Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Best Meal in The World? Steak and chips.

Remember the BSE scare? I do. My mum banned beef from the household for about 15 years. In fact I had my first steak when I was about 25. I had it at Harvey Nicks in Leeds and I quickly realised that I had missed out steak wise over the years. Since then I’ve enjoyed many steaks. I’ve enjoyed it raw and thinly sliced in Harry’s bar, Venice, where I had the infamous carpaccio. I’ve also enjoyed it raw and minced for steak tartar in Paris. White Peak Fillet Steak at Losehill House Hotel, Hope was damn fine and even standard supermarket stuff char-grilled at home has been pretty good.

I have enjoyed each one served before me…. Well, almost. I’ve had the odd badly cooked steak in restaurants and this infuriates me. There is no excuse for a badly cooked steak, especially when I have it rare (or rather I prefer it medium rare, but ask for it rare on the basis that it CAN’T then come back well done). Worst still is the chewy steak, totally empty of flavour, regardless as to how it’s cooked.

So after much trial and error I have discovered that my favourite has to be the rib-eye steak. I have long since given up with the temperamental fillet and I disagree than the Sirloin deserved to be knighted. I have learnt that I can depend on the rib-eye steak for flavour and, believe it or not, I have even been known to have a good rib-eye steak in my local Wetherspoons! As for whether the restaurant can cook it properly, there isn’t much I can do about this, apart from continuing to send it back until it comes out right.

With such a love for steak a real treat for me at home is the good old rib-eye, char-grilled and served with chips, rocket and tomatoes. Mmmmmm! On a recent trip to Castle Market I couldn’t resist the rib-eye from my favourite butchers, W Bunting & Son. They have a few great big chunks of steak on display and simply slice them off according to your requirements. I think my two steaks, which were pretty big, were about £6-£7. 

About an hour before cooking I took them out of the fridge, to get to room temperature. I kind of marinated them in olive oil and a decent sprinkling of pepper.   

Then, when the chips were nearly done, and the salad was prepared and sat on the plates, I heated up the frying pan (I decided to fry rather than char-grill this time) until it was very hot, added a little olive oil and then cooked the steaks for two minutes each side. This time I also added a cleaned field mushroom to pan.

Super quick, super easy and super tasty!

So what’s your favourite meal?  Do you appreciate a good steak?  Rare and bloody?

Oh and don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the Mexican… I’ll do it next week.  I Promise!


  1. Have you been stealing my thoughts? And memories? My dad banned beef for many, many years, too. I once ruined my mum's birthday by insisting on having the lasagne, and stating that I would pay for it. We left the restaurant without ordering, and I think I went out drinking.

    A victory was ultimately won though, for freedom to choose. And beef.

  2. I think there were too many beef-less childhoods in Britain! At least we can now scoff away without upsetting the parents!