Do Chefs Have Doubts When It Comes To Cooking?

I am aware that being a chef gives the confidence to experiment with new flavour combinations and makes creating new dishes easier but you CAN do it too. Don’t be afraid to be adeventurous and use flavours that you are already familiar with as your base, gradually adding new flavours as you go along.

I have never had the combination of Roquefort with sautéed Savoy cabbage before. I knew this particular cheese would work well with beef as it is a classic combination but with the cabbage having a bitter-sweet flavour, I had to think a little to find balance and make the dish work. I decided to prepare a red wine sauce to go with it, sweet and packed full of “body” it helped to bring all the flavours together. I have never cooked this dish before and of course, I was just Cooking With What I’v Got! but this is exactly what made my dinner exciting and the preparation process so much fun !

Don’t be afraid to play around with food. You will quickly learn how to marry flavours together, what works (you will most definately find out what doesn’t !) and what your personal flavour preferences are. Don’t be fooled, chefs have doubts too, it takes Heston Blumenthal 6 months to come up with a new dish for his menu, it’s a constant process of experimenting and learning along the way. We won’t, of course, go that far… But, believe me, with a bit of practice you will be surprising yourself with new dishes every day, you will become more confident and creative in the kitchen!

The final product for my meal ended up being a char-grilled fillet of beef, sautéed cabbage & red pepper, Roquefort and red-wine sauce.

Servers 1

Prep Time 10
Cooking Time 35mins
What you will need:

1 small onion finely diced
2 garlic cloves finely diced
5 sprigs of thyme (only use the leaves)
1 small Savoy cabbage
1 red pepper
1 beef fillet or chicken breast if you don’t eat beef
1/2 stick of celery
150ml of red wine (any cheap wine will do)
1/2 tsp tomato purée
1/2 tsp cornflour optional
220ml water
1/2 chicken stock cube
50g butter
veg/olive oil

Start off with heating up you griddle pan. ( If you don’t have one just use a frying pan)

To make the sauce:
Start with heating up some oil in a small pan, add half the onion, garlic, thyme. all the celery and sauté them for 5mins or until light golden brown.
Add your tomato purée and cook for a further minute, add the wine and reduce down by 2/3.
Once the wine starts to become syrup-like, add the water and stock cube, bring to the boil then simmer for as long as it takes to reduce the sauce down to a 1/4 of the original amount.

For the beef:
Season the meat and place on the hot griddle or frying pan. If you are using the griddle pan make sure you turn the beef 45 Degrees on each side to get the nice criss-cross effect i.e. Place the beef down at 12 o’clock,then turn it to 10 o’clock to get the effect, this will also intensify the char-grilled flavour adding a nice smokey taste to the meat. Make sure you do this on all sides for around 3 minutes at a time.

To cook the Savoy cabbage:
Slice it in half and take out the hard core at the bottom. Turn the cabbage onto its flat side and slice as thinly as you can.
Warm up a medium sized pot or frying pan and heat up a little oil, add the rest of the onion and garlic. Fry them for 3 mins and add in your red pepper, cook for a further minute then add your cabbage.
Cook for around 7 minutes or until the cabbage has softened.
Before serving add the butter and stir until melted.

Check on your beef and sauce. If the sauce is not at the right consistency you can thicken it by adding the cornflour – mix it with a little clod water first (until disolved) then start adding it to your sauce a little bit at a time (stirring) until you have the consistency of a gravy.
Make sure your beef is rested to ensure it is tender and juicy. Around 3 minutes will do.

Start plating with the the Savoy cabbage on the bottom, then the beef with a little Roqueford on top.
Pass the red wine sauce through a sieve to get rid of the vegetables.Pour as much sauce over the beef as you want.

Pour yourself a glass of wine and tuck in !

*cooking times vary depending on the size (and type) of meat you use.

If you would like any help with the recipes or have any questions, don’t be shy do ask in the comments section below

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