From Chef David Bull of Congress, in Austin
4 espresso-crusted beef ribeye loins (recipe to follow)
2 cups potato purée (recipe to follow)
1/2 cup caramel onions (recipe to follow)
4 tablespoons smoked caramel (recipe to follow)
12 to 16 crisp potato chips (recipe to follow)
On four large entrée plates spoon the potato purée across the center. Place the charred ribeye loin pieces on one side of the potatoes. Place a quenelle of the caramel onions opposite the beef. Drizzle the plate with the smoked caramel and garnish with crisp potato chips.
For the espresso-crusted ribeye loin
4 ribeye steaks, 5 to 6 ounces each
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 cup ground espresso
2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons whole, salted butter, cut into small cubes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 thyme sprigs, whole
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet or heavy gauge sauté pan over medium heat. Season the ribeye steaks on all sides with salt and pepper. Dredge the steaks on all sides with the ground espresso. Add the canola oil to the preheated pan and allow the oil to reach its smoking point. Sear the espresso-crusted ribeye steaks for 2 to 4 minutes on each side or until slightly crisp and charred. Add the butter, garlic, and thyme and baste the beef continuously over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the beef from the pan and discard the butter, garlic, and thyme. Place beef onto a baking sheet and place into a preheated 350-degree oven for 5 to 6 minutes or until a medium rare doneness is reached. Allow the beef to rest for 5 minutes. Cut the steaks across the grain into two equal portions and serve.
For the potato purée
2 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces whole butter
3 ounces sea salt
Place potatoes in a sauce pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook potatoes until fork tender. While potatoes are cooking, place butter and cream together in a sauce pot. Bring to a simmer and hold warm. Drain potatoes and allow them to steam dry for two minutes. Using a food mill, rice the potatoes into a large bowl. Add salt and cream-butter mixture. Whisk together until smooth. Reserve warm for assembly.
For the caramel onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, small dice
1 1/2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons smoked caramel sauce (recipe to follow)
In a large nonstick pan over high heat add the olive oil. Add onions and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom to prevent burning. Cook the onions for 10 to 15 minutes or until dark golden brown and caramelized. Add the brandy and reduce 90 percent. Season with salt and combine with the smoked caramel sauce. Reserve warm for assembly.
For the smoked caramel sauce (makes more than needed for recipe)
5 ounces mesquite woods chips
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces whole butter
Place wood chips in a deep oven-proof pan. Place onions on a wire cooling rack and place on top of the wood chips. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place pan over medium heat. Smoke for 5 to 10 minutes. Place smoked onions in a sauce pot, add sugar and water. Bring to a boil and cook until thick and dark caramel color is reached. Slowly add cream, stirring carefully. Then add butter and incorporate. Stir until completely emulsified. Strain caramel through a fine mesh sieve and allow to cool to room temperature.
For the potato chips
1 each russet potato, peeled
1 quart water
4 ounces sea salt
Using a peeler, peel off long slices off the potato. Place slices into the water, add salt and bring to a simmer. As soon as it simmers, remove slices and strain. Separate slices onto paper towels and chill. Heat frying oil to 300 degrees. Place 6 to 8 chips at a time into the oil and fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp. Remove the chips from the oil and place onto paper towels. Season with salt to taste.