McGraths beef, onion, irish truffle, garden lovage, bbq oil
Loin of lamb topped with a spinach & mint mousse and a puff pastry lattice
Cliff House Hotel, County Waterford
180-200g beef striploin
Sprig of thyme
Clove of garlic
10 white onions
4 leaves gelatine
1 large potato
BBQ oil or clarified butter
4 Pearl Onions
1 bunch lovage
250ml vegetable oil
Beef fat potato
300g riced potato
90g beef fat
10ml BBQ oil
The technique here is interesting. Sealing the exterior with a layer of salt not only dries the outside, it also caramelises and browns very quickly when you finish it in the foaming butter, and allows the meat to hold its temperature and rest before finishing. In the restaurant we go for the maximum, first searing on sea salt, then resting, frying off in foaming butter with a splash of beef fat, with a final turn on the barbecue. This method works equally well with ribeye or fillet steak.
Lovage is a herb used very frequently in Holland. Its intense flavour lends itself perfectly to counter the sweetness of the onion, but also copes with the strong flavours of the meat and truffle.
The barbecue oil is made by infusing a few hot coals in the oil with a sliver of garlic and a bay leaf. Strain through a fine filter and the oil will have a real BBQ flavour.
Prepare the onion jus well in advance. Peel and cut the onions into quarters, just cover with water and cling film the top of the pan. Bring to a very soft boil and simmer for 6–7 hours. Strain off, pressing the onions until there is no liquid left. Add the gelatine and oil to the liquid and reduce to a jus, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Peel and blanch the pearl onions in salted water for 2 minutes. Cool, drain, and slice in half. Blowtorch the cut edge until blackened, then separate individual layers into ‘shells’.
Spiralise or shred the potato for the galette. Wash in hot water and dry thoroughly in a salad spinner. Coat in a little oil or butter, then press into small rounds on baking paper on a baking tray. Bake at 165˚C until crisp and golden, then cool and season.
Select the best 8/10 leaves of lovage and deep fry until crisp. Cool, dry, and season on paper towels. Blend the rest of the lovage with the oil and a pinch of salt in a blender until it becomes smooth, green and slightly warm, then pass through a coffee filter or a very fine cloth.
Mix the boiled and riced potato with the beef fat, oil, and vinegar until smooth, then heat and season.
For the meat, fill a frying pan with coarse sea salt and sprinkle with water. Place on a high heat and the salt will ‘melt’ into a hot even layer. When it is smoking hot, sear both sides of the meat on the surface and set aside to rest.
Heat a clean pan. Add the butter, thyme and garlic, and when foaming add the meat. The meat will start to brown directly and the butter will foam over the meat. Cook to your preferred finish and serve immediately.
Arrange onion shells on the plate and fill each with a few drops of lovage oil. Scoop beef fat potato alongside with truffle paste scooped or piped in the middle. Rub a few drops of BBQ oil and cracked black pepper on the finished beef, slice, and place on the potato. Garnish with deep fried lovage and the galette, and pour onion jus around the plate.