Every component of a dish is equally important and I always try to make the most out of each. It is only a question of being well-organised. Even with small effort you can perform magic assumed that those products are good quality. Of course one has to pay for quality, therefore I rather buy less, then to cook with something that is poor quality. Last Sunday it was once again time for some gorgeous slices of free range beef entrecôte. I did not want to prepare anything fancy with it, because the star of the meal was the meat, but it was also important not to hide the vegetables behind. The meat didn't need anything but a chunk of herb butter.
Ever since I have prepared Blumethal's roast chicken, I keep on cooking carrots the same way: for about an hour in butter with salt and pepper. The only thing that is important is not to uncover, but besides you can completly forget about it and prepare the rest of the meal. Not so long ago it was common to overcook vegetables, yeah, I know those carrots are also cooked for a long while, but the taste is unbeatable! Anyway, now let's talk about brussels sprouts that are in season now.
In order not to destroy the character, the colour and the taste of a vegetable it is important to blanche them in boiling water, and then to chill rapidly. In case you use it or serve it immediately after blanching, then there is no need to chill. Without chilling the vegetables will continue to cook and slowly to loose their colour and turn mushy. Brussels sprouts should be blanched for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size. I was lucky to find some really small ones that only needed 7-10 minutes. Be careful and do not let the water bubble much, because this may destroy the delicate leaves. After they are blanched and chilled let them dry and fry them in melted butter over low heat for about 5 minutes while turning once in a while. Simply season with salt and pepper and sprinkle some roasted nuts on it when serving.
Among the carrots and brussels sprouts I also cooked some turnpis. Not much to do with those either: simply sautee in butter until tender, add some garam masala, some sugar to caramelise and some port wine. I also added some veal stock, because I have just cooked a portion the evening before and I had to test the taste. Reduce liquid until it is syrupy. While the beef is resting you have perfectly enough time to finish the vegetables.