Simple but powerful. Just a large cut of steak, medium-rare, some roasted vegetables, some green stuff for decoration. An immaculately white plate to make it stand out and almost feel like it’s ready to jump out of the screen and right onto your fork, so you can put a chunk of warm, still slightly bloody, soft meat into your mouth, feel the fibers disintegrating between your teeth, the tasty juices spread around your tongue, and say: my life is now complete. Need I say anything more for meat lovers?
I will keep this post extremely simple, let the photos talk.
- a cut of steak, the finest you can get
- 1 eggplant
- 1 whole garlic
- a few rocket leaves
- freshly ground black pepper
Get the finest cut of steak you can get your hands on or you can or willing to afford. For best results, it starts from sirloin through rib eye, tenderloin and in best case a cut or rib eye or other part that was dry aged for 28 days or so. There is massive price difference but you get what you pay for. Take it out of the refrigerator well before frying and let it warm up to room temperature. It is important that the meat is not cold inside so the inner part will also cook faster. Grind plenty of black pepper on both sides with a grinder and rub it into the fibers by hand.
Take a whole eggplant, wash it, cut it in half, then cut the two halves into smaller slices, about 2-3 cm (~1 inch) wide. Sprinkle all sides with salt and put them aside for half hour. The salt will trigger osmosis and help to draw out the eggplant’s potentially bitter juices faster. Soon you will notice that small droplets appear on the surface of the slices as is they started to “sweat”.
Meanwhile, wash the garlic, dry it, and cut off its top 1/4 – 1/3 or so with a very sharp knife, making sure the cloves remain in place and it retains its garlic shape. Optionally you can salt the exposed top. Wrap the whole thing into baking foil.
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Lubricate both side of the eggplant slices with plenty of olive oil and put them into the oven on a grill (making sure you put a large baking pan or a piece of double-folded baking paper underneath it). Place the baking foil-coated garlic next to them. Bake until the eggplant is a nice golden colour. It will take approximately 20 minutes.
When the baking is almost over, heat up a large pan on high heat. Lubricate it with oil and toss in the steak. Still on intense heat, fry each side for one minute, including the thin sides. Use tongs to hold the meat on its side. Your goal is to sear all sides over intense heat so that the juices are trapped inside. After all sides look the same continue to turn the steak from 30 seconds to one minute intervals until you feel it is done to your liking.
It looks great served on a large, white pate with the roasted eggplant and garlic organised decoratively with some rocket leaves as a decoration. It also tastes amazing. All of it.
Those hating winter will not like me now, but here is another great one for the cold season. This time I would like to introduce a promising ambient black metal band, Arx Atrata from Nottingham, UK. This song is from their first and so far only album, Oblivion (2013). What else could be the title of its starting song, than “Winter”?