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Recipe for :

braised blade of beef with nettle risotto and spring onions

Chef David Everitt-MatthiasThis recipe comes from Chef David Everitt-Matthias and is featured in his new book Essence - recipes from le champignon sauvage.

David's many awards reflect the esteem in which he is held as a chef. Recognised as one of Britain's leading craftsmen, he is always in the kitchen and has never missed a service. He is also known for his tireless experimentation with anything from the most humble to the most expensive ingredients, and an “ability for making dishes taste more of themselves than the original ingredient”. His food is a cross between the ‘terroir’ and modern French with very original touches. To find out more about the restaurant he runs with his wife Helen <click here>

If you would like to find out more about his new book Essence - recipes from le champignon sauvage then <click here>

Chef David Everitt-Matthias:

I was first introduced to blade of beef by one of my sous chefs, Robert Clive Dixon, who I'm sure is responsible for making it such a popular cut of meat and an addition to restaurant menus across the country. Well, here is my version, served with a nettle risotto. There are several species of nettle, including white and red dead nettles, but we use the common stinging nettle as it is so prolific. Choose young nettles, as they have a better flavour. The spring onions are simply blanched, which gives a refreshing burst of water to the palate - very welcome with a rich dish such as this one. Do not be put off by the big piece of gristle running through the centre of the blade of beef. This helps with the flavour and, when cooked, turns into a delicious jelly.

Ingredients

For the blade of beef:
1.5 - 2kg blade of beef
125m1 olive oil
50g unsalted butter
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, cut into 4
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small can of stout
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
2 litres Brown Veal or Brown Beef Stock

For the sprang onion:
30 - 40 spring onions, trimmed and outer skin removed
30g unsalted butter

For the nettle risotto:
250g young nettles
600ml chicken stock
50g unsalted butter
4 shallots, finely chopped
250g carnaroli risotto rice
5 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Mascarpone cheese

Method

Blade of beef:

  • Remove any skin or fat surrounding the blade of beef.
  • Heat 75ml of the olive oil in a large frying pan and add 25g of the butter, followed by the meat. Cook on all sides until golden brown, then transfer to a plate.
  • Add the chopped vegetables to the pan and cook until golden.
  • Pour in the stout, stirring to scrape up the sediment from the base of the pan.
  • Add the herbs and stock and bring to the boil.
  • Place in a casserole dish large enough to take the blade and then add the blade. Cover with a lid, transfer to an oven preheated to 140°C / Gas Mark 1 and cook for 4 1/2 - 5 hours, until the meat is very tender when pierced with a knife.
  • Allow to cool a little, then remove the meat from the casserole while still warm. Drain and wrap tightly in clingfilm to form a cylinder. Place in the fridge overnight to set the shape.
  • Strain the sauce through a fine sieve.

Spring onions:

  • Quickly blanch the spring onions in a large pan of boiling salted water until limp.
  • Refresh immediately in cold water, then drain and set aside.

Nettle risotto:

  • Blanch the nettles in a large pan of boiling salted water for 30 - 45 seconds, then drain, refresh in cold water and drain again. Mince or finely chop the nettles and set aside, together with any liquid that comes out of them.
  • Bring the stock to boiling point in a small saucepan.
  • In another saucepan, heat the butter, add the shallots and cook gently for 3 minutes, until softened but not coloured.
  • Add the rice and cook for 3 - 4 minutes, until translucent.
  • Add the hot stock 100ml at a time, stirring constantly. When each addition has been absorbed by the rice, add another 100ml, until the last of the stock has been used up - it should take 17 - 18 minutes in total.
  • About 5 minutes before the end, add the nettles and their liquid, and the chopped spring onions.
  • The risotto should be moist and al dente.
  • Stir in the Mascarpone to give a creamy texture.
  • If the risotto is too sloppy, cook for a little longer; if it is too thick, add a little more chicken stock.
  • Season to taste.

Finishing the beef:

  • After the beef has been in the fridge overnight, cut it through the clingfilm into 6 or 8 pieces. Remove the clingfilm.
  • Reheat the sauce.
  • Fry the blades on each side in a the remaining 50ml oil and 25g butter until golden.
  • Transfer to a baking tray, pour over enough sauce to come halfway up the meat and place in an oven preheated to 180°C / Gas Mark 4 to heat through and glaze the top, basting every 5 minutes. The top should be shiny.
  • Meanwhile, simmer the remaining sauce until reduced to a coating consistency, then check the seasoning.

Serving:

  • To finish the spring onions, heat the butter in a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of water, add the spring onions and warm them through. Season to taste.
  • Place a mound of risotto to one side of each serving bowl and arrange the spring onions on the other side.
  • Carefully lift out the braised blade and place on top of the risotto, then spoon the sauce around.

Serves 6 - 8

David Everitt-Matthias
www.lechampignonsauvage.co.uk

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