Gastronomixs

Charcoal grilled david blackmore wagyu beef, mushroom dashi tuile, and roasted onion crumb

This month's guest chef is Martin Benn, who was born in England in 1974. He started his career in London, where he learned the classic cooking techniques of French cuisine. After several years he moved to Australia, where he discovered the Japanese style of cooking. At the age of 25 he became a head chef, which allowed him to develop his own particular culinary style.

In 2009, Martin opened his restaurant ‘Sepia’ in Sydney. This was a joint venture with George Costi, the owner of the seafood wholesaler Claudio's Seafoods. Martin opened this restaurant with sustainability as the central goal. He has combined this with top-quality products and light cooking techniques. French techniques meet Japanese influences in this refined cuisine, with fish as the central ingredient on the menu.

Creation by Martin Benn, Sepia restaurant, Sydney, Australia.

Charcoal grilled david blackmore wagyu beef, mushroom dashi tuile, and roasted onion crumb

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Ingredients

400

g

katsuobushi clarified butter (see below)

400

g

slices wagyu sirloin

4

 

egg whites, refrigerated

2

l

chestnut mushroom stock (see below)

1.5

l

water

1

stick

kelp, 10cm

1

kg

chestnut mushrooms (or Swiss browns)

665

ml

chicken stock

1

tbsp

dried porcini mushroom powder

165

ml

soy sauce

65

ml

mirin

33

ml

shiro dashi

 

 

sea salt

 

 

ground white pepper

60

g

katsuobushi

450

g

mushroom dashi consommé

45

g

kuzu starch

8

 

brown onions

8

sprigs

thyme

1

kg

unsalted butter

60

g

katsuobushi (shaved bonito flakes)

Preparation method: chestnut mushroom stock
  • Pour the water into a 4-litre stock pot and add in the kombu.
  • Leave to soak for 30 minutes, then turn on the heat and bring to 60°C.
  • Cook the water and kelp at 60°C for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the kelp.
  • Blitz the mushrooms in a robot coup and then add to the kelp water.
  • Add the chicken stock and mushroom powder to the mushrooms and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer gently for around 30 minutes.
  • Add the soy, mirin and dashi and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Check the broth for seasoning, adding sea salt, white pepper, and katsuobushi, and stir through.
  • Leave the broth to stand for 10 minutes, covered with a lid, and then pass through a fine filter.
  • Chill the broth on ice and then refrigerate for up to two days. Use as required. 
Preparation method: chestnut mushroom consommé
  • Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl to stiff peaks.
  • Pour the refrigerated stock into a clean tall pot.
  • Add in the whisked whites and gently mix through.
  • Place the pot on high heat and bring up to a simmer as quickly as possible (do not boil).
  • Let the consommé tick over for 30 minutes to concentrate the flavor.
  • Strain the consommé through a filter into a container over iced water.
  • Chill in the refrigerator until required.
Preparation method: mushroom dashi tuille
  • Pour 100g of the consommé into a pot and whisk in the kuzu starch until it has dissolved.
  • Add the remaining consommé and whisk well to incorporate.
  • Bring to a simmer while stirring the consommé. It will thicken and then turn transparent.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Pour the mixture into a piping bag and tie off the end.
  • Line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
  • Cut the end of the piping bag and pipe the mushroom dashi consommé into branch shapes.
  • Make around 24 of these.
  • Place the trays into an 80°C oven with no humidity and dry for 2 hours.
  • Once dry, allow to cool, and store in an airtight container until required.
Preparation method: roasted onion crumb
  • Peel the onions and remove the root.
  • Finely slice the onions and chop the thyme.
  • Heat a heavy pan over a medium to low heat and add the olive oil.
  • Add the onions and thyme to the pan and sweat gently so that the onions cook down and take on a golden colour.
  • Do not colour the onions too much.
  • Remove from the heat and place the onions and thyme on to a dehydrator tray and dehydrate for 48 hours at 55°C or until completely dry.
  • Once dry, place the onion into a thermo blender and blend to a fine crumb.
  • Store in an airtight container until required.
Preparation method: katsuobushi-infused clarified butter
  • Cut the butter into small cubes.
  • Heat a deep pan on the stove and add the butter.
  • Heat the butter over medium heat until completely melted.
  • Turn up the heat so that the butter begins to bubble.
  • Be careful at this stage, as the butter will spatter because of the milk solids.
  • Continue to cook the butter until the butter turns golden brown.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to rest in a warm place for 1 hour so the milk can separate.
  • When the hour is up, gently pass off the nut brown clarified butter though a filter into a clean container.
  • Heat the butter to 60°C and then add the katsuobushi.
  • Leave to infuse for 30 minutes, and then strain the butter.
  • Allow to cool and refrigerate until required.
Finishing & presentation
  • Heat the katsuobushi butter to 54.5°C.
  • Add in the two wagyu sirloin steaks and cook in the butter for 25 minutes.
  • Once cooked, remove the sirloins from the butter and season with salt.
  • Cook the sirloins over binchō-tan charcoal on both sides, making sure not to overcook.
  • Allow to rest for a few minutes.
  • Carve the sirloins into eight square blocks, then dip the grilled sides into the onion crumb so that they are lightly coated.
  • Place the wagyu on the plate.
  • Take the mushroom dashi tuiles and heat them gently over the binchō-tan charcoal so that they become malleable, then shape and twist the tuiles into the shape of branches.
  • Allow to cool and place around the wagyu.
  • Serve immediately.

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