I thought I had it right. I was pretty sure that I couldn’t do any better. When I got my hands on some (rare breed, grass fed) Belted Galloway, coarse ground beef and made burgers with three ingredients, I knew that I had created burger patty perfection. That was another one ticked off the bucket list. I had eaten the perfect burger. Or, at least I thought I had.
Around these parts, having one’s cake and eating it is deemed not to be possible. The same goes in Italy where they say “Volere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca” – to want the barrel full and the wife drunk. In Hungary, they say “Egy fenékkel nem lehet két lovat megülni” – It is impossible to ride two horses with one butt. I take issue with this defeatism. You can have the best of both worlds, if beef short ribs with a little Oriental twist is your thing.
The very mention of the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ brings up imagery of gnarled and grizzled old men leaning their heavy elbows on the greasy bar of despair as they reflect on wasted lives and opportunity forgone. Thankfully, I’m not one of those, at least not yet. There is a double whammy of last chance about this recipe all the same. But, that’s no reason to not cook it. (That was a double negative about a double whammy BTW.)
Steak night is a great concept. Particularly if one can get one’s hands on top quality meat. We are lucky in that respect. But, steak night would be no fun if we just cooked and ate a steak. We needed a bit of experimentation as we did with part 1. For part 2, we decided to check out the merits of Feather Blade steak both flash fried and sous vide.
We decided to have a themed dinner during the week. Hence, Steak Night was invented. However, there is no point in just cooking some steak. I needed to do something a little different. I got to wondering what I could do to add an additional belt of flavour to some already tasty dry aged rib eye steaks. The first thing to do is to make a tasty sauce using five ingredients – Wine (of course), concentrated beef stock, shallots, salt and pepper.So what, I hear you say, you’ve made that sauce before. And your’e right. But, what about adding some bone marrow to the mix? Will that give things the hit I think they need?
I hope I won’t offend you. But really, meatloaf? How dull and dreary can a slab of mince meat be? It’s so often overcooked, grey, crumbly and tasteless. Yet, so many of you go all dreamy and wistful at the mention of the hateful lump of meat. This is a bit of nostalgia that needs to updated. I need to improve your meatloaf for you. Many ‘traditional’ recipes require no more than some beef, some lamb, some sawdust, a chopped onion, salt and pepper (OK, the chopped onion is optional. You need the sawdust to get the traditional gritty texture.).
Back in the early 1960’s, there was a TV programme called The School Around the Corner, on RTÉ (Ireland’s then sole broadcaster). It was presented by the affable Paddy Crosby. On the show, he would interview schoolchildren. He had a way with him and managed to extract stories from the young ‘uns. Stories that were charming in their innocence. One infamous interview had a young lad telling a story about a horse that fell into a hole in the road. The horse was beyond saving. A vet was called and he decided to shoot the horse. Paddy asked the innocent child “Did he shoot him in the hole?”. “No” replied the youngster, “he shot him in the head”.
…but, not quite. No, I thought I had done all I needed to do but, I have a bit to learn just yet. Let me give you a little back story. I had been glued to the computer for a long morning’s work. When I looked up, it was nearly 2:00 PM and I had a growing headache. Hunger had come, been ignored and gone away. I decided that a walk around the Sandyford business district was needed to clear my head.
Dutch Courage – I know, I know. You will be assuming that I’ve been at the wine again. Perhaps having a couple of ‘swifties’ while the beef cooks. That warm glow of a nice glass or three of red while a meal cooks can be a delight. But, no, on this occasion, it was not me gathering the Dutch Courage.
Did I mention that I won Best Food and Drink Blog in the 2016 Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards? If I didn’t then, my bad. I should keep you better informed as to what’s gong on. If I did, then my bad too. I should be more humble about this stuff and not go celebrating and getting excited about what I do here. Speaking of the stuff I do here, I have been wrestling with doing something with beef and orange for a while now. Whenever I mentioned it to friends or family, I got a pretty frosty reception. So, I decided to use the period while my star is in the ascendency to prepare Beef Fillet with Orange, Chilli, Sichuan Pepper and Ginger.