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Grilled Aged Ribeyes and Heirloom Bean Ragout with a Zinfandel Reduction



Ingredients:
Beans:
  • ¼ cup dried chestnut lima beans
  • ¼ cup dried checker beans
  • ¼ cup dried snowcap beans
  • ¼ cup split baby chickpeas
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 carrots, cut in half
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 celery stalks, cut in half
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 fresh or dried bay leaves


Zinfandel Reduction
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced shallots
  • ½ cup black peppercorns
  • 1 bottle Storybook Mountain Zinfandel wine or other good quality Zinfandel
  • 1 spring fresh thyme
  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
  • 3 cups veal stock or beef stock (see below for making the stock)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Thyme & Cracked Black Peppercorn Vinaigrette:
  • ½ cup fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup crushed black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Ragout:
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup diced prosciutto
  • 2 shallots, minced


Steaks:

Salad Garnish:
  • 4 ounces (about 4 cups) arugula


This recipe showcases not only succulent aged ribeye steaks but also some of the heirloom beans that are grown in the Midwest. Many varieties have long been forgotten and are only now undergoing a renaissance and beginning to hit the commercial market in a big way. Use heirloom beans available in your location (health food stores and specialty stores are good sources) or substitute black-eyed peas, black beans, or lentils. The Storybook Zinfandel in this recipe is an organic wine with a well-developed fruitiness that stands up commendably to the steaks and peppery arugula.

Procedure:
To prepare the beans:
  1. Place each variety of bean in a separate stainless-steel saucepan.
  2. Add 2 cups of the stock to each pan and divide the carrots, onion, celery, thyme, and bay leaves evenly among the beans.
  3. Bring the beans to a boil, turn the heat to low, and simmer the beans for 15 to 20 minutes (the time will vary for each bean), until tender.
  4. Drain each of the beans and let cool separately.

Meanwhile, to prepare the reduction:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan.
  2. Add the shallots and peppercorns, and sauté over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until the shallots are caramelized.
  3. Add the wine and reduce the mixture until approximately 1 cup of syrupy liquid remains, 30 to 40 minutes. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and stock, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until about 2 cups of liquid remain.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, and keep warm over very low heat.

In the meantime:
  1. Prepare the grill (or, alternatively, the steaks can be broiled).

To prepare the vinaigrette:
  1. Thoroughly whisk together the thyme, peppercorns, shallots, and vinegar in a stainless-steel mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

To prepare the ragout:
  1. Place the garlic cloves in a small saucepan and add just enough water to cover.
  2. Blanch the garlic by bringing the water to a boil and then draining the water.
  3. Repeat the blanching process. Heat 1 teaspoon of butter in a non-stick pan and sauté the garlic over medium heat until caramelized and golden.
  4. Set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a sauté pan.
  5. Add the prosciutto and sauté over medium-high heat for 1 or 2 minutes. Add the shallots, caramelized garlic, all of the reserved cooked beans, and 1 ½ cups of the Zinfandel reduction, and heat through.
  6. Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
  7. Cover to keep warm (or reheat when ready to serve).
  1. Season the steaks with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill for about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare or about 5 minutes per side for medium.

To prepare the salad garnish (just before you are ready to serve):
  1. Toss the arugula with just enough vinaigrette to coat. (There will be some vinaigrette left over; reserve for another use).


To serve:
  1. Spoon the bean ragout onto each serving plate.
  2. Place a ribeye steak in the center of the ragout, arrange the arugula directly on top of the steak, and serve immediately.

Veal Stock

Ingredients:
  1. 2 pounds veal bones
  2. ¼ cup coarsely chopped celery
  3. ¼ cup coarsely chopped carrot
  4. ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
  5. ½ cup coarsely chopped tomatoes
  6. ¼ cup coarsely chopped mushroom stems
  7. 3 garlic cloves
  8. 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  9. ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  10. ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  11. 1 bay leaf, julienned
  12. 5 black peppercorns
  13. Salt
  14. Freshly ground black pepper


Procedure:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the veal bones, celery, carrot, onion, tomatoes, mushroom stems, garlic, tomato puree, basil, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns in a roasting pan.
  3. Mix together well and roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dark brown.
  4. Transfer to a stockpot.
  5. Pour off the fat from the roasting pan and deglaze with a little water, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan to loosen all the pieces.
  6. Add this mixture to the stockpot along with enough water to cover the mixture by 2 inches and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower the heat and simmer the stock, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half.
  8. Occasionally skim off any impurities that rise to the top as it cooks. Strain, discard the solids, and let the stock cool.
  9. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

Beef Stock

Ingredients:
  1. 2 pounds beef bones, meat, and trimmings
  2. 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  3. 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  4. 1 leek, coarsely chopped
  5. 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  6. 2 medium tomatoes, quartered, or 1 cup canned plum tomatoes
  7. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  8. 6 springs fresh parsley
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 4 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  11. 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Procedure:
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place the beef bones, meat, and trimmings in a roasting pan with the carrots and onion.
  3. Roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is browned.
  4. Transfer to a stockpot.
  5. Pour off the fat from the roasting pan and deglaze with 2 cups of water, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan to loosen all the pieces.
  6. Add this mixture to the stockpot along with the remaining stock ingredients. Add enough water to cover the mixture by 2 inches and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower the heat and simmer the stock for at least 4 hours, uncovered.
  8. Occasionally skim off any impurities that rise to the top as it cooks.
  9. Add more water as necessary to keep the mixture covered.
  10. Strain, discard the solids, and let the stock cool. Cover and refrigerate until needed.


Serves: 4

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