Entrecote recipes for your Christmas dinners
Entrecote is a cut of meat that comes from the dorsal region, usually from a cow. Its name comes from French, entrecote, which means ‘between the ribs’. We are sure that you’ve heard the word entrecote more than once, and maybe you’ve tried it too. Today, we want to talk about this delicious food and suggest some ways to cook it for Christmas. In this article, we are going to talk about:
- All about Entrecote:
- Entrecote recipes for your Christmas dinner:
All about Entrecote
Where it comes from
In Spain, entrecote is generally understood as being the boneless bottom loin. The bottom loin is the back of the steak, closest to the hind legs. To be more technical, it would start at the eighth rib.
Entrecot or sirloin? Which to choose
This is clearly up to you. The reason is that they are two superb cuts, with a high degree of tenderness and marbling. They both need very similar cooking methods in order not to spoil them. In my case, I prefer the lower loin, entrecote, because in terms of flavour it surpasses sirloin. Sirloin, however, is smoother in texture than entrecote.
The chef’s tips on how to cook entrecote
Entrecote is a cut that needs to be cooked for a short period of time, or alternatively, served raw. If we overcook it, the meat will dry out and lose its great qualities.
To cook the best entrecote, it should be handled as little as possible, i.e. you mustn’t stew it and you don’t need to cook it a lot, nor do much to it. It is a cut with great character, so the most important thing is not to ruin it. As a chef, I always emphasise this to everyone who asks me how to cook entrecote.
If you are going to cook it for a hot recipe rather than a cold one, it is essential to temper it before cooking it. What is tempering? Tempering is applying gentle heat so that the meat loses the chill from the fridge and warms up. This will prevent thermal shock when it goes from -4ºC to a high temperature. In other words, you have to take it out of the fridge an hour before cooking it.
One fundamental rule is that you must not exceed 50-55ºC at the heart of the meat, and you can measure this with our special edition El Capricho meat thermometer. To use the thermometer, just insert it into the meat, pushing it in gently and trying to get the tip right into the centre of the meat.
Any temperature that starts to exceed 55ºC will mean that the meat will lose quality. Heat squeezes the meat fibres, and when it exerts pressure, it forces the juices out, drying the meat.
Entrecot recipes for your Christmas dinner
If you have decided to prepare a succulent meat dish with this cut as the star for this Christmas, here are some different ways to prepare it. Any of them will go down a storm with your dinner guests.
Entrecot in pepper sauce
I would like to share a simple recipe with you, using ingredients we all have in the kitchen, which your guests will love. The recipe for entrecote with peppercorn sauce is simple and delicious. How to make a peppered entrecote:
- Temper the entrecote to prepare it. Take it out of the fridge an hour before cooking.
- Put a tablespoon of butter into a frying pan. When the butter has melted, add a tablespoon (10 grs) of coarsely chopped green peppercorns.
- Fry the pepper in the butter until it is brown and starts to smell nutty. At that point, add 300cl of cream (about a glassful).
- Reduce the sauce until it thickens.
- Salt the sauce. Personally, I always use a fine salt.
- Prepare another pan, or a hotplate, for the entrecote. You must watch the heat carefully, as this is the key to cooking it perfectly. If you fry it too hot, the entrecote will cook on the outside too much and the inside will be cold, and if the heat is too low, the meat will start to lose water and will boil. Try to get the heat to a medium point, so that it neither burns nor boils.
- Add a splash of olive oil to the hot pan and place the entrecote in the pan. It is very important that you do not move it, since the more you do so, the more you will cool it. When you think you have fried it enough, turn it over. At this point, you can use a lid to get an enveloping heat around the meat. Check on the thermometer that the meat is between 50º and 55ºC at the centre.
- Finally, remove it from the pan. Cut it into small crosscut fillets of about half a centimetre, and serve it with the sauce. You can either pour the sauce over it or allow each guest to serve themselves.
If you like, you can accompany it also with French fries.
Cold entrecote: another unusual idea for Christmas dinner
In El Capricho restaurant, we serve entrecote this way. We turn it into carpaccio, by slicing it really fine with a good meat slicer.
We know that making carpaccio without a slicer can be complicated, so here is another Christmas recipe with cold entrecote: tataki.
How to make tataki:
- Cut a 3cm steak.
- Seal the meat in a very hot frying pan or on a hotplate. First fry it on one side and then the other (about 15 seconds on each side). The aim is to caramelise the outer layer of the meat, leaving the inside completely raw. Generally, a piece of tataki should be plunged into iced water, to cool it fast. I think it is much better to omit this step because the water takes away the interesting toasted flavours.
- Tataki is a cold dish which you should serve thinly sliced. The classic accompaniment is soy sauce and a little sesame oil, which you can find in any supermarket.
Enjoy real ox meat, give yourself a treat!