I recently picked up the Eleven Madison Park cook book, and can only say, WOW. Daniel Humm has put together some incredible flavors and preparations presented in the form of equally stunning edible works of art. Flipping through the book reveals the beautiful photographic stylings of Francesco Tonelli, who’s modernist style is a perfect match for Humm’s dishes.
Unlike Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali’s Mozza Cookbook which takes some time and effort, but is certainly approachable (and one of my favorites), the Eleven Madison Park is really more of a coffee table idea ignition type book as many of the recipes rely heavily of exotic elements and equipment. From immersion circulators to massive quantities of Agar Agar and transglutaminase to stocks requiring 100 lbs of veal bones and and feet to produce a single quart (Lamb Jus detailed on page 356), many of the elements and quantities simply aren’t going to be things that make sense for even the most aspiring home chef. Those who know me, however, realize that I don’t always care if things make sense, and to that end, I was determined to start cooking from this intimidating tome.
I chose to start with the Marrow Crusted Beef Tenderloin as it didn’t require overly exotic ingredients and allowed me to put my newly minted home made sous vide controller to it’s very first test. Spoiler alert – I did choose to forego making the veal jus called for 25 pounds of veal bones and feet. As the marrow alone was $25 and the beef was another $28, I thought this was one corner I could cut without too much guilt (double spoiler alert – it didn’t work all that well as the the Bordelaise Sauce fell flat and was really somewhat tasteless).
While the recipe as written in the book follows, there are a few key takeaways that I’d like to share. First up, I have no idea why the recipe calls for so much bone marrow. You can probably get away with half the amount called for which will not only save you money, but intense amounts of work, which brings me to my second point. The recipe calls for 2.5 inch sections of bone from which they want you to extract the marrow. Now this was my first time harvesting large quantities of marrow, so perhaps a reader has a better method, but I found that the best way to get it out of the bones was simply pushing with my finger. Unfortunately this also wreaks havoc on your finger as there are some sharp points and edges in those things (so if you choose to use your finger BE CAREFUL!). As I see no point in having your butcher cut such long sections of bone (other than the fact that he might give you an amazingly dirty look should you ask for 100 1/2″ sections) I’d recommend you get the smallest sections you can reasonable have him cut for you. About 1.5 inches should be immensely easier to harvest from.
Another note not given in the book, but offered in Daniel’s version of this recipe for ABC TV is that after rolling out the crust, if you stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes or so, it will be much easier to manage when cutting out beef sized disks.
Overall, I was pleased with the results of this recipe, however its “effort + cost versus deliciousness ratio” is certainly not high enough to do again in it’s entirety. The fact is, I didn’t really even care for the crushed potatoes as presented in the book as they used olive oil as the fat, and when making, I did half with olive oil, and the other half with good ol’ butter.
The olive oil batch is still in a Tupperware container in my fridge.
The star of this dish is really the fillet which came out perfect after 35 minutes in the 142.5 sous vide bath. I’d guess that this is part of the reason this dish was conceived as the sous vide is an absolutely amazing way to cook fillet, however aesthetically, the beef isn’t beautiful once it comes out of it’s bag. I’m guessing Daniel loved the sous vide results, and wanted to come up with a way to improve aesthetics while adding his take on some tried and true steak flavors.
Bone Marrow Crusted Black Angus Beef With Braised Root Vegetables and Sauce Bordelaise
Roasted Beef Tenderloin
2 lbs beef tenderloin
1 sprig of thyme
Season beef with salt and place in a sous vide bag with thyme. Vacuum-seal and cook in a hot water bath at 142.5 for 25 – 20 minutes. Chill in an ice-water bath Remove from bag and cut into 8 ounce portions.
Thyme and Garlic Butter
4 tablespoons butter
5 sprigs of thyme
2 cloves garlic, crushed but kept whole
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the butter until the milk solids begin to brown. Add the thyme and garlic. Remove from heat and cool to 150 degrees F.
Bone Marrow Crust
1 tablespoon plus 1 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/4 cup thyme leaves
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cups brioche bread crumbs
3/4 cup diced bone marrow
1 teaspoon salt
Heat the 1 tablespoon butter in a sauté pan. Add the shallots and sweat for 5 minutes over low heat. Add the thyme and parsley and mix. Remove from heat and cool. Combine with bread crumbs and then fold into the remaining 1 cup butter. Fold in the bone marrow and season with the salt. Place the mixture between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll to 1/8 inch thick. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. Punch out 8 crust disks to fit the top of the tenderloin portions.
2 pounds fingerling potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sliced chives
Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Season with salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 30 – 35 minutes until tender. Strain. Return potatoes to the saucepan and crush with a fork, adding the olive oil. Stir in chives and season with salt.
Rendered Marrow Fat
Twelve 2 1/2 inch beef marrow bones (I’d suggest changing this to fifteen to twenty 1 inch marrow bone sections)
Soak the bones in water for about 30 minutes. Once the marrow is soft, carefully push it out of the bone. Cut the bone marrow cylinders into 1/2-inch pieces. Place the bone marrow and 1/4 cup water in a medium pot over low heat. Render the marrow, making sure not to brown it. Once all of the water has been cooked out and the marrow is completely rendered, strain through fine mesh reserving only the liquid fat.
4 cups Veal Jus*
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1/4 cup Rendered Marrow Fat
1/2 teaspoon of salt
*recipe for the Veal Jus follows mostly for reference as I don’t expect any home cooks will be purchasing 25 lbs of veal bones to produce one quart of Jus to use in this sauce. I chose to use veal stock purchased from a high end local butcher which did not yield spectacular results.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, reduce the Veal Jus to 2 cups. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sweat. Add the reduced Jus, bring to a simmer, and add the thyme leaves. Break the sauce with Rendered Marrow Fat and season with the salt.
112 small chantrelles (if you like chantrelles, by all means use them. I chose to omit)
16 large Swiss chard leaves
2 tablespoons Chicken Stock
2 tablespoons butter
5 sprigs of thyme
1 clove garlic, crushed but kept whole
Thyme and Garlic Butter
Bone Marrow Crust
Fleur de sel
16 sprigs baby yellow chard (for garnish – don’t kill yourself searching for these)
Clean the chantrelles thoroughly and dry. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the Swiss chard for 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer to a bowl of ice water and strain once cold. In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon Chicken Stock with the Swiss chard. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter, tossing to glaze. In another sauté pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and add the chantrelles, thyme, and garlic, sweating until the chantrelles are tender. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon Chicken Stock, reducing until almost dry. Season with salt and discard the thyme and the garlic.
Roll each piece of Beef in the Thyme and Garlic Butter. Top with a Bone Marrow Crust disk. Broil on high for 1 minute until golden. Slice the beef in half lengthwise. Brush the cut sides of the Beef with Thyme and Garlic Butter and sprinkle with Fleur de Sel. Spoon 1 tablespoon of Crushed Potatoes on a plate. Place the Bone Marrow Crusted Beef on top. Spoon the chantrelles around the beef and place a Swiss chard leaf above the beef. Finish the plate with the Bordelaise Sauce and garnish with 2 baby yellow chard sprigs.
Makes 1 quart
20 pounds veal knuckle bones, cut into 2-inch pieces
5 pounds veal feet, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup canola oil
4 cups sliced onions
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced celery
2 cups diced leeks
2 cups diced celery root
1/2 cup tomato paste
4 cups red wine
10 sprigs thyme
25 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
30 pounds ice cubes
Preheat the oven to 375 deg. F. Spread the veal bones and feet in a single layer on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden brown, turning the bones and feet after 30 minutes. Heat the oil in a 20-quart stockpot over high heat. Sauté the onions, carrots, celery, leeks, and celery root until they caramelize, 10 – 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté until caramelized, 5 – 7 minutes. Add the red wine and reduce to a syrup consistency. Make a sachet by tying the thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaves in cheesecloth. Add the bones and feet to the stockpot with the sachet and cover with the ice. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and skim the stock of all impurities and fats that rise to the top. Simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 5 hours, skimming every 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh chinois and reduce to 1 quart. Strain again and chill over ice.
For what it’s worth, the Lamb Jus makes 1 quart, calls for 10 pounds of lamb bones, AND 4 GALLONS OF VEAL STOCK!?!?!?!?!? That means that 1 quart of Lamb Jus requires 10 pounds of lamb bones, and 100 pounds of veal bones and feet along with 120 pounds of ice.