Life

James Street South Cookery School: Côte de Boeuf and Crème Brûlée

The key to cooking great beef starts before you even enter the kitchen
Niall McKenna

WITH all eyes on Northern Ireland this week for The Open, I wanted to show off the quality of our local produce with two of our very popular dishes – Côte de Boeuf and a traditional Crème Brûlée.

Sometimes, we forget what we have right here on our doorstep, be it the stunning views, the brilliant sporting facilities or the amazing food! These recipes showcase our culinary strengths – this rich and creamy dessert satisfies our cravings for a sweet treat whilst the Côte de Boeuf shows off the quality and flavour of the meat available right here in NI.

The recipe for the beef is a simple one, but it does need proper attention to ensure your meat is cooked the way you like it. Enjoy!

:: CÔTE DE BOEUF

The key to cooking great beef starts before you even enter the kitchen.

Buy the best bit of meat you can and always go for at least one inch thick. Once you are ready to cook, the best place is the BBQ but if it is not BBQ weather, a griddle pan will give you the char marks across the meat.

Your meat should be at room temperature and well-seasoned with salt and pepper. Place your pan on a high heat with the extraction on in order not to smoke anyone out of the kitchen. If you are using a BBQ, do not oil your meat – just season.

Place your steak in the pan and leave on one side for a couple of minutes then turnover until coloured on both sides. Have your oven pre heated to 200C.

For an average size Côte de Boeuf (750g, which should serve two) cook for 15 to 18 minutes for rare/medium and 22 minutes for medium to well.

The last step of the recipe is key – always leave the meat to rest for 8 -10 minutes before eating. Cover in tinfoil, leave to the side and do not slice until it is well rested.

:: TRADITIONAL CRÈME BRÛLÉE (serves four)

750ml single cream

1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped

6 egg yolks

75g caster sugar

75g white sugar for topping

Method:

Start by preheating the oven to 160C. Place the cream and the vanilla seeds into a saucepan and heat on a medium heat until it is brought to the boil. Once bubbling, remove from heat.

Place the egg yolks and caster sugar in a clean bowl and whisk until combined. Add to the boiled cream mix on a medium heat and stir continuously for five minutes until it becomes a custard. Strain into a bowl and set aside.

Pour over the custard mix into Crème Brûlée dishes. Place in a roasting tray and add in some hot water to the tray to create a Bain Marie. Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is set.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and place in the fridge to set. When ready to serve cover with 1 tablespoon of sugar and using a blow torch caramelise the sugar. If you don’t have a blowtorch use the highest setting on the grill and leave it under until caramelised.

Be careful as the dishes will be hot!

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