Saturday, April 28, 2012
A Big Mis-Steak??
Like so many of my generation growing up in Ireland in the 70’s, meat and two veg (one of which was potatoes) was all you got…ever. And, like so many of my generation growing up in Ireland in the 70’s it was, erm, “well cooked”. In fact, Red Meat such as roast beef, lamb, pork was rarely, if ever, red. It looked more greyish brown due to the fact it was put in the oven on Sunday before 10 o’clock mass and taken out between 1 and 2 for dinner – whatever the size of the joint….
Now don’t get me wrong – my mother is an excellent cook. She loved to try new things picked out of magazines and books and I still make her sausage stuffing (like a sausage meatloaf) and her chicken curry casserole (none of my friends had ever had a curry that wasn’t a pot noodle).
But despite the fact that she was a good cook and that I knew what a frankfurter was, the Sunday Roast was always a trial for me. Slices of this roast beef with beef gravy and soggy beans. But what got me was that everyone else in the family (parents and four other siblings) loved it. It was just me. I couldn’t swallow it and the smell alone made me gag but I was made to finish it every week. Why was I so different?
Years later, I met my wife, Sinéad, and found out that she had the same issues. I had a soulmate and so I married her (what do you mean that’s not the basis for a sound marriage?). During our long late-night discussions, I realised that we both also wondered at these TV chefs who served up these cuts of beef that were RED and had JUICES to eager and shiny f-list celebs who tore into them like early man to a mammoth steak. Surely those were undercooked and therefore would kill you by being in the same room?
The point of this blog is that I have to face up to certain realities. I am a reasonable amateur cook with a passion for trying new techniques and styles of cooking. I love Asian, particularly Thai, food and have no trouble making a Thai red curry from scratch. I also have a particular affinity for Southern U.S. cooking and make a mean Fried Chicken and Biscuits. I do not; however, do roast Red Meats or Steaks (or most veg for that matter) well. Through this journey I am going to face my fears and (with A.B.’s help) will make and eat those foods that have caused me to pass out in terror. I have come to realise that my pallet needs to be re-educated and this starts now – with a big juicy Rib-Eye Steak.
I have been to the butcher – the hunk of cow is in the fridge and I will let you know tomorrow if I am an Alpha Male or a Wimp……