In this episode of Beaujolais at the Table, VinePair sits down with Gage and Tollner executive chef Adam Shepard to discuss Beaujonomie — a concept, philosophy, and mindset of convivial sharing and lively conversation. The spirit of Beaujonomie sparks a moment of enjoyment while sharing a table, Beaujolais wine, and a meal with family and friends. Here, he shares his perfect Beaujolais pairing.
The well-known Brooklyn landmark Gage and Tollner was built around the aspect of sharing, with the grand dining room lending itself to communal dining and gatherings of all sizes. This spirit of sharing is as much a part of the restaurant’s physical design as it is the way the team has developed their menu.
For his perfect pairing, Chef Shepard prepares an aged beef tartare that he pairs with a Beaujolais Villages 2020 from Jean-Claude Lapalu. Of the 12 appellations, Beaujolais Villages is one of the largest, stretching across 38 communes of hilly terrain. And with ample sunlight, the vines produce some of the region’s most expressive and fruity wines. For Shepard, pairing foods with wine is all about finding the balance between complementing and contrasting flavor profiles. When it comes to choosing the right wine, Beaujolais is the clear winner.
Beaujolais, made from the Gamay grape, is a versatile wine known for its fruit-forward characteristics and ultimate pairing abilities. With ingredients such as pear, dates and walnuts, this beef tartare recipe makes a natural bridge toward fruit-forward wines, such as Beaujolais.
Gage and Tollner Aged Beef Tartare
- Ring mold/large round cookie cutter
- Small food processor or mortar and pestle
- Immersion circulator/Sous vide
- Digital scale
- Pastry bag (disposable, small)
- 100 grams lean beef, ground
- ½ teaspoon minced shallots
- ½ teaspoon thinly sliced chives
- 2 caperberries, brined, and thin-sliced (regular capers can be substituted)
- 1 tablespoon Asian pear, small diced
- 1 tablespoon pickled turnips (recipe to follow)
- 2 tablespoons Doenjang Sauce (recipe to follow)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 teaspoon fines herbes, chopped
- Lemon juice (a few drops, to taste)
Garnish (for the Plate)
- 30 grams date puree (recipe to follow)
- 15 grams finely chopped walnuts
- 20 grams cured egg yolks (recipe to follow)
- 1 tablespoon frisée herb salad
- Celery leaves
- Frisée lettuce tips
- Picked tender herb leaves from chervil, tarragon, and chives
- Fresh white pepper
- Seeded crackers of your choice
- Salad turnip, sliced 1 small turnip (about 150 grams)
- 125 grams vinegar
- 175 grams rice vinegar
- 50 grams water
- 50 grams sugar
- 6 grams salt
- Combine the vinegars, water, salt, and sugar in a pot over low heat, stirring occasionally until the salt and sugar dissolve.
- Place the sliced turnips into a mixing bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over the turnips and set aside to cool.
- Cover and place into the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
Cured Egg Yolks
- 3 cups Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
- 3 cups white sugar
- 12 eggs
- Water as needed
- In the immersion circulator, circulate eggs at 64 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
- Combine the salt and sugar. Place ½ of the mixture into a small flat dish.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and gently remove the yolks with your fingers. Place yolks onto a dish with cure mix and cover with the remaining ½ cure mix.
- Let sit for 3 hours while working on remaining dish components.
- Rinse yolks with water and place into a food processor, adding small splashes of water until it reaches a jam-like consistency (should be spreadable without running on its own).
- Set aside 100 grams for Doenjang Sauce; set aside remaining cured yolk for garnish.
- 100 grams cured egg yolks
- 75 grams Doenjang miso
- 30 grams salted anchovy, rinsed and de-boned
- 25 grams roasted garlic
- Using a small food processor, mortar and pestle or a sharp knife, finely mince/puree the anchovy with the roasted garlic.
- Add remaining ingredients and combine well. Add splashes of water as needed until the consistency resembles raw unfiltered honey.
- Cover and set aside (can be refrigerated overnight).
- 250 grams dates, pitted
- 400 milliliters water
- 25 grams walnut oil
- Salt to taste
- Place the dates and water in a small pan and simmer briefly to soften.
- Drain and place the dates into a small food processor, or mortar and pestle.
- With the motor running, add a pinch of salt and drizzle the walnut oil in.
- Add additional splashes of water if and as needed, scraping the bowl down frequently, until the puree is smooth, thick, and yet soft enough to pass through a small-tipped pastry bag.
- Cover and set aside (can be refrigerated overnight).
The day before:
- Make pickled turnips
- Make date puree
- Make cured egg yolks
The day of:
- Make Doenjang Sauce.
- Mix and dress tartare.
- Add beef to a stainless-steel mixing bowl.
- Season lightly with salt and olive oil, mixing well to coat the beef.
- Mix with shallots, chives, pickled turnips, pear, and capers.
- Add tartare dressing ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more dressing, olive oil, salt or pepper as needed
- Make and plate the dish.
- Fill a piping bag with date puree and cut a small hole at the tip.
- Set out a serving plate and pipe a thin line of date puree around the edge.
- Sprinkle the fine chopped walnuts directly onto the date puree. Shake the plate back and forth to help the walnut stick to the date.
- Dump the extra walnut off the plate and wipe the rim as needed.
- Place the ring mold/cookie cutter on one side of the plate and fill with tartare. Using the back of the spoon, carefully press the tartare down and out to the edge of the ring, careful to keep the tartare even and level.
- Dust tartare evenly with fine layer of white pepper, and top with an even layer of frisée herb salad.
- Using a small spoon, place a small dollop of salt cure yolk on plate next to tartare.
- Carefully remove ring from tartare
Serve the dish with your chosen seed crackers, and enjoy!
Discover more pairings from this series featuring the chefs from Market Table, Nice Matin, and Hawksmoor!
This article is sponsored by Beaujolais.