Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Whisk Wednesdays—Entrecôte Lyonnaise (Steak, Lyonnaise style)

Entrecôte Lyonnaise (Steak, Lyonnaise style)This next class is all about grilling and browning. And again it's another steak (entrecôte is traditionally a rib steak) that's smothered in onions, à la Lyonnaise. One dictionary said that Lyonnaise means "cooked with onions". And this recipe has lots of onions. Eight of them for a full recipe. Some are used with the potatoes as a side dish and the rest are used on the steak.

Boiling and frying the potatoes
First I boiled some potatoes in their jackets (skins). After they were almost done, I took them out and let them cool before peeling them. (Actually, I cooked all but one potato too long so the next stage of finishing them was tricky.)

Then, I cut the almost-cooked potatoes into slices and fried them in a bit of butter and oil. In a separate frying pan, I fried one of the onions in butter and oil. Finally, at the end I tossed the onions and potatoes together.

Here's a video showing how to make lyonnaise potatoes.
For lyonnaise potatoes chop an onion fine; fry it brown in a tablespoonful of butter; add another tablespoonful to the iron spider after the frying, and let the butter become very hot. Then cut six whole boiled potatoes into thick or half inch slices, and lay them in the spider, which should be ample enough to hold them without lapping over another. Let them fry brown on both sides, tossing them occasionally to prevent them burning. Sprinkle a tablespoonful of parsley over them, and serve at once. They should be very hot when brought on the table.
— from a cookbook called Recipes Tried and True, 1894.
Grilling the meat
Grilling doesn't use much oil, just enough to keep everything from sticking to the pan or grill. Did you know that there is a distinction between grilling and barbecuing? In Canada, we all fire up the barbecue and call it barbecuing. It turns out there is a difference. Grilling is high, fast heat and barbecuing is low, slow heat.

Grilling is another dry heat cooking method where the heat source is below the meat being cooked. You can use gas or charcoal grills, or even a George Forman grill. I scraped the ice off the barbecue cover and used the barbecue to grill the meat on a medium-high heat.

However, before I did that, I seared the steaks in a frying pan on the stove so that I would have some tasty bits (fond) to add flavor to the Lyonnaise part of this recipe ‑ the caramelized onions.
Here is some information to determine when a steak is done. After the steaks were finished cooking, I removed them to a warming plate.

Caramelizing the onions
This is the best part. The smell of onions cooking on the stove is a crowd-favorite. After searing the steak, I added the onions with more butter and cooked them until they were golden. Then, I seasoned them with salt and pepper and added the rest of the ingredients (wine, vinegar, and the stock) and cooked this until all the liquid had evaporated and the onions had absorbed this entire rich flavor.

Here's a video showing how to caramelize onions.

The ingredients shown in the photo are for a half recipe (serves 3).

Entrecôte Lyonnaise (Steak, Lyonnaise style) mise en placeYou can find the recipe for Entrecôte Lyonnaise (Steak, Lyonnaise style) in the book Le Cordon Bleu at Home. To see how the rest of the Whisk Wednesdays group fared with their recipe, click here (or check out the sidebar) and then click on each blogger!

Tasting Notes
I loved the side dish of potatoes and onions, and I loved the caramelized onions on top of the steak. I'm picky about beef. If it's not tenderloin, I don't tend to like it. Next time, I'll buy a better cut of steak, but this is an easy and delicious meal with the right cut of beef.
"We may live without poetry, music, and art;
We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
We may live without friends; we may live without books;
But civilized man cannot live without cooks."
‑ Owen Meredith
Next Week (November 19)
• Gratin Dauphinois (Potato Gratin with Garlic and Cream) page 498

My Bucket List
Based on my reading about Steak Lyonnaise, I'm adding the following things to my list of things I'd like to do in life:

  • Go to Lyon, France (the food capital of France).
  • Dine at Paul Bocuse's three brasseries (Le Nord, Le Sud and L'Est) and his high-end, Michelin three-star restaurant L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges.
  • Some January, attend Bocus d'Or World as a spectator.
  • Go to the market in Lyon named after Paul Bocuse: Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse. . . . . . . . . . .

    Running total: $849.06 + $22.57 (steak) + $1.49 (potatoes) + $2.67 (onions) = $875.79

    Butter used so far: 8 pounds, 11 tablespoons

    . . . . . . . . . .
    ::Whisk Wednesdays::
    We're cooking our way through a cooking school curriculum using the Le Cordon Bleu at Home cookbook. The "classes" are based on the Le Cordon Bleu curriculum found online and used as a guideline. Not all the items in the curriculum are in the cookbook, but most are. Where the items are not in the book, we try to find a suitable substitution. Find out more here.
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    Cathy said...

    Oh, we will love this! You know, I didn't know that there was a difference between grilling and barbecuing -- I have always used them interchangeably. Very interesting! I can almost smell those onions carmelizing now. Will look forward to trying this!

    Shelby said...

    Grumpy would LOVE this! So would I.. :)

    Anonymous said...

    This is such a neat recipe. I've only ever boiled or fried a potato, never both, I'd love to try it :D. And who can resist anything with caramelized onions, they're like savory candies :).

    NKP said...

    I think I loved the onions the most!
    The steak looks great - I never did know the difference between grilling and BBQing.

    Anonymous said...

    shari, what a gorgeous looking steak! that would totally sort out my headache instantly. anyway you've been tagged. check out my blog if you wanna get in on some food blog taggin love ;) x

    Laurie said...

    That steak looks DELISH. The photos in your portfolio are simply gorgeous!

    Y said...

    Dang, now I feel like having steak.. and it's not even lunch time!

    Jessica said...

    I overcooked my potatoes and ended up mashing most of them - still delicious, though!

    I have (always) used BBQ incorrectly. Since moving to the South, I have to watch what I say since authentic BBQ exists down here.

    Manggy said...

    Oh, I love this! Caramelized onions are indeed the best part :) We have something similar too: "Tagalog Style" means to serve in a sauce of garlic, soy sauce, calamansi (lemon), and lots of caramelized onion rings :)

    Anonymous said...

    Lovely looking steak! I like the addition of caramelized onions. Yum!

    Anonymous said...

    Wow...yours looks really good. I can never get anyone to go for stacking things around here...they don't like food touching that much. Okay, that's a's ME that doesn't like food touching all that much. LOL. I like them all separate on the plate, but then you probably figured that out already, right? Anyway, yours looks really nice all stacked up...gorgeous photos and post has so much information...I learned a lot from all this. Thanks for providing that each week. Oh, and is it me, or do you think those meat portion sizes are huge each week? I think 7 oz. of steak is way more than we need at a given meal...what are you doing about that? Or is that normal do you suppose and it is just me who is a little weird about that?

    Shari said...

    cathy - That's interesting, because I thought it was an American thing to keep the two terms separate.

    honeyb - Hope you make it!

    sophie - The potatoes were my favorite part of this dish.

    natashya - The onions and potatoes together were amazing.

    diva - Thanks for the tag. :)

    laurie - Thanks!

    y - Since I've started blogging and reading food blogs, I get the oddest cravings at the oddest times!

    jessica - Mine were overcooked too. I just pulled out the best ones for the photo!

    manggy - Thanks for the info about Tagalog Style. Interesting how things are common the world over.

    farida - They are delicious!

    kayte - That's funny! We should buy you those fondue plates that are all separated.

    Thanks, everyone, for stopping by!