Monday, May 3, 2021
In recent years, kale has become popular as the ultimate leafy green, thanks to its incredible health benefits. The use of kale in boldly flavored powerhouse salads is a phenomenal way to satisfy the nutritional and gustatory needs of diners. While the usage of “kale” and “salad” in the same sentence may not satisfy the cravings of carnivorous connoisseurs, the application of kale in a beef carpaccio might enhance kale’s status among carnivores.
Leafy kale is a food so different than a freshly sliced sheet of raw beef tenderloin that it must be treated in the opposite manner to transform into the role as a carpaccio centerpiece. A traditional carpaccio involves simply chilling the tenderloin to a sliceable consistency, shaving a large thin slice, gently pounding the meat out, delicately dressing the carpaccio, then topping it with a little arugula salad. It is a genuine, pure, and raw expression of the beef that is sincerely satisfying. Taking the beautiful kale, braised with intense beef-flavored mediums, and expertly dressing it on the plate will be sure to pleasantly surprise and exhilarate all guests who hold preconceived notions.
Begin the process by creating a rich and delicious veal jus. First, roast veal bones for a deep brown color and rich flavor. Finish the roasting process with tomato paste on the bones for increased depth of flavor and body. Using a standard ratio of two parts onion to one-part carrot and one-part celery, roast the mirepoix with tomato paste until it is a deep, dark brown color. Remove excess fat from the bones, combine in a pot with the mirepoix, cover with water and add a bundle of thyme and rosemary for aroma. Gently simmer the jus for eight hours, carefully skimming the fat throughout the process. Strain the jus through a chinois and begin the reduction process to intensify the flavor. After reduced by half, the jus is ready to be utilized for the braising process. Continue to reduce half of the jus, as that will become a glace de veau to glaze the final product.
Dry aged beef takes on a flavor profile that is so rich in umami and so incredibly intoxicating that it works wonders in the transformational process of turning kale into a carpaccio centerpiece. The fat trimmings from many of the luxurious cuts of dry aging beef often need to be cleaned off and removed to ensure a deeper level of flavor makes its way into the meat. If you are fortunate enough to have a healthy relationship with your butcher or meat purveyor, you may be able to purchase dry aged beef fat. Grind the fat in a meat grinder, add a tablespoon of water to a large rondeau, and slowly render the fat to yield incredibly aromatic and deeply rich dry aged beef fat oil.
Clean the kale by removing the thick stems and carefully rinsing the leafy greens. Dry thoroughly and begin slowly sweating out most of the leaves in the dry aged beef fat along with two heads of sliced garlic. Deglaze the pan with a touch of white wine and cover with the veal jus. Bring to a simmer and braise the kale for approximately 45 minutes to one hour. Strain the braising liquid, reduce by half and add four sheets of bloomed gelatin. Pour the liquid back over the kale and chill, under pressure overnight. Take the reserved leaves of kale, dress with the dry aged beef fat, salt and pepper, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes until a crisp chip-like texture is achieved. Once set, the kale carpaccio receives its custom cut finish with a large ring cutter. The layers of this luxurious treat should be set in a perfectly tight package, beaming with beef flavor.
Young Pecorino Romano cheese is the perfect accent to this composition thanks to its sharp, pungent, salinity and depth in flavor. Shave the cheese thinly and place it in between the kale carpaccio, then grate some cheese and sprinkle it atop the dish.
Finally, the dry aged beef fat can also add extraordinary depth to a vinaigrette when substituted for the traditional oil. Take preserved black truffle—along with some of the reserved juice—blend with a touch of sherry vinegar emu, then emulsify with the dry aged beef fat. This creates an explosive, flavorful vinaigrette to dress the kale carpaccio.
Brush a layer of the reduced veal jus over the top of the carpaccio, place dots of the truffle vinaigrette throughout the surface and top with some of the kale chips. A final dusting of the young Pecorino Romano appropriately anoints this kale carpaccio in the name of fantastic flavor for all to savor.