This is what we just had for dinner. It’s not a great photo but tells the story of how last Sunday’s tri-tip and potatoes got turned into something “new.” My husband and I don’t eat a ton of meat so what we cook actually gets used up in many other meals during the course of a week.
Tonight it was a matter of eating up the roast, which we’d simply rubbed with lots of kosher salt, pepper, and dried summer savory, seared it stove top and popped it in the oven at 425 for 15 minutes per pound for medium or medium-rare (aim for 125-135F and rest for 10 minutes). You can also rub soy sauce or fish sauce on the roast along with pepper and garlic to marvelous effect. As we were getting things ready for dinner, Rory said, “I wish there was some gravy.”
That’s how this little impromptu sauce started. I remembered a conversation I’d had with chef Douglas Keane of Cyrus in Healdsburg about the virtues of combining miso and mustard – something he’d picked up from a renowned chef in Kyoto. Years ago, I made a simple red wine sauce with lots of shallot and whole grain mustard from a Martha Stewart recipe. There was a tub of dashi stock in the fridge to serve as my stealth umami infusion. With all of that in mind, I made a quick savory-sweet-tart sauce for the beef. As with past posts on repurposing leftovers, this one is also about how I cook on the fly.
These are the ingredients I used for the sauce:
- Red (aka) miso
- Dry red wine
- Sour cream
My approach was the following:
- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add 1 sliced medium shallot (1/4 cup) and cook it until the shallot is soft, fragrant, and picking up some golden brown edges.
- Rummage in the fridge for red (aka) miso, which has a stronger salty flavor profile than mellow yellow miso; red miso is sold at health food stores and Asian markets. Add a small walnut size amount to the skillet. (If you use yellow miso, you may want to try a dry white wine to match the flavor well.)
- Add roughly the same amount of whole grain mustard (we used Trader Joe’s brand) as miso to the skillet, then stir to combine. Cook to heat things up.
- Pour in enough dry red wine (we used a cabernet sauvignon that was somewhat leathery; the bottle was open) to allow the mixture to totally pool and bubble in the skillet. My estimate is about 3 to 4 tablespoons.
- Simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute, then add mirin (Japanese sweetened rice wine) to soften the tart and tannic edges. I add mirin in stages, counting 1 to 2 beats each time. I added mirin 4 times total to the skillet.
- Taste. My sauce was somewhat jam-like and dark purple – very pretty but it needed to further round out its flavors. To that end, I plopped a small walnut size amount of sour cream; Greek yogurt would work too or cream.
- Let things bubble and cook down for about 1 minute. Taste and keep adjusting things. I found that the sauce needed a little umami so I poured in the residual roast beef juices from the storage container and dashi by the tablespoon; you can use water or another kind of stock.
- What was interesting was that the sauce developed a wonderful savory-sweet-tart balance. I was afraid that the sour cream would dull the color of the sauce but it returned to a jewel tone, which must have been due to the miso and mirin.
- Once you arrive at a pleasant flavor finish, turn off the heat and serve. If you have to hold the sauce, it will quickly thicken so dilute it with a touch of dashi and reheat it. It turned out to be rather elastic.
To reheat the beef, I sliced it a good 1/4 inch thick and seared it just on one side to avoid drying out the slices. The tri-tip we got wasn’t overly marbled so I was concerned about accidentally making it chewy.
You could this little impromptu sauce with a beef steak or pork steak, or even a grilled chicken thigh. The flavor isn’t like a traditional western style wine reduction. It’s lighter but flavorful due to the use of miso, mirin, and dashi.
I’m sure that the next time I make this sauce, it’ll turn out different because of the circumstances. However, I’d apply the same cooking principles.
P.S. If you wonder about those potatoes, they are super easy and low-cal “Baker’s Wife Potatoes” from Essential Pepin, a stupendous new cookbook by a true master of food. I’d baked them in a large gratin dish and reheated them in small gratin dishes.
More ideas on leftovers:
- Corn cakes and chile sauce
- Panfried Noodles
- Bun rice noodle bowls
- Dumplings on the Fly: How to Create Your own Fillings