Polenta, rib-eye steak, three artichokes, and smoked yolks

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Rootsy artichoke beautifully complements the smoked yolks and creamy polenta in this lavish steak dish from Paul Ainsworth. You will need to visit a speciality ingredient store for the beech smoke essence, but feel free to prepare unsmoked yolks if you can't get hold of the ingredient.

First published in 2015





Crispy polenta

Jerusalem artichoke purée

Jerusalem artichoke crisps

Globe artichokes


Smoked egg yolks

  • 170ml of olive oil
  • 1 drop of beech smoke extract
  • 6 large eggs

To plate


  • Food processor or blender
  • Sugar thermometer
  • Stainless steel oven tray


Marinate the steaks in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and garlic for at least 24 hours
To make the polenta, bring the stock to the boil with the thyme. Pour in 370g of polenta, whisking all the while. It will thicken slowly. Make sure the polenta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan
  • 1.5l chicken stock
  • 370g of polenta
  • 1 sprig of thyme, leaves picked
Take the polenta off the heat and whisk in the butter. Adjust the seasoning. Pour into an oven tray so it forms a slab around 2cm thick. Chill to set
When it is set cut the slab into strips 2cm wide, then into 2cm x 2cm dice. Dust in the remaining polenta
To make the Jerusalem artichoke purée, put aside two or three large artichokes for the crisps. Peel the rest, putting them into water with lemon juice to stop them from going brown
Fry the shallots, thyme and garlic in the olive oil until soft. Slice the artichokes very thinly and add them to the pan, cover and cook gently until soft with no colour
Add the milk to the artichokes, and cook until the mixture is thick. Blend the mixture in a blender and pass through a fine strainer. Season, and set aside
To make the globe artichokes, peel off the outer leaves, trim the tops around 3cm down from the tip of the artichoke
Peel down the stalks with a vegetable peeler, then turn the artichoke around and scoop out the leafy part of the choke. You should be left with a pale white flesh with a violet colour centre
Put straight into water with the lemon juice to stop browning
Put the water, white wine vinegar, olive oil, shallots, coriander seeds and white peppercorns into a pan and bring to the boil
Add the prepared artichokes and cook for 10-15 minutes until tender. Cool and halve. Set aside until needed
To make the Jerusalem artichoke crisps, peel and thinly slice the remaining Jerusalem artichokes. Heat the oil and deep fry at 180°C until golden in colour
Drain well and place on a tray lined with paper towel. Season and leave in a warm place to dry out
To make the girolles, scrape down the stalks with a small knife and wash in a bowl of cold water. Drain well and leave to dry out
For the smoked egg yolks, mix the olive oil and beech smoke essence in a pan and heat to 65°C. Separate your eggs and gently lower the yolks into the oil. Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes maintaining 65°C at all times
  • 1 drop of beech smoke extract
  • 170ml of olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
Shortly before the yolks are ready, scrape the marinade off the meat and season the meat well
Heat a pan on the stove, and lightly brush the steaks with olive oil. Cook in a hot dry pan until you have good colour all over. Add a little butter to the pan and cook the steak how you like them
Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C/gas mark 6. For a rare finish, you do not need to cook the steak further in the oven. For a medium-rare steak, place in the preheated oven for 1 minute (increase this number by 2 minute increments for medium, medium-well and well-done finishes)
Whilst the steaks are resting, heat the oil in the deep fryer (using the same oil as for the Jerusalem artichokes) and fry the polenta for 2-3 minutes or until golden
Pan-fry the prepared globe artichokes in a little olive oil, and add a little butter. When this turns nut brown, add the girolle mushrooms to the pan and season with salt and pepper
Cook these quickly and finish the pan with a little chopped flat leaf parsley
Warm the steaks back up under the grill
Warm the artichoke purée gently in a pan and spoon into a piping bag. Pipe onto the plates. Place the steak on top of the purée
Place a yolk (choose your best 4) on top of each steak and garnish around and over the meat with the mushrooms and artichokes
Place the crispy polenta around the meat and finish the dish with the artichoke crisps

Southampton-born Paul Ainsworth got his break courtesy of Gary Rhodes, whom he worked for three years. After that, he moved to Gordon Ramsay's organisation, working first at his flagship Royal Hospital Road restaurant and then with Marcus Wareing at Petrus.

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