Chef/partner Laurent Tourondel offers Poached Eggs & Shortrib Popover ($19) at Arlington Club, New York City. He says, “This is my favorite twist on the classic Eggs Benedict. My popovers are savory, with Gruyere, Emmental and Fontina, so I wanted to find a way that was different from the usual butter and jam. The combination of shortrib, sautéed mushrooms and creamy spinach holds up to the popover’s strong flavor, and the mushroom Hollandaise goes the extra mile to top it off.”
From: Chef/partner Laurent Tourondel, Arlington Club, New York City. Yield: 6 servings.
1 large slice bacon
2 sprigs rosemary
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 celery stalk, trimmed
2 beef short ribs, about 2 lb.
to taste, salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
½ large onion, cut into 1” pieces
3 garlic cloves, halved and peeled
1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
5 black peppercorns, cracked
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups dry red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon
¼ cup ruby port
1 cup low sodium beef broth
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
Spinach and Mushroom Mixture:
8 oz. heavy cream
1 bag triple-washed spinach
to taste, fresh nutmeg
1 oz. brown butter
2 cups diced portabella mushrooms
3 Tbsp. butter
2 cups grated Fontina cheese
to taste, salt and pepper
Truffled Mushroom Hollandaise:
2 Tbsp. butter, lightly browned
2 Tbsp. sliced shallot
1½ Tbsp. sliced garlic
1½ cups sliced button mushrooms
1/8 cup brandy
1 cup chicken stock
5 thyme sprigs
1 fresh sage leaf
2 egg yolks
½ cup clarified unsalted butter, warm
to taste, hot sauce
1 Tbsp. truffle pieces, finely diced
1½ Tbsp. truffle oil
to taste, salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped chives
2 bunches watercress, split evenly into 6 pieces
Make a bouquet garni by laying the bacon strip on a flat surface. Arrange the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and celery stalk on one end of the bacon strip. Roll up the bacon. Tie bouquet garni with kitchen string. Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in deep baking dish and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer ribs to a plate and discard all but 3 Tbsp. of fat from the pan. Add carrots, onions, garlic, shallots and black peppercorns to pan. Cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring often, for two minutes. Add bouquet garni, wine and port. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduce by two-thirds, about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Return ribs to the pot. Add broth and tomatoes; bring mixture to a simmer. Cover pot loosely with foil; place in the oven. Bake for 3 ½ hours or until meat is tender when pierced with a fork. Allow to cool and cut into 12 2” squares.
For spinach and mushroom mixture: In medium-size saucepot over medium heat, add heavy cream and reduce by half, about 7 to 8 minutes. Set a large sauté pan over high heat and add spinach. Saute, making sure spinach stays green, about 2 minutes. Season cooked spinach with salt and pepper and a few grates of fresh nutmeg. Allow to cool. Transfer spinach to colander and press firmly to allow juices and excess water to drain. Transfer ¼ of the spinach to a blender and puree until smooth. Slowly add all the brown butter and reduced heavy cream. Continue to puree until well-incorporated. Season with salt and pepper; allow to cool. Heat butter in large sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms until caramelized, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add remaining sautéed spinach and cook until warmed through. Carefully add spinach puree and fold in Fontina. Cook until cheese is fully melted; season with salt and pepper.
For truffled mushroom Hollandaise: Lightly brown butter; add shallots, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until browned. Add brandy and cook until reduced to a syrup. Cover with chicken stock; add thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, reducing by half. Remove thyme sprigs and discard, placing all remaining ingredients in a blender. Add sage leaf and puree until smooth. Place a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water. Whisk egg yolks until they become light yellow and begin to froth, about 5 minutes. Warm clarified butter and slowly add to egg yolks, whisking constantly. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Add reserved mushroom puree and finish with chopped truffles and truffle oil to taste.
To serve: Halve the popovers lengthwise. Warm spinach and mushroom mixture and spoon into each popover half until about 60% full. Reheat short ribs in sauté pan over medium-high heat until crispy. Evenly distribute over spinach and mushroom mixture. Poach eggs and carefully transfer to cover short ribs, so that each popover half is topped with an egg. Cover each egg with a spoonful of mushroom Hollandaise. Garnish with chives and watercress; serve immediately.