Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bitokes A La Russe

This is a whole new way to imagine ground beef.  We have all seen hamburger steak in restaurants, but they are burgers sans a bun.  Not this!  As I sit here with my arteries clogging, (only saved from certain coronary by the red wine:), I still wish I could eat more.  The sauce was unbelievable. The token salad I served it with in no way made this dinner healthy; however, this is a worthy occasional indulgence.  It is from Julia Child's iconic cookbook, (click post title for a link to the book) and being French there is no lack of butter and cream.  For a starch, I made a half box of shells I had in the pantry and, since a stick of butter in the entree didn't seem like enough, (ahem) I made a compound butter.  I was flipping through my tome of sauces by James Peterson,  and Colbert Butter jumped off the page at me. (Yes, I am a fan of his!)  It made sense to make it too because it is maitre d' butter with the addition of a beef glace, and I figured that would be an easy and simple sauce for the pasta. Now I must go take more red wine to prevent a coronary:D

Bitokes A La Russe

3/4 c  Yellow Onion,Minced
2 T  Butter, Softened
1 1/2 lb Ground Beef,Lean
1 1/2 t  Salt
1/8 t  Pepper
1/8 t  Thyme
1    Egg
1/2 c  Flour
1 T  Butter And Oil,Each
1/4 c  Beef Stock
2/3 c  Heavy Cream
Nutmeg
Lemon Juice
3 T  Butter,Softened
2 T  Green Herbs,Parsley, Chives Tarragon Or Parsley Only
[Note: J. Child]

Cook the onion in 2 tbsp of butter over low heat for ten minute. Make sure it is very tender but not browned. But the cooked onion in a large mixing bowl. Add the softened butter, beef, salt, pepper, thyme and egg. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thoroughly blended. Form into 6 patties that are 3/4 inch thick. (you can cover with wax paper and refrigerate until you need them at this point.) Just before sautéing, roll the patties in the flour that has been spread on a plate.

Heat a skillet over moderately high heat. Put the 1 tbsp oil and butter in it so that the bottom of the skillet has a thin film over it. When the butter stops foaming, put the patties in and cook about 2-3 minutes a side or until they are cooked to your liking. When done, remove the patties to a warm plate. Pour out the fat in the pan and add the stock. Boil it down rapidly until it is syrupy, then add the cream. Boil the cream down rapidly for a minute or two until reduced and thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice.

Take the pan off the heat and swirl in the final 2-3 tbsp of softened butter and the minced herbs. Spoon the sauce over the burgers and serve
Colbert Butter

2    Unsalted Butter
4 T  Parsley,Minced
1 t  Lemon Juice
2 t  Meat Glace
Salt,As Needed
Pepper
Cut the butter in to chunks, and then beat it with a wooden spoon.
When it is soft and mixable, add the rest of the ingredients and blend
until thoroughly mixed.

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