The Truffle & my Tagliatelle with Steak and Porcini in a Truffle & cream sauce and Truffle shavings

4 Jun

20130604-163746.jpg
What is a Truffle?
Often called the diamond of the culinary world, a truffle is a rare, edible mushroom that is considered to be a delicacy due to its intense aroma and characteristic flavor. They have a firm texture and are most often shaven on top of food before serving, although they can also be used to infuse flavor into dishes. Though there are hundreds of different species, only some — mostly those found in the genus Tuber — are considered delicacies. Truffles grow underground in symbiotic relationships with trees and are difficult to find; as a result, they are usually harvested in the wild by trained pigs and dogs.

20130604-163911.jpg
Types of Truffle

The black winter truffle

Also known as, “Périgord Truffle” or “The Black Diamond of Provence,” it is harvested mainly in Italy, Spain, and France, where it grows under the shade of oaks, hazelnut, chestnut elm and poplar trees, typically from November to March, peaking in January and February. Contrary to popular misconceptions, no country’s truffle is superior to the other. Fresh black truffles are by far the most highly sought-after variety of this mushroom, although they fetch extraordinarily high prices. The winter black truffle is actually more of grayish-brownish black on the outside, with white spidery veins on the inside that indicate maturity (the summer variety will be of a more brownish color, but are the same size). It weights typically between 2 and 3oz. The Winter Black Truffle is highly sought after for its earthy, subtle aroma, and a taste once described as mixture of “chocolate and earth”.

20130604-164026.jpg
White winter truffle

The winter white truffle goes by a number of different names, including Italian white truffles and Piedmont truffles. The winter white truffle is known for its unique flavor, with a strong infusion of garlic. These winter white truffles are also distinguished by their intense musky aroma, and shoppers should look for this strong scent as they are selecting their truffles.

Keep in mind that white truffles are not truly white – in fact they will be more of a yellowish color. The best winter white truffles will also have a smooth exterior, so it is important to examine each one carefully. And although fresh white truffles do have a strong aroma, that aroma tends to fade more quickly than with black truffles, so it is important to use those fresh truffles as quickly as possible after they have been selected.

20130604-164114.jpg
Black summer truffle

Although not held in such high regards as the winter variety, summer black truffles are still a delicious and versatile ingredient. Depending on weather variations, the season for this truffle goes from May to the end of August. They grow among oak, hazelnut, chestnut, elm and poplar trees, like the winter variety. From the outside, it looks pretty much like the Winter Black truffle, with a knobby, roundish shape and dark brown skin. The flesh or interior of the truffle is yellowish-grey, with spidery white veins webbing around. Towards the end of the summer, the flesh turns a darker brown. The summer black truffle is not as spectacularly fragrant and aromatic as the white truffle, but it does have a very nice aroma – much more subtle, but still quite appealing. They are better utilized by being cooked, to bring out the most of that subtly earthy chocolaty flavor.

20130604-164433.jpg
White summer truffle

Also known as the Marzuili truffle, this would probably be your best bet when going for summer truffles. Although not as highly aromatic as the Winter White truffle, the Summer White still has most of that pungency characteristic of white truffles. It is found in the same regions of Italy as the winter variety, primarily Piedmont, Tuscany and Marches in Italy, and is the exactly same variety of mushroom, only harvested during the summer instead of the winter (black truffles, on the other hand, are a different species altogether in the winter and in the summer). They are much more affordable than the winter variety, so it allows for more experimentation and more quantity. The flavor is sweet and with hints of garlic, with a musky fragrance. It tends to look the same as Winter White truffles, with the interior going from a smooth yellow color to a dark brown with white veins as the season progresses. As with other white truffles, they are best used sliced or shaved over already cooked dishes, to maximize the aroma of the truffles.

20130604-164658.jpg
10 truffle facts

1.Truffles grow in harmony with a host tree, enabling the tree to take in phosphorus while in return the truffle receives sugars enabling it to grow.
2. The ancient Greeks thought truffles were made when lightning hit damp soil
3. Truffles are mushrooms which are believed to have started growing underground to beat forest fires, drought and severe cold
4. Italians consider the white truffle (tuber magnatum) to be superior in taste to the black truffle (tuber melonosporum)
5. Pigs, trained dogs and goats are used to sniff out truffles which produce a chemical almost identical to a sex pheromone found in male pig’s saliva. Men secrete the same chemical in their underarm sweat

20130604-165112.jpg
6. The truffle has been described variously as a diamond of cookery, fairy apple, black queen, gem of poor lands, fragrant nugget and the black pearl.
7. The Collins family of Wiltshire held the only Royal warrant to hunt for truffles in the UK until 1930 since when anyone has been allowed to seek them out
8. A rare Italian white truffle sold for £28,000 at a charity auction in 2004
9. France is the largest producer of truffles, harvesting up to 30 tonnes a year. At the end of the nineteenth century production was over 1,000 tonnes
10. A fabled aphrodisiac, the black truffle’s penetrating aroma led the Epicureans to liken the scent to that of the tousled sheets of a brothel bed. In the Middle Ages, monks were prohibited from eating truffles for fear they would forget their calling.

Tagliatelle with strips of Steak and Porcini in a Truffle cream sauce and truffle shavings

Ingredients
Serves 2 preparation & cooking +/- 30 mins

250g good quality tagliatelle
250g filet steak sliced into 1cm thick strips
200g fresh porcini mushrooms sliced , if not available shiitake can be used as an alternative
1 clove garlic crushed
200ml double cream
20g fresh truffle
Olive oil
Knob of butter
A large sprig of thyme
Handful fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
Handful grated parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to season

Method

1. For the truffle cream place 10 grams of the truffle into a blender of magimix pulse for a few seconds to break up , now add the cream , pulse to combine .

20130604-165343.jpg

20130604-165632.jpg
break up , now add the cream , pulse to combine .
2. Bring a pan os salted walter to the boil and cook the tagliatelle according to packet instructions until all dente .

20130604-165707.jpg
3. In a sauté pan or wok heat oil on a medium to high heat add crushed garlic ( don’t let it burn!) add strips of beef and the sprig of thyme , cook for 2/4 mins .
4. Add the porcini mushrooms and the knob of butter cook for a further 2/4 mins until perfectly tender.
5. Add a tablespoon of the pasta cooking water to the steak & porcini ( the starch in the water will help bind the sauce together )

20130604-165807.jpg
6. Drain the tagliatelle and add to the to the steak , now add the truffle cream and chopped parsley , toss or stir to heat up , ready to serve.

20130604-165903.jpg

20130604-165911.jpg
7. To serve divide between hot dishes , top with grated parmesan cheese, thinly slice rest of the truffle and skater all over .

Boun appetito 😊🍴

20130604-170042.jpg

20130604-170059.jpg

Boun appetito 😊🍴

For mor info , questions or query s mail or call:
simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com. 0031 (0) 642297107

And of course I can come and cook it for you🔪🍴

20130604-170201.jpg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: