Sunday, September 18, 2005

Steak au Poivre

Today I woke up at midday to find my parents out, but my brother home. I offered to cook for both of us, only to be told, “No thanks, I’m having leftovers today”. Hrmph. “Well, hermano,” I thought, “you can have your dodgy old microwaved noodles, I’m going deluxe.”

126. Steak au Poivre

I haven’t done heaps of recipes from One & Two (a.k.a. the masturbation chapter – read the introduction). This is mainly due to the fact that most of the recipes in there are surprisingly long and involved – which I know is the point; in the introduction Nigella writes about how you shouldn’t reserve special food only for company. However, when I’m eating alone, I usually haven’t had the time or inclination to plan for a complicated meal, and haven’t, for instance, marinated some quails, de-bearded a bunch of clams or soaked some beans. Thus I’ve sort of let this chapter fall by the wayside. I think perhaps I should start planning and doing advance preparation for special meals-for-one.

But today, I had the wherewithal for a lovely recipe from this chapter – I had one well-wrapped biodynamic and organic scotch fillet steak in the freezer (a remnant from my so-called Low Fat August), and decided to treat myself to something fancy.

This steak is like the piscine au poivre , but pointedly not low fat. I figure it's ok though, as it's low carb. And unlike chicken breasts, the steak didn't take long to defrost at all. You brush the steak on both sides with olive oil, and then press crushed black pepper (crushed in a mortar and pestle) on the sides, before frying in oil and a bit of butter.

Steak in pan

Once the steak's cooked, you deglaze the pan with brandy. As is suggested in the recipe, I substituted marsala for the alcohol. The only brandy we had at home was my dad's XO, and I wanted to go deluxe, not Posh&Becks style wasteful extravagance. Then you add salt, and a bit of cream. Nigella says the cream isn't strictly necessary, but we had a half-full tub sitting in the fridge, so why not?

I served it with some stirfried shredded cabbage (cooked whilst the steak was frying).

This is one "dee-licious" way to cook a steak. The crust had a sweet and smoky taste to it, thanks to the marsala, which I loved, and the crunchy crust was a fantastic contrast for the meat within.

Steak au poivre...

Halfway through...

Empty plate...

It was quite greasy however, and immediately after I needed to eat an orange to cut through all the butter. (That's why they give you orange slices in Chinese restaurants).

By the way, this is exactly the kind of dish my brother would love. I made a point of showing it to my brother before I wolfed it down, secretly thinking, "Enjoy your noodles, sucker." Obviously, I didn't share any. Muahaha.

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