By Karen Datko/Havre Daily News food writer
Montana chefs cooking with Montana ingredients created lovely meals at the recent Montana Chef Competition.
The Montana Department of Agriculture sponsored the event to promote the use of Montana products in gourmet cooking. The cooking and judging were done at the renowned Buck's T-4 Lodge in Big Sky
Here's the gold award-winning main course, courtesy of Eric Trager, chef at Bridge Creek Back Country Kitchen & Wine Bar in Red Lodge.
The Montana ingredients featured are Garden City Fungi mushrooms, Renita's Specialty Sauces mustard, Montana Legend Brand beef, On Thyme Gourmet herbs and Amaltheia Dairy goat cheese. You can make substitutions.
Yield: four main course servings
Morel and Wild Mushroom Stuffed
Flat Iron Steak
4 oz. Morel mushrooms, fresh, cleaned and halved
4 oz. Garden City Fungi oyster mushrooms
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1 oz. beef stock
tsp Black pepper, freshly groung
4, 6-8 oz. Montana Legend Brand flat iron steaks, butterflied
2 oz. Renita's Specialty Sauces horseradish mustard
4 oz. bread crumbs
In saut pan, heat butter until melted and add garlic, cook until fragrant. Add morels and saut 4 minutes over medium heat. Add parsley and deglaze pan with beef stock. Set aside to cool.
Butterfly flat iron steaks, season with salt and pepper, and stuff with mushrooms. Spread flat iron steak with mustard and roll in bread crumbs. Heat saut pan, add clarified butter and cook to 130-degree internal temperature.
1 carrot, medium, peeled and large diced
2 garlic clove
1 yellow onion, large dice
oz. butter, melted and clarified
1 tomato, large, large dice
oz. On Thyme Gourmet sage, fresh
1 oz. Madiera wine
8 oz. beef demi-glaze
Place carrot, onion and garlic in a cast-iron skillet and drizzle with butter. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are caramelized. Add tomato and sage and roast an additional 10 minutes. Deglaze pan with Madeira and add stock. Strain and reserve.
Apple Smoked & Honey Caramelized Shallots
2 oz. apple wood
24 shallots, peeled
2 Tbsp Montola safflower oil
1 tsp salt
tsp black peppercorns, cracked
tsp fennel seeds, ground
1 oz. wild bee honey
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Smoke shallots for 30 minutes. Place shallots and oil in a cast-iron skillet; add seasonings. Roast in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes. Add honey and roast another 5 minutes. Deglaze pan with vinegar.
8 Yukon Gold potatoes, washed, peeled and sliced -inch thick; reserve peels in salted ice water
1 qt. heavy cream
2 shallots, peeled and finely minced
1 tsp salt
tsp white pepper
1 cup Amaltheia Dairy goat cheese
2 Tbsp scallions, sliced
1 cup Montola safflower oil
1 Yukon Gold potato, sliced paper thin, held in salted ice water
4 scallion greens, blanched and shocked in ice water
Blanche potatoes in salted water until al dente. Place cream, shallots, salt and pepper in a saucepan, bring to a simmer and reduce to two-thirds. Do not let cream boil. Stir in chevre until smooth. In a square baking dish, layer potatoes, season with salt and pepper between layers, and cover with cream sauce. Cover with foil and bake in a 350-degree oven until potatoes are tender. Set aside to cool. While potatoes are cooling, heat oil to 350 degrees and fry drained and dried potato skins until golden, then season with salt and pepper. Cut cooled potatoes with 2-inch ring mold. Blanch thin potato slices and wrap around potato portions and tie with blanched scallion greens. Warm in a 400-degree oven until heated through.
Garnishes: chives, fried potato peels, On Thyme Gourmet sage leaves.
Presentation and plating notes: Slice steak and sauce with sage glaze, and garnish with roasted shallots. Place scalloped potato round next to steak and garnish with fried potato skins.