Thursday, 22 February 2007

A request for steak

Babe asked for some steak for dinner. We had a long dispute about what to get whilst at Queen Vic. I suggested a tiny piece of really good wagyu steak for the three of us to share, along with salad leaves and plenty of potatoes. Babe, being closer to her Russian peasant roots than I am to mine, thought that this would not suffice for the three of us (the baby was too share the steak salad, which I think is a lovely thing to do). Given our lack of wealth, she thought that we should get a tray of Scotch Fillet for the same price as one piece of steak that I wanted. In the end, we made a compromise with which neither of us were happy, and brought a pale red piece of porterhouse. The butcher had nicer looking ruby porterhouse at the back, however I was in a bad mood and did ask for it. Babe rightly accused me of being passive aggressive, and went off to buy the original piece of wagyu that I had chosen. I was happy once I figured that it was not just done in anger.

We had to wait in for the electrician on our return home, and then, after a swim with the baby where we all moved our muscles and felt happier and more contented, I cooked. I had earlier brought some baby beetroot, which given the fact that Babe needed to eat early and go to work, I boiled skins and all. I also boiled some little cocktail potatoes, and put a mound of baby spinach leaves in a big white bowl. The steaks remained in the fridge whilst I made a mustard dressing, a Vinaigrette with a dollop of Dijon mustard added before the salt, vinegar and olive oil (in that order). I got our wonderful Weber Q (the couple in the picture obviously use the BBQ in the living room, which strike me as extraordinarily risky) hot outside in our courtyard, and crushed a mound of garlic.

I pasted the hated pale and insipid porterhouse with it, and also added a little to the tender and much loved wagyu, covered both with salt (I thought that this wasn’t so good for the baby, however she eats feta, so how much can occasional salt hurt, seeing as we are a sodium conscious family anyway). I stuck the much thicker Porterhouse on the Barbie, and waited a while, draining the potatoes and beetroot. I turned the Porterhouse over after about 5 minutes, and a minute later, added the wagyu. When I took the both off, the wagyu was still Bleu and a beautifully rich purple, and the Porterhouse a more desirable colour than it had been, with some pinkness still inside.

I added the potatoes and beetroots to the leaves, which sighed and melted, and cut the steak. The Porterhouse had a nice chargrilled flavour on the outside, although was metallic and unexciting all the way through. The wagyu was rich, winey and full, and hit it off with the acidic dressing. I should have made more potatoes, and I was right – one wagyu steak and some more carbs would have been just perfect. We also had a glass each of very cheap red wine, which was more than drinkable.

The baby was hungry after her swim, and had chicken soup, left-over lamb chop, fruit puree and cheese on cruskit, and had her steak put away for another day. She will get Wagyu one day, but on this occasion, it will be a little piece of porterhouse. I hope she loves it, and I will cook it with more than a little tenderness for her, and will think more highly of it than I did today.

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