Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Experimental Cookery Tuesday #1: Butterflied Steak Sarnie

A few weeks ago, on a whim, I purchased Jamie's latest book, "Jamie's Ministry of Food", the companion piece to his latest TV venture.

Now, as we all know, the rule with cookery books is that you're supposed to flick through them, rule out all the things you just know you won't like, all the things that look like being too much hassle, and anything with a vowel in the name, until you're left with a handful of things that you probably cook anyway. Whereupon you put the book on a shelf, never to be referenced again. (It's a well-known fact that cookery books don't work. I know people who have dozens of them, and their cooking isn't any better...)

Based on this, and with a reputation as a maverick to uphold (in case I ever want to run for President), I decided that I would buck the trend, and would instead try my hand at every single one of Jamie's recipes, one per week, until I hit something that I just couldn't do, got food poisoning, or got bored.

And, as an added bonus, you get to read about it. Don't blame me; Captain Ric was complaining at the weekend that I hadn't blogged in too long, and so I have had to adopt the first subject to spring to mind. Can't let him go get bored, now can we?

Anyway, the very first offering in the book is "Butterflied Steak Sarnie", made with fillet steaks coated in herbs (note to any crazy American readers: that's pronounced 'herbs'), and cooked on a high heat for a short period of time. Then served with ciabatta bread and a shifty mushroom. (Never trust a mushroom.)

So, how was it?

Well, the first answer to that question is: pricy. Good quality beef is expensive, and anything less than good quality beef isn't worth the money. Then there's all the various bits and pieces, which added up something fierce, and some of which were simply wasted, because I don't generally have a use for half a packet of rosemary.

The second answer to that is: fiddly. Although this took about fifteen minutes to prepare, which is far from unreasonable, it did involve sawing steaks in half, chopping rosemary 'finely', and a bunch of other steps. Frankly, about the time I was ready to actually cook the steak, I was getting sick of the whole process. Oh, and I burnt the ciabatta, but that's probably my fault rather than Jamie's.

But the third answer is: delicious. Oh yes, it was very nice indeed. The instructions he gave for cooking the beef, in particular, were absolutely spot on. That was a winner.

Would I have it again? Well, I kind of have to, since I now have half a ciabatta that needs eaten up. But the real answer is, "yes, but..." When I have it again, I think I'm going to ditch the fresh rosemary in favour of some from a jar, and ditch the cress altogether - it was just much more hassle than it was worth.

Otherwise, that was a bit of a winner.

Next week is "Spicy Moroccan Stewed Fish with Couscous". Not one I'm really looking forward to, since I hate fish, but rules are rules. Next time, though, I think I'll check that the book doesn't have three fish dishes in a row before I set up the rules. Silly Steph/ven!


Chris said...

Mushrooms are nice.

Don't give in to peer pressure.

Or indeed pier pressure, but that is a whole other story.

Captain Ric said...

I get bored at work if there's nothing bloggy to read. What else am I supposed to do?

I use my cookery books. Although now I just know stuff.

The "various bits and pieces", I find, gives you a starting-point for what your next recipe should be. So rather than going through them in order, I'd now look for a recipe that's gonna use half a packet of rosemary and go with that.

For example, I cook 3 curries fairly close together because one uses coconut milk, one uses coconut cream and the other uses dessicated coconut. Hence there is no coconutty wastage.

Chris said...

Don't forget the freezer!

Useful in ameliorating boredom in your cooking by spacing out your coconut!

Captain Ric said...

Depends whether you mean freezing the food that is the proceeds of the coconut or the coconut remnants themselves.

Chris said...

Can you freeze coconut remnants?

I'm not sure that is a good idea?

Maybe that is how they invented Bounty?!

Steph/ven said...

You can freeze most things. Sometimes, the results are less than ideal, though...

Like that time our parent (I won't say which one) filled up the freezer with about sixty diced onions, which proceeded to turn everything onion-y. Of course, we weren't allowed to throw any of it away, so for the next month we were eating chocolate and onion ice cream. Good times!