In our past Inform Cooks posts, we’ve done our best to provide you with simple recipes that we adore. In this instalment, we’ve upped our game with the help of a heavy-hitter. Chef Reuben Major is a long time contributor to the local culinary scene and most recently Co-Founder and Culinary Director for Vital Supply Co. He came to us well equipped with his tools, ingredients and values, and effortlessly assembled a top-notch dish that left us salivating for more. We usually provide our guest chefs and cooks with pots, pans and other tools that we carry in-store but on this occasion there was no need. Chef Major’s brought his personal pots and pans which he brought with him were the Demeyere collection designed by John Pawson. Though Chef Major has been using them tirelessly for a decade, which is apparent from the patina, the cookware has perfectly retained it’s form, appeal and cooking power. How many sets of pots have you purchased in the past 10 years?
Chef Major’s culinary prowess was ingrained in him from a young age. As a boy, he would pick his own ingredients from the garden, construct dishes and feed the family without thinking much of it. Food, after all, is a necessity that everyone must take part in. The process felt natural to him. After moving to the city and getting a job at Earl’s as a busboy, he worked his way into the kitchen and up the culinary hierarchy eventually serving as director of culinary and bar development, a position he held for six years. It was then time to explore new paths, develop his breadth of skills and seek out new challenges.
To say the next steps in his career reflected prolific entrepreneurialism would be an understatement. Chef Major is now the Executive Chef and Partner at Belgard Kitchen , Partner at Postmark Brewing, Freshtap and Directtap, and Co-Founder and Culinary Director at Vital Supply Co. If that’s not enough to keep him busy, he also serves as a restaurant consultant. He took time out of his busy schedule to share with us (and you) how one of the dishes for Vital Supply Co. is put together. It was nothing less than impressive. Beyond the cooking methods, Vital Supply Co. holds strong values in sourcing their ingredients; if an ingredient can be sourced locally, then it will be. The dishes are as inclusive as possible, forgoing all gluten and dairy. Watch the video at the end of this post to learn a little more about Vital Supply’s theories and practices. On to the food! We were graced with a very tasty rendition of Flank Steak with Chimichurri and dandelion greens with a candy cane beet salad on a bed of Saskatchewan quinoa. Our dish was prepared with the help of a Sous Vide machine. If you make this at home without a Sous Vide, cooking the steak in your preferred method and dressing it with the recipe below will still render fantastically tasty results.
RECIPE – serves up to 4 people
1 cup Saskatchewan Quinoa
One bunch of dandelion greens
One candy cane beet
2 oz roughly chopped parsley
2 oz roughly chopped cilantro
2 tsp crushed chilies
1 oz minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
2 oz lemon juice
0.2 oz lemon zest
2 oz red wine vinegar
6 oz Italian olive oil
Head of cauliflower
Vancouver Island sea salt
2 tablespoons of turmeric
2 tablespoons of thyme
Two pounds of flank steak
Sous vide the steak at 57 degrees C for 30 hours.
Rinse and strain the quinoa thoroughly to remove the bitter saponin, a naturally occurring protectant. Boil approximately 10-15 minutes and strain.
Toss and coat evenly the cauliflower with a splash of olive oil, salt, turmeric and thyme until completely coated on all sides. Roast on a baking sheet at 375 until it starts to crisp up, around 15 minutes.
Skin and finely slice the beet, toss with the dandelion greens and drizzle with a simple oil and vinegar dressing.
Add the chili flakes, garlic, cumin, lemon juice and zest, pinch of salt, a glug of red wine vinegar, parsley, and cilantro. Blend until well mixed and slowly stream in the olive oil until it has thick consistency. If it’s too thick, add a little more olive oil. Make sure to taste test and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Once the steak has rested and is at room temperature, give it a sear on all sides until the edges are lightly charred. Slice into half inch pieces.
Don’t rush the plating; when composed with grace, this dish is stunning to look at with it’s vibrant colours.
Pairs nicely with Malbec.
After Chef Major finished cooking, he took a moment to sit down with Meriah and chat about the dish:
Want to eat like this every day? Signup with Vital Supply Co and do so with virtually no effort.