Pretty Perfect Steak Dinner

I know, I know. More meat. But it's bloody good meat. Possibly the most perfect steak dinner I've ever had the pleasure of assembling. I mean, everyone loves steak, right? Even vegetarians, otherwise this wouldn't exist. Just admit it, you're dribbling already. Stop drowning your keyboard and come with me on a magical journey.

It all started with a trip to the ever reliable New Eltham Butchers, where they cut me two of the fattest, most perfectly marbled rib-eye steaks that I've ever seen. They really were beautiful to look at and also reasonably priced at just over £4 per fat boy- definitely worth it. Whilst there I also picked up 2 lamb kidneys, as I had designs on creating a kidney gravy to match my meat. I also happened to walk out with a bag of chicken carcasses, but that's another story.

So, back at home my secret laboratory of edible dreams, I decided to prepare my accompaniment of roasted peppers. This is a beautifully simple dish. Just chop up some peppers of your choosing- I went with one each of red, yellow and green for variety and aesthetic pleasure. Pop your peppers in an oven proof dish, add a peeled garlic clove or two and a handful of fresh basil, coat with oil, season with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of herbs de Provence. Stick it into a preheated oven- about gas mark 6/7- and leave it alone for around 35 minutes.

At this time your steaks should be sitting patiently at room temperature. Do not try and cook them straight from the fridge. You don't want chilled meat, it won't be ready to be flung into a hot pan and will probably respond in a rather unpalatable way. No one likes leaving the house still wet from the shower. Make sure you've chopped your chips ready too, so your beef has some company before reaching it's ultimate purpose.

OK, so the only recipe here which really needs a break down is probably my Kickin' Kidney Gravy*. It was a much greater success than I ever expected. The man of the house did comment repeatedly on just how delicious it was, which I believed due to the supporting evidence of his frequent returns to the jar. It was more like a pie filling than a gravy really. You know what else everyone loves, other than steak? Pie. True story.

Kickin' Kidney Gravy

1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
some bacon, diced (I had a lump of the cooking stuff left over and just chopped that up)
2 lamb kidneys, cleaned and diced
beef stock
fresh thyme, picked
salt & pepper

  1. Halve and prepare your kidneys, if you haven't done this before, it's not as scary as you think. Get yourself some good kitchen scissors and watch this video. You can do it. I believe in you.
  2. In a little oil on a medium heat, fry off your onion, garlic and bacon, until softened and browning, respectively.
  3. Add your kidney chunks and fry hot and fast.
  4. Next add your stock- I went for a Knorr Rich Beef Stock Pot and topped it up with some water. Season to taste and add thyme.
  5. Leave it alone to simmer and thicken for a while. It will smell bloody lovely. You will get enquiries as to the delights coming from your hob top secret planning room.
While all this was going on you were heating up some oil in a large saucepan so you can deep fry your chips, right? You weren't? Do I have to remind you to do everything? How did you think you were going to make proper chips? In the oven? Are they already in the oven? No? Then there's no time! Get your oil hot. Now. Is it hot enough? Good. Throw in your chips. Underhand and gently, we don't want any boiling oil based accidents. If you like to fry them twice, take them out once slightly browned, drain them and rest them for a little while before going for round two. If once fried is good enough for you, then pop your steaks on just before your chips start to properly colour.

I should probably also tell you to get a griddle pan on the hob over a high heat now, you want that thing hot and ready to receive the most important guests it'll ever have.

Before the final ceremony, you have to prepare your offering. It's time to show your steaks some love. Season them with salt and pepper, give them a dribble with oil and then massage these brave soldiers, until they're all shiny and speckled and glistening with joy.

Don't bother to grease your griddle pan, your meat should be lubricated enough. Make sure your pan is hot and then lay in your gift to the gods. Cook to taste. I like mine fairly rare, but not everyone is as awesome as I am, so this process can take anything from 2 to 8 minutes. Any longer and you're definitely ruining it and may as well not bother.

You're not going to believe this, but that's all the effort you have to make for the best meal of your life. If you were on death row, you'd choose this as your final meal. Plate it up, kid, you're done.

Here, have some stomach rumblers:

* Disclaimer: Eating Kent does not condone kicking kidneys. Ever. All kidneys deserve respect, even when already removed from a body. Side effects of kidney kicking can include, but is not limited to, offal on your shoes, back pain, food lacking deliciousness and wet pants.


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