1960s/early 1970s, bottom rounds and their attendant parts were generally the roast beef used in the coffee shop for roast beef dinners, French dips, hot beef sandwiches, and whatever else called for “beef.” This is a classic recipe featuring one of the old-time French sauces, “Marchand du Vin” or “Wine Merchant’s Sauce.”  Flavorful with burgundy, it is a very hearty dish and a favorite of older generations.  See if you like it and save money at the same time, as the cut is one of the most reasonably priced of any in the meat counter’s showcase.

Yield:  4-6 servings / Mis-en-place: 8-12 hours with garnish:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
2#
Beef eye of round roast

Vegetable oil

.125
Cup
Adolph’s meat tenderizer

2
Teaspoons
Lawrey’s seasoned salt

2
Teaspoons
Granulated garlic

.25
Teaspoon
Lawrey’s seasoned pepper

1
Teaspoon
Whole oregano

1
Teaspoon
Whole thyme

2
Cups
Diced yellow onions

2
Cups
Diced celery

1
 Cup
Diced carrots

.5
Cup
Diced leeks

3
Cups
Beef stock

.5
Cup
Gallo burgundy

3.5
Cups
Marchand du Vin Sauce (Recipe #327)

3-4
Cups
Potatoes du jour

2-3
Cups
Vegetables du jour

.125
Cup
Freshly minced parsley
Rinsed
4-6
Each
Sprigs fresh parsley
Rinsed
Carrot Curls (Recipe #1629)




Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Make the carrot curls first:

(#1629) HOW TO MAKE CARROT CURLS



Never deny the importance of garnishing a completed lunch or dinner plate or entrée salad as diners usually notice the beauty, even if only in a subliminal way.  Garnishes are important to professional and home chefs alike and this is one of the easiest—provided you have an electric slicer—and cheapest garnishes there is to make.

Yield:  10-16  / Mis-en-place: 30 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1
Large
Carrot, peeled

Ice water



Method:

2.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! To make carrot curls, you will need an electric slicer, which is common to every professional and semi-professional foodservice operation in the nation and probably the world. 

3.      Set the dial to the minimum level possible that will allow you to push the carrot through with each slice.  Place the thickest end towards the blade and then push through as quickly as possible generating as close to a paper-thin slice as possible. 

4.      Gather up the slices and deposit into a bowl of ice water and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but overnight is generally better.

5.      When time’s up or the next day, you will see that the razor-thin slices have created some beautiful curls that must be in cold water at all times lest they lose their curls. Use as a plate garnish by shaking off excess liquid and then plating in the company of a beautiful parsley sprig.

This is one of the easiest, most-beautiful and simplest garnishes available.  Now that home-models of electric slicers are available at relatively low cost, the home chef can duplicate the skills that once only the professionals could do.

Meat Preparation:

6.      Prepare the beef the night before by placing it into a baking dish that has a lid or can be covered.  Rub it with the vegetable oil, the meat tenderizer, and the herbs and spices.  Add the vegetables, cover it with the lid or wrap it tightly with aluminum foil, and let it sit overnight for at least 8 hours.  The next day, prepare to roast it:

7.      The next day about three (3) hours before serving time, preheat the standard oven to 400°F or the convection oven—fan “on”—to 350°F.  When the oven is hot, place the meat into a roasting pan and scrape as much of the oil with the spices and herbs in it onto the meat.  Add the vegetables as well. Place the pan into the oven onto the middle rack and roast it for 20 minutes at the higher temperature; then, reduce the heat by 50°F, add the beef stock and the wine, cover the pan, and continue roasting the beef for another 1-1.5 hours.  Check it occasionally during this time for tenderness and doneness. 

a.      Note: the beef eye-of-round roast is a part of the BOTTOM ROUND, the toughest part of the animal.  The eye, however, is slightly better as it snuggled underneath the larger round and doesn’t receive a great deal of exercise much like the filet mignon; unfortunately, it is still “roast beef material” so it is still tough and generally is not GOOD if served rare.  Shoot for medium, medium-well, or well done for best results. Roasting it first at the higher temperature seals in the precious juices and then when the meat is sealed, roasting at a lower temperature practically guarantees tenderness.  Still, keep an eye upon it!  

8.      While the meat is roasting, prepare the sauce:

 (#327) MARCHAND DU VIN


“Marchand du Vin” means “wine merchant” and this sauce is a French red wine sauce used for a variety of different meat dishes.  Not only is flavorful, it is rich and delicious and will add luster and aromatic delight to all of your dishes. 

Yield:  3.5 cups / Mis-en-place: 20-30 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
1.5
Cups
Beef broth

2
Cups
Chicken stock

.25
Cup
Melted butter (or beef drippings)

5
Tablespoons
All-purpose flour

.5
Cup
Gallo Burgundy

.75
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

1.5
Teaspoons
Minced fresh garlic

.25
Teaspoon
White pepper

1
Tablespoon
Lemon juice

1
Tablespoon
Catsup

.25
Teaspoon
Whole thyme

3
Tablespoons
Minced chives

1
Cup
Sliced button mushrooms
Blanched



Method:

9.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Combine the two stocks in a saucepot over medium flame.  Combine the butter and flour in a second heavy-duty saucepot sprayed with PAM (or with some such other food release spray) and place over medium heat.  Begin stirring the roux right from the start and cook it for several minutes until it is puffy and “blond.”

10. Heat the first pot to a BOIL; then, begin whisking it into the roux pot and continue whisking until a medium-thick sauce has formed.  Keep whisking it for another 30-60 seconds and then add the remaining ingredients and allow it to simmer over a low flame so flavor develops and the sauce is perfect.  Check the flavor and readjust it if necessary and if you need to thin it down, add a bit more wine to it.  Then, it is ready for use.  In the case of this recipe, pour the sauce into the pan and allow the meat to sit in it for at least 45-60 minutes as this will add to its tenderness  

a.      As for leftover sauce, always cool leftovers to 45°F or below and store in a labeled and dated sanitized airtight container in your refrigerator.  The sauce will remain usable for about a week but as with everything else, the sooner you use it the better it will be.

This is a classic French wine sauce and is a good partner with many different meat dishes.

Final Preparation:

11. When you check the meat, do so by inserting the tines of a kitchen fork into it in several places: if the fork exits easily, the roast is ready.  Check it with a quick-temp thermometer: 145°F is medium-rare to medium; 150°-155°F is medium to medium-well and 160°F-165°F is considered medium-well to well done.  Cook to the desired temperature: if you feel it is tender and is less well done, then pull it out and prepare to serve it.

12. On each of four-to-six plates, lay slices of beef slightly atop one another at the six o’clock position and then cover with sauce.  Place potatoes at the ten o’clock position and vegetables at two o’clock.  Place several carrot curls in the center of the plate with a sprig of parsley and then dust the entire plate with some freshly minced parsley flakes.  Then, your roast is ready to serve!  

Butchers and chefs alike are always in search of different beef cuts and while the eye-of-round has been with us forever, it has been receiving newfound attention of late due to its relatively low cost.  Bottom round and its accompanying parts are probably among the least inexpensive cuts and the good thing about it is that it can be very tender and has tremendous flavor.  It can be found in the butcher’s case at most grocery stores and is generally labeled as “eye-of-round” but if in doubt, be sure to ask the clerk at the counter.   

--------------------------------------------

As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this, as it is a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will become dedicated followers of the END.  Currently of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession are heard—join us. We urge our readership to write to us, leave comments, and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously do not pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that is worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it will be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I am told.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people do not care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It is sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

Tomorrow, my friends, is HUMP DAY so I am preempting the blogosphere and myself by mentioning it now. Still, that does not alleviate me of the responsibility of mentioning it tomorrow so I will have to leave myself a note here on my desk so I won’t forget it.  I do hope that every single one of you enjoyed today’s dish and the previous two days’ worth of dishes.  In addition, I want to wish you a happy SAFE and SANE Fourth of July weekend!  Please handle your fireworks safely and if in the Hawaiian Islands, take care not to blow the place up!  Some areas have more legal requirements and laws than do others so whatever your area says you can do, please do.  NO M-80s or anything else that is illegal or dangerous!                                                    

Anyhow, let us close with this impassioned plea—please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by SPIRIT/ Jo Jo Gunne and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  Allied with them, we are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thank you!

V. Vicky Mazarotti

V. “Vicky” Mazarotti
ACF, CWC, CPC, International Association of Culinary Professionals IACP.

This is a photo of me as a young chef back in the 1970's when I was working at a hotel in San Francisco. I had the opportunity to work in many different parts of the country and worked my way up the culinary ladder to become a top chef. I am both a Certified Working Chef and a Certified Pastry Chef and am a member of the American Culinary Federation, the world's top authority on everything connected to cooking.
Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti writes from Taft, CA.
---30---

The END Commentary for Wednesday, July 04, 2012 by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.

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The one-and-only Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti writes this original essay.



Recipe created by Chef V. Vicky Mazarotti on June 15, 1977 in Fresno, CA.

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