Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Recipes For President Obama's 2013 Inaugural Luncheon: Bison Tenderloin With Wild Huckleberry Reduction & Accompaniments

Instructions for the home chef to recreate the Inaugural Luncheon for a party of four... 
President Obama's Inaugural Luncheon will be held at Statuary Hall in the US Capitol following the swearing-in ceremony on Monday, Jan. 21.  The "Faith in America's Future" farm-to-table feast pays homage to sustainably produced and artisanal foods: CLICK HERE for a full post about the luncheon, with  commentary from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, the luncheon's hosts.  (Above, the bison course, plated)

Chef Shaffer
The menu was created by Executive Chef Shannon Shaffer of Arlington, Virginia's Design Cuisine and he has shared the recipes for home cooks wishing to recreate the celebration. Hickory grilled bison tenderloin with a wild huckleberry reduction is the entree, placed atop a strawberry preserve and red cabbage.  It is accompanied by a red potato horseradish cake, Butternut squash purée, and baby golden beets and green beans.  These recipes are below.  

The luncheon will begin with a steamed lobster tail topped with a New England clam chowder sauce, placed atop sauteed spinach with sweet potato hayThe first course recipes are here.  The grand finish is President Obama's favorite dessert, pie: Hudson Valley Apple Pie, with sour cream ice cream and maple caramel sauce, accompanied by artisan cheeses and honeycomb.  The dessert recipes are here

The recipes reprinted below are as offered by Chef Shannon, and edited slightly by Obama Foodorama for clarity of instructions.  They are designed for a party of four, though the red potato horseradish cake recipe makes ten servings.  The Chef also shared plating instructions:  The strawberry and red cabbage is used as a bed for the bison tenderloin, with the vegetables in the middle and the red potato cake on the right side, atop the squash purée.  Finish the plate with 1 1/2 ounces of the huckleberry sauce per serving.  Top the potato cake with micro greens.   

The wine served with the bison course at President Obama's luncheon will be Bedell Cellars 2009 Merlot (Long Island, NY).

Chef Shaffer places microgreens on the potato cake

*Hickory Grilled Bison Tenderloin*

*4 Bison tenderloin, 5 ounces each

*1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

*1/4 Tablespoon Garlic, minced

*1 Tablespoon Rosemary, fresh, rough chopped

*1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

*1 Teaspoon cracked Black Pepper

*1 Quart Hickory Wood Chips for grilling


1. Marinate bison steaks overnight in the refrigerator with oil, garlic, rosemary and black pepper. 

2.  Remove the steaks from the refrigerator, and remove the large pieces of rosemary.  Then season with salt and pepper on all sides of bison.  Allow the steaks to sit at room temperature for twenty minutes to allow the salt to dilute and penetrate the meat.

3.  For grilling of the steaks, you will need to soak the wood chips in warm water for 30 minutes prior to grilling.  The wood chips should be added to your charcoal five minutes prior to grilling to allow them to burn and produce the necessary smoke you will need for the flavor in the steaks. 

4.  Grill steaks on each side for approximately five-eight minutes for a medium rare steak, depending on thickness of the pieces.  Grill longer for more more doneness.  Remove from grill and allow to rest for five minutes prior to serving.

                               *Wild Huckleberry Reduction*


*4 ounces Veal Demi Glace

*1 Cup Huckleberries, fresh when in season or frozen

*1 Teaspoon Bitter Chocolate

*1/2 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter

*2 Cups Port Wine

*1 Cup Mirepoix (medium dice of carrot, celery, onion, leek)

*1/2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil


1.  In a heavy sauce pot, sautée the mirepoix for 8 minutes on medium heat in the oil. 

2.  Add the Port Wine, 1/2 cup of the huckleberries, and demi glace, allowing this to reduce by one third, about twenty minutes.  Strain through a sieve and return to a clean sauce pot. Can be set aside in the refrigerator for as long as three days.

3.  Prior to serving, bring sauce to simmer and add the chocolate, remaining huckleberries, and butter.  


*Strawberry Preserve and Red Cabbage*


*1 Red Cabbage, cut into four quarters, shaved thin

*1 Pint Apple Cider Vinegar

*1 Cup Sugar 

*2 Quarts Water 

*1/4 Cup Strawberry Preserves

*1/2 Tablespoon Kosher Salt


1. Place the cabbage, vinegar, sugar and water in large heavy-bottom pot. 

2. Bring liquid to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until liquid has reduced to a syrup-like consistency, stirring occasionally. 

3.  Add the strawberry preserves to the cabbage and stir until fully incorporated.  Adjust sweetness with salt if too sweet to your liking.


*Red Potato Horseradish Cake*

*Makes ten cakes


*1 Pound Red Potato, medium sized, cut 1-inch dice, skin on

*1 Tablespoon Prepared Horseradish

*1/2 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard, whole grain

*3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

*1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

*2 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

*1 Teaspoon White Pepper

*1/4 Cup Chives

*1/2 Gallon Water

*1 Cup Micro Greens


1.  Place potatoes, 1/4 to 1/2 gallon water (or just enough to cover potatoes) and 1 Tablespoon salt in a heavy-bottom pot and bring to a boil. 

2.  Allow to simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes until tender.  Drain water and allow to sit in strainer for 5 minutes to allow all water to drain. 

3.  Place potatoes, Dijon mustard, horseradish, 2 tablespoons butter, heavy cream, remaining salt, pepper and chives back into the same pot you used to boil potatoes. 

4.  With a large kitchen spoon, stir and smash potatoes until mixed but still chunky.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
5.  Using an ice cream scoop, portion a 3-ounce scoop onto a greased baking sheet.  Form potatoes into cake shapes, and top with remaining 1 tablespoon of butter dividing equally among the 10 cakes. 

6.  Place potatoes under the broiler for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. 

*Butternut Squash Purée*


*1/2  Butternut Squash, approximately two pounds, roasted

*1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter

*Pinch Kosher Salt

*Pinch White Pepper

*1/2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup, medium amber


1.  Pre-heat oven to 400º F, place squash with cut half facing down on a sheet pan in oven and cook until tender, approximately 25 minutes. 

2.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  

3.  Scoop flesh into a blender using a spoon.  Place the butter, maple syrup, salt and pepper into blender.  Puree on high speed until smooth, adjusting the seasoning as needed.  

4.  Place puree in a small sauce pot and cover until serving.

                               *Baby Golden Beets and Green Beans*

*8 Baby Golden Beets, peeled, cut in half

*4 Ounces Green Beans, ends snipped, cut 1” on a bias

*1/2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

*1/2 Tablespoon Shallot, minced

*1/2 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

*Pinch White Pepper

*2 Quarts Water


1.  Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add kosher salt. 

2.  Place beets into water gently and allow to cook for 5 minutes or until tender.  Remove beets using a strainer and set in a bowl.

3.  Allow water to return to a boil and gently add the green beans for 3-4 minutes until tender.

4.  Remove the beans from the pot using a strainer and add to the bowl with the beets. 

5.  Place olive oil in a sautée pan on medium heat.  Add the shallots to cook until tender. Add the beets and beans and season with salt and pepper to taste.


President Obama's 2013 Inaugural Luncheon Menu

Steamed Lobster
with New England Clam Chowder Sauce

Served on Sauteed Spinach 
with Sweet Potato Hay

Wine:  Tierce 2009 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling (NY)

Hickory Grilled Bison
with Wild Huckleberry Reduction

Strawberry Preserve and Red Cabbage
Red Potato Horseradish Cake

Baby Golden Beets and Green Beans

Butternut Squash Purée 

Wine: Bedell Cellars 2009 Merlot (Long Island, NY)

Hudson Valley Apple Pie with Sour Cream Ice Cream
with Maple Caramel Sauce

Aged Cheeses and Honeycomb
Toma Celena and Jersey Girl Colby,  
Cooperstown Cheese Company (Milford, NY)

Wine:  Korbel Inaugural Cuvee (California)
*Top two photos courtesy of Chef Shannon Shaffer, Design Cuisine.   Second bison photo by Brendan Hoffman