January 15, 2020

A really practical master class about the use of pressure cookers in haute cuisine has hogged the limelight and attracted a lot of attention on the final afternoon of the presentations in the Multi-purpose Hall at Reale Seguros Madrid fusión 2020. Proximity products, technologies and textures have played a leading role together with a really special supplier: Correos Market, the Post Office web site that gives a boost to producers from all over Spain to ensure that they can carry on working on their small projects and allow the rest of us to enjoy these.

Pressure cookers in haute cuisine?

Carlos Collado, from Le Cordon Bleu, came up on stage in the Multi-purpose Hall to explain to the audience the various uses that pressure cookers have in haute cuisine because, although this is an item that has been used for many years in cooking, in haute cuisine it is not usually used. A technical talk that was also educational in which while he was talking, the people in the audience tasted the flavours of his latest discoveries: prawn and pecan nut butter and a brioche with the flavour of Serrano ham bones.

However… what happens in a pressure cooker? They work with a model that reaches a pressure bar, up to 120º. What is interesting about these cookers is that inside them there is no boiling or evaporation. All their recipes changed from the moment that they began to work with pressure cookers, because the vapours and broths keep their aromas and juices. From this moment on they rethought all the concepts and brought out a version 2.0 of broths. “We have gone from making broth with carrot as an ingredient to making carrot consommé. Broths start out from water and we considered removing and changing them”, Collado explained. This is how they have discovered that by changing water for milk they can obtain creams of any kind of product that is cooked in this with a pressure cooker. And what if cream was changed for butter? Then you get flavoured butters. And if you cook any product with milk, then what you get are infusions.

The new concept of mutton

Fernando del Cerro (Casa José) came on stage to publicise a new concept of sheep meat: “we are going to go beyond roasts and open up a new range”. To demonstrate this they have chosen an older, sterile sheep. This type of meat, which weighs over 40 kilos and which means it can be aged, is within the sustainable parameters of sheepherding.

“This type of meat is not new; shepherds have always eaten it and it has been eaten in villages on public holidays. In carving up this meat you can see the variety and formulas that this animal provides us with because from the lamb you not only get the rib, but also the entrecote, among other pieces. Parts that open up all kinds of possibilities for us once they have been aged for between a month and a half and two months”, the chef explains. This aging process provides these flavours and this kind of softening that it has from its fat. So we don’t use a lamb for small chops, but we achieve a lot more options right up to the point of obtaining cold cuts of lamb by using up all the part of their fat to create cold cuts like Italian guanchale or lamb lard.

Essential Valladolid

Valladolid is starting to make a name for itself because of its wines and cheeses and because chefs from the city have been able to transfer the important role that their products play to their kitchens, and as a result of this, to the rest of the world. Their produce is extraordinary and their excellent connections make it easy for a great many tourists to visit their city who try to discover the flavours of the area while they get to know all its nooks and crannies.

Miguel Ángel de la Cruz at the restaurant, La Botica de Matapozuelos (Matapozuelos, Valladolid) has managed to find a place for himself among the kitchens that are researching the traditions of dishes from bygone days and Spanish cuisine. As a result his presentation is closely linked to the essential foodstuffs that his region offers.

Valladolid has one of the highest production levels of carrots, White beans and lettuce in Spain. That is why in his restaurant, as well as working with a lot of meat products, they also give due consideration to vegetables. It is also an area with game and pickles.

Based on these products he prepared a dish where he places the spotlight on White beans and lettuce, as well as trout, another of those products from the area because lacking the sea, they do have a river. What he did was create a vegan mayonnaise – vegetable mayonnaise- with liquified dried beans that provide the basis for the lettuce and trout eggs sprinkled with a jelly prepared with the water from the marinade of the trout.

Products come right to the door of your home

Through the Correos Market platform, which promotes the sale online of local artisanal products, Enrique Pérez (El Doncel, Sigüenza) has set up a workshop where the focus is on small producers.

“We are going to provide a visualisation of the Correos Market web page, as if we were at home –all we need is the delivery person who brings them to us-, to show that you can make haute cuisine with these magnificent products that are sold on the web page. We haven’t done any work at all; we make everything on the spot so that they can see it live”, the chef explains.

Enrique prepared some dishes in which he nods to his region through the product that he uses. Some examples are the cheese bonbon coated with aromatic plants and pistachio, false black olives made of cheese accompanied by ecological extra virgin olive oil or la truffle corral yolk with stalks, roots and tubers. Products made by small artisans, who, as Enrique showed, can be bought on the internet and that you can have at the door of your house quicker than you expect.