Sunday 21 January 2018

Opening Chapter

Photography by Barry McCall
Photography by Barry McCall

Ross Lewis shares Chapter One’s food philosophy and offers some of the recipes featured in his new book.

They say people eat with their eyes. If so, the book ‘Chapter One: An Irish Food Story’, is a triumph for the eye, the soul and the stomach. Michelin-starred chef Ross Lewis collaborated with photographer Barry McCall to produce a stunning book chronicling the food philosophy at the Chapter One. restaurant on Dublin’s Parnell Square. “Good cooking starts with good produce, and when you have the richness of the Irish larder to choose from, there is an opportunity to really soar,” writes Lewis. “What you see on a plate in Chapter One is an expression of many artisans, various landscapes and hardworking talent.”

Ross spent some time working at Ferran Adria’s world-famous El Bulli in Catalonia in 1996.

He credits the Spanish chef as possibly the most influential chef of the last 50 years, and says the master’s genius helped him develop a whole new way of thinking about food. Ross and Barry’s substantial coffee table book covers the seasons, the people, the restaurant and the recipes — from the most basic to the most elaborate dinner party fare.



Braised top rib of prime Hereford beef and Skerries native potatoes with buttermilk and Savoy cabbage, rich red wine and shallot sauce

This is the best our agricultural economy has to offer. From the richly textured and somewhat fatty top rib of beef cooked on the bone, to the floury Skerries potatoes. The twist is the addition of the buttermilk to the potato puree, giving a slightly acidulated flavour. This, combined with the crispy potato skin and small pieces of baked potato make it the complete picture.

Serves 8


For the braised beef:

3kg top rib of beef on the bone

3 onions, sliced

4 large carrots, roughly chopped

2 celery sticks, roughly chopped

2 garlic bulbs, sliced in half

3 bay leaves

large handful each fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs

2 litres red wine

50ml vegetable oil

2 litres chicken stock (see last page)

For the savoy cabbage:

1 savoy cabbage, tough core removed

For the buttermilk potato puree and crispy potatoes:

1.5kg Skerries native potatoes, scrubbed

150ml milk

40g spring onions, finely sliced

1 tbsp cornflour

200g unsalted butter, chilled and diced

150ml buttermilk

For the beef sauce:

250ml red wine sauce (see last page)

50ml cream

50–60 small Paris brown mushrooms, stems removed

50g butter

50g shallots, finely chopped

30ml tarragon vinegar reduction (see last page)

50ml red wine shallot essence (see last page)

To serve

40g butter, diced

4 tsp butter emulsion (see last page)


For the braised beef

Place the beef in a deep tray with the vegetables, herbs and wine, ensuring the meat is completely submerged. Chill for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 90°C. Drain the meat in a colander over a clean pan, bring the liquid to the boil for 2–3 minutes to solidify any impurities and then pass it through a chinois.

Dry the beef with kitchen paper and heat half the vegetable oil in a pan. Saute the beef in batches until well caramelised all over, being careful not to burn it.

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil in a pan large enough to hold the meat, vegetables and liquid. Add the vegetables and cook over a medium to high heat, stirring frequently, until well browned. Add the browned meat and pour over the reserved liquid and stock.

Cover the surface with greaseproof paper and wrap in 2 layers of foil, then cook in the oven for 9–10 hours until the beef is completely tender and the ribs can easily be pulled out. Cool to room temperature and then lift out the beef.

Take out the ribs and remove the connective tissue. Press the remaining meat lightly between two trays with a weight on top and leave until cold.

Pass the cooking liquid through a fine chinois into a clean pan and reserve. When cold, slice beef into 8x150g portions. Bring reserved cooking liquid to the boil and reduce to 1 litre. Chill until needed.

For the savoy cabbage:

Remove the central ribs from the cabbage leaves and blanch in a pan of boiling salted water until just cooked. Refresh in a bowl of iced water, pat dry with kitchen paper and cut into ribbons. Cover and chill.

For the buttermilk potato puree and crispy potatoes:

Preheat a steam oven to 140°C on 50pc steam. Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes or until completely cooked through. Alternatively, boil in salted water until tender.

Combine the milk and spring onions in a small pan, and warm through, being careful not to boil, then remove from the heat. Leave to infuse.

While the potatoes are still warm, reserve two, then peel the rest, reserving the skins and put the flesh through a mouli to make 600g of milled potato.

Pass the spring onion infusion through a chinois and whisk in the thickener, a pinch at a time, until thickened.

Pour on to the milled potato and transfer to a blender. Add the butter and buttermilk, a little at a time, then pass through a drum sieve. Keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Cut the reserved potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh on to a tray, then break into pieces.

Add the potato skins and season with salt, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes until the potato pieces are golden brown and the skins are crispy.

Break the potato skins into similar-sized pieces. Keep warm. These are all best made before serving.

For the beef sauce:

Put 200ml of the reserved cooking liquid in a pan with the red wine sauce and bring to the boil, then stir in the cream and pass through a fine chinois into a clean pan.

Sauté the mushrooms in the butter over a medium to high heat until cooked through. Reduce the shallots with the tarragon vinegar until the vinegar has evaporated. Add to the sauce with the mushrooms, then whisk in the red wine shallot essence. Keep warm.

To serve:

Preheat the oven to 140°C. Heat the remaining 800ml of the beef cooking liquid in a sauté pan and whisk in the butter, then add the slices of beef.

Transfer to the oven for 10 minutes to warm through, turning once. Heat the cabbage ribbons in the butter emulsion. Put a large spoonful of the buttermilk purée in the centre of each warmed serving plate and tap the underside to spread it.

Turn the beef again in the glaze and then place it in the centre of the purée. Stick pieces of the crispy potatoes, skins and cabbage ribbons into the surface of the purée, then spoon the beef sauce over the meat.

Hot valrhona guanaja chocolate souffle


Souffle is the dish of choice for dessert lovers, the ultimate dessert. I like that it is decadent and has beautiful chocolate transfer, yet it is light too. Needless to say, it is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. It's a classic dish where the ingredients are part of the magic.

Serves 8


300g Guanaja 70pc plain chocolate, broken up into squares

300ml milk

20g cornflour

200g egg whites

80g caster sugar

Pinch of cream of tartar

60g egg yolks

softened unsalted butter, to grease

Demerara sugar, to dust


Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, being careful not to heat it higher than 50°C. Set aside at room temperature to cool a little.

Meanwhile, place the milk and cornflour in a large pan and whisk until smooth. Place on the heat and slowly bring to the boil, whisking continuously. Allow it to boil for 5 seconds – the mixture should be shiny and thickened. Remove from the heat and then pour in the melted chocolate. Next, using a balloon whisk, beat the mixture vigorously until thick and glossy. Set aside and leave to cool to 45°C.

Place the egg whites in a food mixer that has been fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk on a medium speed until fluffy, then slowly add the caster sugar and cream of tartar and continue to mix until semi-stiff peaks appear.

Using a spatula, mix the egg yolks into the cooled chocolate mixture until it is smooth and then gently fold in the meringue until it is just combined.

Using a pastry brush, butter eight 150ml souffle moulds or ramekins, brushing upwards to ensure the best rise, then dust with the demerara sugar. Divide the chocolate mixture among them and smooth the top with a palette knife. If you are using a traditional souffle ramekin with a rim, gently run your thumb around the edge to help release the mixture before baking.

These can be chilled and left to sit for an hour before baking.

To serve

Preheat the oven to 185°C. Arrange the moulds on a baking tray and bake for 9 minutes until well risen, but with a slight wobble in the middle. Serve immediately.

Irish Independent

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