TRAVERSE CITY —
Spiced Sirloin, Pumpkin Potato Gratin and Mushroom Braised Swiss Chard
6 sirloin steaks
1 c. quatre espice (equal parts ground: ginger, cinnamon, white pepper, nutmeg, clove)
2 T. bacon fat
Pat dry all steaks. Season steaks with salt, rub generously with quatre espice. In a large sauté pan, sear both sides of steaks in bacon fat until dark brown. Roast in oven on roasting rack for 10-12 minutes (medium steak), more or less for different temperatures.
Pumpkin Potato Gratin:
1 quart heavy cream
1 16-oz. can pumpkin puree
8 peeled potatoes
1 T. nutmeg mixed with 1 T. cinnamon
Salt and pepper
1 lb. grated parmesan Reggiano
Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. In a small container, mix pumpkin puree, cream and cinnamon mixture. On a mandolin, slice potatoes very thin, layer potato, cream mixture, salt and pepper then parmesan. Continue again until pan is full to the top. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (or until soft all the way through), bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes until golden brown. Let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before cutting.
Mushroom Braised Swiss Chard:
8 stalks swiss chard, julienned
4 pints button mushrooms, sliced
3 shallots, peeled and diced
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cut in half
Salt and pepper
12 oz. white wine
½ lb. butter
Juice of 2 lemons
In a medium rondo pan, place mushrooms, shallots, thyme, garlic, wine, butter and lemon cook on medium heat covered for about 15 minutes. The mushrooms should release a good amount of liquid, at this time, add the swiss chard and simmer for 5-7 minutes covered. Strain and serve.
Cut potato gratin into squares, place over braised swiss chard/mushroom mixture. Slice sirloin next to potatoes, cover again with swiss chard and more mushrooms. Garnish with fried onions, shaved Reggiano or fresh vegetables. Makes 6 servings.
-- Joseph George, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, www.grandtraverseresort.com