Saturday, 2 February 2008

Really big steak

Yesterday afternoon I received an email from my husband telling me that he bought steak and a bottle of bubbles for our Friday night supper. Since he has spent quite a bit of time bonding with our butcher, I know that whatever he comes home with is going to be absolutely delicious. I just wasn't expecting the steak to be quite so large. Reminiscent of the Flintstone's brontosaurus rib, our rib steak (for 2 people, mind) clocked in at 2kgs of magnificent, dark-red, dry-hung beef.

If it was a little warmer, we'd have barbecued it. A piece of meat like that cries out for a nice, slow charcoal fire, with the lid on to catch the smokey goodness. But it is February and snow has been forecast (optimistically, I must say) so we decided to roast it - much too thick to fry or grill. In the past I have had reasonable success with Patricia Wells' method of cooking a thick steak on a bed of salt, but we don't have a big bag of rocksalt in the house at the moment, so it just went into a 220C oven, sprinkled with salt, pepper and a couple of crushed juniper berries for 35 minutes. It came out rare, tender and juicy, with a lovely belt of crisp brown fat. Carved into thick pieces and served with a pile of roast mediterranean veg it was quite perfect. And there is enough left over for about 4 doorstop sandwiches - especially if I can find that piece of horseradish that I tucked into the freezer!

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