José Andrés opened Minibar 10 years ago in Washington D.C., where it has since earned two Michelin stars for its avant-garde dishes. At the restaurant, chefs assemble the food in front of the guests, including a wagyu dish with beef consommé.
“This one of our bigger dishes,” says William Higgins, the morning prep chef. “This is part of the main protein course.”
Higgins starts by cutting the A4 wagyu into thinner slices. Then, he further cuts the fat off of the wagyu slices. He’ll save the fat that gets sliced off to render down later. Higgins then scores the meat.
“What this allows is when you’re cooking it, you’re searing it, it basically allows all of the fat to start melting,” says head chef Sarah Ravitz. “It melts in your mouth essentially.”
The Minibar team serves the wagyu with a sphere of beef consommé, which they make in-house from beef cheeks. The consommé goes through an alginate bath, a substance derived from an acid found in the cell walls of certain algae, to achieve its spherical, egg yolk shape. “This creates a reaction, so that there’s a skin that forms on the outside of the sphere, but the inside is still liquid,” says sous chef Melissa Lalli.
After the alginate bath, the spheres of consommé get dipped in two separate water baths to wash off the alginate, then are submerged in beef stock to preserve them for service.
“You get that nice caramelization on the A4, super nicely seasoned, super simple,” says Ravitz. “The beef consommé is very, very clean. We add the Minibar twist to it by sphering it, and making it look like an egg yolk.”
The chefs recommend people eat it by breaking into the consommé sphere and dipping the wagyu slices into it.
Watch the full video to see how the chefs at Minibar make many of their other dishes including monkfish, maize butterflies, strawberry milk, and more.