Cab Sav, Steak & Celery Root... catch up food!

I was catching up with a friend of mine last night.

Both of us being caught up at work, we haven’t had the chance to get together for a while. Knowing that she likes Red Wine, I thought South African Cabernet Sauvignon, will be a very good accent to the evening. This wine delights you with its complexity.

At first I had no idea what to cook for dinner. I wanted something to pair well with such good wine. I knew the flavour was meaty, I liked the idea of a hint of rosemary with the aromas of the caramelised crust on steak. I had made brown sauce the other day, and thought a demi glace sauce over that will be wonderful. But the experience  would not be complete without a creamy, starchy side. Of course I thought of all kinds of potato sides, but it was not exciting enough! It was the expected classic side. I thought that a sweet potato gratin or a roasted pumpkin will be good sides. The gratin clicked big time, and to stay on the note of exciting and different I remembered reading somewhere about a celery root gratin, so decided to go for Celery Root! Yummy, that was it! A perfectly rounded flavour accented with the notes of Cab. Sav.!

These are just some of life’s good things, you know. Good people, good friends, good flavours and good times… What more do we need, really? These days, we get so caught up with work, with the stresses of everyday life, and stop enjoying the little things that make all the difference.

We sat on the balcony for hours… talking, eating, drinking and catching up… Simple joys!


Serves: 4
  • 1 kg celery root, peeled, quartered and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup cooking cream
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp extra butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tbsp DS Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Rosemary sprigs for garnish
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt & black pepper to taste
  • 4 beef tenderloins/NY Strip/ Ribeye steaks about 2 inches thick fat trimmed off

Preheat oven to 375F-190C.

In a shallow gratin dish, place 1/4 the sliced celery root, season with salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Repeat the same process with the remaining celery root slices to create 4 layers. Pour the cream over the celery root and sprinkle the butter cubes on top. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. After the 30 minutes are over, remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more.

(It should be golden brown, and the celery root should be tender when pierced with a knife). Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

It is up to you to add a layer of cheese on top of the gratin or to keep it as is without cheese. Shredded Gruyere works best here.

Keep the oven on, and in a large ovenproof skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter in the olive oil. Season your steaks with Salt & Black pepper on all sides.

Cook the steaks in the skillet over moderately high heat until it browns at the bottom (3 minutes). Turn the steaks and place the skillet in the preheated oven and cook for 12 minutes for medium-rare longer for more doneness.

Once the steaks reach the desired doneness, remove from skillet and place in a warm plate to rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the same skillet, add the brown sauce/demi glace to the steak juices, and bring to a rapid boil. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the remaining 3 tbsp butter, a little at a time. Season the sauce with salt & pepper.

Place the steak on a serving plate, spoon the demi glace sauce over and around the steaks, sprinkle with fresh rosemary and serve with the gratin side.

This dish pairs very well with full bodied, firm red wines. The complexity and the oaky smokiness of Cabernet Sauvignon will compliment the flavour and aromas of this dish, rounding up the experience.

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