In my quest for finding inspiration, I ran across a menu item from LudoBites that was undeniably luscious. I have never been to his restaurant since I don’t live in the LA area, but it looked so good. I had to recreate his potato mousseline with poached egg to the best of my ability, and I wanted to do a majority of the cooking using sous vide. My version is not exactly the same since I did not use chorizo this time.
The recipe is very rich so a little goes a long way, but boy is it comforting. The process is to place a layer of potato on the plate, placing a poached egg in the mousseline, and then another layer of potato on top without breaking the egg. I then placed a small spoonful of pancetta marmalade on top to finish.
Potato Mousseline Recipe:
- 500 grams of russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes.
- salt and white pepper to taste.
- 200 grams of unsalted butter, cut into cubes and brought to room temperature.
- milk or half-half, as needed, but extremely important.
You can adjust recipe up or down using a ratio of 5 parts potato for 2 parts butter.
Vacuum seal a single layer of potatoes in bag with some salt and pepper. Place in a water bath at 185 deg F for 2 1/2 hours. Pull out the bag out of the water and pour contents in a large mixing bowl. Using a grinder or tamis press the potatoes through 1 time. Mix butter into potatoes and mix until fully incorporated. Add milk or cream to get a very creamy consistency and press potato mixture again through a tamis or strainer. If needed, add a little more milk and put the mousseline in a bowl and keep warm in a pan of warm water. The potatoes will need time to solidify and firm up.
At the same time reset your sous vide temperature to 145.4 deg F (63 deg C) by using some ice cubes and cold water to bring down the temperature as quickly as possible. Place as many eggs as you want in the water bath for 45 minutes at 145.4 deg F.
While the eggs are cooking we can start on the pancetta marmalade. This recipe is from Thomas Keller and the PolyScience guide to cooking sous vide.
Pancetta Marmalade Recipe:
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup minced onions
- 12 oz slab of pancetta or bacon
Place bacon in grinder and saute bacon over medium-high until nicely brown. Place bacon on a paper towel to drain. If you don’t have a grinder, placing bacon in the freezer for 40 minutes will allow you to finely dice the bacon. I agree with Chef Keller that both works, but grinding does give you a more delicate texture that works very well with this dish.
In six cups of water add onions and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water. Wrap onions in a towel and wring to draw out any excess water. Set aside.
Place the honey and the vinegar into a pan and bring to a simmer over med-high heat. Reduce and simmer for about 30 minutes until reduced by half. Skim the impurities that rise to the top.
Stir the onions and the pancetta into the reduced vinegar mixture at a simmer and cook gently for 10 minutes. Keep the heat low enough or you risk hardening the honey in the mixture. The mixture should have thickened and the bacon is now soft. Take the mixture off the heat, allowing it to cool while the eggs finish cooking.
Okay…time to plate.
In a small plate or shallow bowl put a spoonful of mousseline and with the back of a spoon, spread mousseline. Place egg in middle. To get a smooth layer of potato I get parchment paper and lightly butter it, and spread a layer of mousseline. Using a cake ring I create a circle and remove the mousseline from outside the ring. Picking up the parchment paper and ring gently slide the mousseline off the paper and on top of the egg. I’m not sure how Ludo got the smooth top, but this was my solution. It worked very well and it doesn’t take very long to do.
To finish the plate, place a light drizzle of the pancetta marmalade on top of the mousseline. You will have a salty, sweet, creamy, and luxurious dish.
Weighing the pototatoes to know how much butter you needs.
Setting the circulator to 185deg F
Impurities from the red wine vinegar and honey. Skim the top as it rises to the top.
Honey and vinegar with softened onions.
Using a ricer would be a lot easier, but you can get similar results from using a strainer or tamis.