Steak and the things I might like to have with it ie. Cafe de Paris butter


Steak is something that is honoured with no particular favourite sauce/dressing for me.

It could be something green and herbaceous. Maybe salsa verde or a twangy chimmichurri.

It might be something creamy. A porcini mushroom and bacon sauce perhaps.

Or maybe a classic jus or gravy.

I have been known to adorn a nice steak with chilli jam or a cherry tomato salsa from time to time.

Maybe I will be feeling some butter mixed into the resting juices.

Yeah. The list could go on and on but I’d imagine we’ve both got better things to do with or time… midget porn and Dominos on speed dial awaits!

Just one more thing though. Sometimes nothing is going to satisfy me like a classic Café de Paris butter on my steak. It’s pretty good.

This is the Frenchies at their very finest.

Carry on.

Smother that steak with the butter.

Look at all of those lovely buttery juices.

CAFE DE PARIS BUTTER

(enough for a few steaks. Remaining butter will last in the fridge for 2 – 3 weeks)

250 g unsalted butter, softened
1 eshallot or ½ brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
20 g Indian style curry powder
1 cup picked parsley leaves, chopped
2 tbls lemon juice
1 tbls Worcestershire sauce
5 anchovy fillets
½ tbls baby capers
1 tspn sea salt
1 tspn ground pepper
4 – 5 basil leaves, chopped
2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked

• To make the butter, heat a splash of oil in a frying pan and cook the onion, garlic and curry powder over low heat until soft and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
• Process all ingredients until just combined. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
• Put a big ol’ spoon or two onto your steak as it’s resting.
• Get into it.
• And just, well you know, wash it down with beer.

Bloody delicious.

Big effing steak, chimmichurri and a roasted carrot and corn salad


Some people would say that a not-even-slightly-amusing story about a big ol’ steak is not something worth writing down*. Some people are also happy to cruise through the suburban cul-de-sac that is their life, safely strapped into the Scotch Guard–protected synthetic car seat in their upper middle class white trash mobile. There is definitely not enough naked, bare back bison riding through the leech infested jungles of life going on these days and this is where the revival is going to begin!

Here.

With a big fucking steak.

You can call this whatever you like; “big fucking steak”, “bistecca alla fiorentina” (Italian for big fucking steak), “a romantic dinner for two” or even “a meat transplant”. I really don’t give a fuck. What I do give a fuck about though, is carnie racing and making sure that big ol’ lump o’ meat is cooked well and served with a fitting garnish.

There were a few carrots which were splashed with a little olive oil and seasoning and then wrapped with alfoil and chucked in the coals for 20 or so minutes, a couple of little onions that were chucked straight onto the coals until soft and delicious, and a couple of cobs of corn were given that same olive and seasoning treatment, grilled up top for 5 or so minutes and then stripped from the cob.

Tossed with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar, seasoned with salt and pepper and freshened up with a little chopped parsley, that was the salady-garnishy type aspect to this steak dinner.

Now for the steak.

The steak was a 30 day dry aged Cape Grim sirloin. A birthday gift from a friend who also happens to be a purveyor of top quality meats (these are very good friends to have PS). It was good. Reals good. This is how it went…

Get that steak on the bench… or maybe on a plate on the bench

Season the bejezuz out of your meat
That meat getting all grilly and tasty

Well rested, sided by a tasty assed chimmichurri sauce and ready to go

BIG FUCKING STEAK

This bad boy was somewhere in the vicinity of 600g
A splash of oil
Lanes “Signature” seasoning, or your favourite steak seasoning
Salt
1 tablespoon butter
Chimmichurri sauce (AKA the king of steak sauces) and the carrot and corn salad, to serve

Give your steak 30 minutes on the bench so it can get kinda room temp.
Now is a good time to light your fire if you are using one… Coals are always going to win the flavour game hands down in my book FYI.
Rub the steak with a splash of oil and then season pretty heavily (maybe a little less heavily if you are using a smaller bit of meat), top and bottom, with the steak seasoning.
Grill steak over high heat for 10 minutes either side and then remove from grill.
Rest that sexy piece of beast in a warm spot for a further 10 minutes, slapping the butter on top to melt into it and keep things reals sexy.
Carve steak from bone but leave the bone next to it to look like an absolute boss, season with a little extra sea salt and get it into your belly.

Going for it with that steak and a rare sighting of the carrot and corn number

*I know this is typing, but writing down just seems a heap more hopeless romantic and you know it’s all about the romantic for me.

Wooli part 1… Steak with Blue Cheese Sauce

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We’ve hit Wooli. No not wooly, Wooli. Wooly is something like slippers or a word that is like verbal Viagra to a Kiwi. So Wooli, another of those cracking little seaside towns the boys and I like to frequent on my annual break.

We have arrived at our little holiday shack which is adorned in the very finest of beachside holiday chic; pine furniture via the 1980s, op-shop pots and pans, the odd family heirloom carafe, pelican ornaments in the front garden and, of course, ocean blue and lemon yellow painted walls through out. This never ceases to amaze and truly impress me. Maybe the owners of these places do all get their supplies from the same old junk shop and maybe the only paint they can get through the seaside village quarantine is ocean blue and lemon yellow, but it still impresses the hell out of me how the same all these places are.

We have brought with us a seafarers bounty of the finest provisions my pay check would allow thanks to Jennee (I’m pretty sure when she went shopping this week the supermarket would’ve closed for the evening to re-stock their shelves and admire their full wallet), plus (on a little more unfortunate note) a heap of cool shit from the restaurant I worked at as the owners decided to sell up and turn our two week holiday into somewhat of a permanent one. A story for another time right there.

So we’re here.

I’m sitting down having a beer and typing away, partly because it is one of those things I look forward to about a holiday partly because I think people standing up drinking and typing on a laptop just look plain silly, but soon it shall be time to cook the evening meal. And the boys, well the boys are happily catching up on the TV they don’t get to watch at home (please don’t hate me Jennee). Something easytastygood sounds like what I should make for dinner, just to ease me into this holiday thing all gentlemanly like.

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Steak. There’s plenty of steak. Steak it is – with sautéed broccoli and cauliflower (you could do a cauliflower-broccoli cheese here. That would make your life heaps simple to match your demeanor… and word skills… and performance under the sheets… I’ll stop now as this could go on forever) and blue cheese sauce. I use Nimbin Dairy Cows Blue* and their Goats Blue is a cracker too, but use whatever it is that you can get hold of.

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STEAK WITH SAUTEED BROCCOLI & CAULIFLOWER AND BLUE CHEESE CREAM (for 3)

3x 250g steaks that you like to eat. It was rump medallions for us
Seasoning
A few sprigs of thyme if you have some
2 bunches baby broccoli or broccolini, cut into 5cm pieces, any thick stalks halved through the middle
¼ cauliflower, cut into florets a bit bigger than your thumb
• Get your steaks out of the fridge for 15 minutes so they can come to room temp. Season and sprinkle with a little thyme
• Cook steaks exactly how you like to cook them, while this is happening get your sauce on and blanch your broccoli and cauliflower in boiling water for 1 minute
• While your steaks are resting (you know about resting steaks by now, yeah) get a pan on for the broccoli and cauliflower. Add a splash of oil and sauté veg until they are starting to get a little colour (a bit of sliced bacon could go in here right now and be very happy with how it’s life turned out). Season and get onto a plate or other suitable receptacle
• Serve with steak and heaps of sauce poured over

BLUE CHEESE CREAM

100-150g blue cheese, depending on how much you like it or how much was left over from your last day at work
400ml cream
1 clove garlic, chopped
A splash of white wine
Seasoning
• Combine cream, garlic and wine in a sauce pan and simmer over low heat for 5-6 minutes or until reduced by one third
• Add cheese off heat and stir to combine
• Check seasoning and adjust. It shouldn’t need too much salt because of the saltiness of the blue cheese

*I know the Nimbin Cheese folks do the Byron Bay and Bangalow Farmers Markets. Get some if you can

Steak with onion jam and washed rind cheese

Mmmm
Mmmm

Steak with onion jam and washed rind cheese

Are you at home eating your dinner on the couch and watching a movie?

No? Well I am… learn a little something from that.

Rib eye steak with onion jam and washed rind cheese is easy, yet a little bit classy, much like the up town girl who’s had one to many Dom Perignons’. It tastes damn fine (still baring similarity to the up town girl) and all it needs is a little salad on the side. No! don’t go putting duck fat kipfler potatoes or pommes boulangerie with this one. You will have an actual heart attack if you do that. A simple salad with some peppery notes, a little bit of sharpness and a load of cheffy wank. It is that easy! And don’t be afraid to use this recipe to jazz up your next steak sandwich – maybe with a bit of fennel ‘slaw (just for Pauly) and home made bbq sauce…

A nice piece of steak is a good start
A nice piece of steak is a good start
Mmmm
Mmmm
Mmmm
Mmmm

Steak gratinated with onion jam and washed rind cheese

  • Cook the steak in a very similar fashion to how you would normally cook a steak (make sure the steak is thick so as to avoid over cooking), except don’t cook one side as much as you’d like it cooked
  • Top the under-cooked side with onion jam (recipe here) and washed rind cheese, I used hashtag #bangalowcheesewashedrind but taleggio works excellently too, and then place under your pre-heated really hot griller (not gorilla… even I still need one of those) for one minute
  • Rest for 5 or so
  • Eat it on the couch with “Sleepless in Seattle” on the big screen and a box of Kleenex* near by

*registered trademark

Two Steak Sauces

TWO STEAK SAUCES. 1 FOR SCOTTY AND 1 FOR MARK

PEPPER SAUCE
“Green peppercorns, cream and gravy mix… that’s pepper sauce isn’t it?” is what I would probably say if I was head chef at the local RSL or servo tuckshop and someone had asked me how to make peppercorn sauce for steak. I would also be able to tell you six different recipes for cooking swamp rat and serve you fries seasoned with cigarette ash. Fortunately for my own state of mind (perfectly normal) and the reputation of my family, I am not such a man, so I shall answer the question thus…

“Mark”, I would say, “to make a pepper sauce first cook the steak to your liking in a pan. Remove your steak from said pan and rest it in a warm spot while you make the sauce. On a medium heat add peppercorns and onion to the pan that you cooked the steak in (this way you get all of the nice caramelised bits of steaky goodness from the pan. It’s all about the mad flavour!). Cook out for a minute and the deglaze with brandy and get all of the good bits off the bottom of the pan. Add beef stock and reduce until starting to thicken. Add cream and reduce to desired consistency. Season with sea salt and there you have it my good man. Pepper sauce!”

The actual ingredients list
1 heaped tablespoon green peppercorns in brine
1 heaped tablespoon whole black peppercorns (don’t do this with ground pepper because that’s just going to be shit), crushed in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder or with a rock in your backyard, still with a bit of texture to them
1 eshallot or ¼ red onion, brunoise
a good splash of brandy (or red wine if you drank all the brandy last night)
1 cup beef stock (if you’re not going to make your own get a good one from the supermarket. No, not a stock cube. Beef stock!)
1 cup cream

CHIMMICHURRI SAUCE
This one is for my good friend Scotty. I will go on record as saying Scotty is the nicest guy I know… even though, on our last encounter, he stated to me that he does not like to have any condiment whatsoever with his steak. So I made some chimmichurri sauce anyhow because I love it and the garden was rife with oregano. Which is basically the garden insisting that I make chimmichurri.

Scotty tried it and of course he loves it because it just tastes so damn good! And now he can make it for himself to eat when he is hiding in his room far, far away from the world he told he doesn’t do condiments with steak!

pounding the chimmichurri in Scotty’s “I used to be a pharmicist and I’ve still got the cutest little mortar and pestle” mortar and pestle
the backdrop for our lunch…

If you click on the link below it will take you to the recipe for chimmichurri…

https://foodisthebestshitever.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/and-now-a-werd…or-fresh-herbs/

Camp food (cooking with wood) part 2

BREAKFAST

Wake up to the pretty birdies, get that fire burning again cos we need some coffee and a big breakfast. We always have a big breakfast when we’re camping because there’s much relaxing to do and you certainly wouldn’t want to be trying that out on an empty stomach.

Baked beans, a bit of leftover lamb from last night, baked eggs, mushrooms, toast and coffee. Now I’m ready. Where’s that book I was reading?

A couple of things I think you should definitely take camping.
1. Coffee and stovetop percolator of some description. I don’t care if the rest of your larder is made up of a pack of Woolworth’s sausages, two tins of baked beans, a carton of XXXX gold and a pack of Winnie blues. Get some effing proper coffee damn you. Or tea if you don’t do coffee but don’t try and convince me you don’t do hot drinks.

2. For fucks sake lets get a little more excited than a pack of Woolworth’s sausages and a tin of baked beans (yeah, I know what I said in point 1. but I have to give you something to talk about at your monthly mothers club meetings). If you like boring missionary position type 50s housewife food then maybe this is not for you. You should take time out from the shitass boring daily routine that is your life and watch something like “alive and cooking” or “Huey’s cooking adventures”. Or you could record them both all week and watch them all on Friday night just so you have something going on that is slightly better then melted cheese singles slices on toast and a session on your spirograph. And stop stealing the recipe section from the Women’s Weekly and New Idea magazines at the doctors surgery. Fuck.

3. Cook whatever makes you happy. It’s your camping trip after all. Awww… I’m all soft and snuggley.

A good point about the camp kitchen.
Clean up? What clean up? Everything is wiped onto the ground or chucked into the bush behind you. And then you leave your plates out for the bush critters to clean! Awesome.

OUR DINNER

A big rump steak for all to share (as long as it’s only 2-3 meekish individuals and my boys and I)
1.2-1.5kg rump steak in one big fat piece
a handful of chopped herbs… thyme, rosemary, parsley
3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper
use all of the above ingredients to marinate your steak for half an hour or so, and then grill that puppy until you’re happy with the done-ness. Make sure you rest it for 10-15 minutes. It’s a large piece of meat kiddo.

Fried onion
Fry the onion. Sound simple? It should be simple, unless of course you are the one that is simple. Fry sliced onion on a med-high heat, with a splash of oil, until it’s golden brown. Season and voila. Bob is having sexual liaisons with your aunty., it started off as a bit of fun, but then it got serious and they fell in love and got married. Bob’s your uncle*.

Charred corn and avocado salsa
How do you make charred corn? First you get up and go and find your brain in the laundry sink after last night’s mini Oktoberfest celebration you had by yourself. Got it? So you know how to char corn now, yes? Now put that with some chopped avocado (cut it off the cob first or you’re going to end up looking like quite the silly duffer), parsley, basil or coriander. Or all three. Or just two of the above. Olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning will finish it off nicely

Sweet potato and carrot salad
The sweet potato and carrot were whole roasted in the coals, in the foil they greet you in now. Seasoned and dressed with soy mayonnaise. What could go wrong? Yeah, heaps I know. Give it a go anyway.

And coming soon… What to drink when you go camping. Besides water and/or the ocean if you don’t swim very well.

 

 

 

*Bob’s your uncle. This may indeed fly straight over the head of the non-Australian audience out there… and shy of actually getting in a plane and coming to your house to host a seminar on Australian slang (which you will probably not understand anyway and end up hating me for making you feel so dumb), there’s not much I can actually do about it.