One of my favorite things to do is dream about food. This is where I create some of my best dishes. I can't explain it but when I close my eyes I fall into a relaxed state and dream about food and ingredients. In this relaxed state I find that I can think outside the box and do some great things. That's what I did with this dish. This dish is less of a recipe and more of a inspiration. It's hard to be precise when creating dishes like this.... a pinch of this and a pinch of that is all you need to create an exquisite dish. This dish is mostly about technique. Yes if I wanted to, and if I was willing too I could make this dish several times and meticulously record ingredients and qualities but that would take away from the genius of this dish. keeping with the basics and using good culinary techniques this dish can be turned into several others just by changing the starch, protein and veggies.
While in a dream state I contemplated several ingredients I had on hand. As some of you already know I make a lot of crazy things that require unusual ingredients. I was actually working on some mustards that would have worked well with these odd ingredients but it didn't happen. In the upper left corner I have some whole coriander that I will grind up which goes well in Thai Soups. The other three are just amazing too!!!! I had on hand Whole Dried Galangal, Ground up Galangal and Whole Dried kaffir Lime Leaves. WOW!!! Amazing ingredients to add to this soup. Just click the links to learn more about these wonderful ingredients. Just a quick gee whiz moment for ya.....these ingredients are the same ones used to make a red curry paste.
Lemon grass is a must. Clean it very well and remove the outer stalk if you see lots of dirt. Cut it into several sections and using the back of your knife smash and bruise the stalks.
Cut in half or thirds.
Baby Corn or your other favorite veggie will do nicely in this dish.
Red Curry Paste and Red Boat Fish Sauce. You will also need beef stock on hand. Yes I could have made my own Red Curry Paste but sourcing fresh galangal is difficult.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER!!!
Again this is just one of those inspirational dishes with no specificity. I'll keep it as simple as possible. There's not much to this soup. As long as you have everything in place (mis en place) all ya have to do is dump and stir and you're done.
Toss in the garlic, ginger and red curry paste and saute for a few minutes in coconut oil.
Toss in the onions and peppers and do the same. Add some salt and pepper.
Toss in mushrooms and saute for at least 5 minutes. The mushrooms need to lose some moisture. Toss in the Lemongrass (note: Lemongrass was cut in 1/3's and bruised with the back of the knife.) Toss in the dried Galangal, powdered Galangal, dried Kaffir leaves and the ground up Coriander.
Note: The Lemongrass, Kaffir leaves and Whole dried Galangal will not be eaten but is there to impart flavor only. An alternate way to impart flavor without having to eat around or fish out these ingredients is to simmer in beef broth for about 90 minutes. Strain broth after 90 minutes and use in soup. If I was serving this soup to guests I would have done exactly that.
Add the Green Onion and Cilantro. Give it a whirl for about 3-5 minutes.
Keep stirring and folding until it looks good. Keep adjusting quantities of cilantro and green onion. This picture is not accurate. I added a whole lot more.
Add the beef broth and a tablespoon if not more of RedBoat Fish sauce. Toss in the Baby Bok Choy Note: I added a lot of Bok Choy. The Fish Sauce will give you that UMAMI kick you need. Add some brown sugar to taste. Keep adjusting!! You might need to add more Red curry paste or Curry all by itself (make your own curry if you can) I never make it the same way twice and I am still learning. I ended up using more Green Onion, Cilantro, Curry and Black Pepper. If it's not hot enough add some cayenne pepper. Simmer for at least 90 minutes.
I used my favorite meat for this dish. Teres Major aka Bistro Fillet. Treat with 1% of RedBoat Fish Salt (dry-brine). Dry-Brine for 36 hours. Dry-Brine in VAC bags.
Sous-Vide & Warm-Aged at 104 f degrees for 2 hrs and then finished at 128 f for 3 hrs and 45 minutes (15 minutes added to get temp up from 104f to 128f).
Make sure meat is very cold!!!
Combine Galangal powder, Coriander, Curry powder and pepper to taste. Do not add any salt. Make sure meat is completely dry. Spray with a some oil and coat with spice mixture.
Coat with AP flour which will absorb any additional moisture still present. The AP flour will also help with the browning aka Maillard reaction.
Finish anyway you want. I chose at 750 f degree grill. All we are trying to do is brown the outside. The inside is perfectly cooked. Even though they went on cold the massive heat of the grill warmed the inside. At the bottom I will have extra pictures of the meat.
Have on hand Lime Wedges, Basil (Tai is better) and Bean Sprouts.
Also- Green Onion, Cilantro and Crushed Peanuts.
Make sure you have some of that spice mixture you made earlier. And of course Rice or Rice noodles!!!!
Serve it all UP!!!!!!!