Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Now that's a Steak

It seems like we never went away - work and home maintenance are taking up all my time so Sue is taking over for this post.

BUT, just before she does take over, We've started coming back to Chardonnays. We bought two from two different regions of Australia. One was from Margaret River in Western Australia, the other was closer to home from Brown Brothers in northern Victoria. Sue has been a Sauvignon Blanc fan in the past but we tried a few French Chardies on our visit this year and it opened our eyes again to this varietal.

The Evans Tate Chardonnay comes from Western Australia where the Brown Brothers example is from  less than 200kms from home. I enjoyed both and the variation was noticeable but the WA was unwooded where the Brown Brothers example didn't state wooded or otherwise. Both had a full bodied palate that as a red drinker, satisfied me.
I have to say that I thought about this post after we received an email from a friend in France asking what was happening with the blog.
The answer of course, was not much.
Then another blog by a friend of ours, also in France showed us the yummy looking steak they had for his birthday dinner.
We have had very little success buying steak in France. Both in restaurants and buying to cook at our French houses. With one or two restaurant exceptions,  in six trips the meat we end up with is usually tough and/or not overly flavourful. Much of this, I am sure is due to my inadequacy with the language....but....on our last trip I found a nice, semi English speaking butcher and explained exactly what I was after. I ended up with a piece of skirt steak that was tough and yeh, yeh, yeh. Thats it!
For those not aware, meat in France is not cut the same as meat in Australia. Also, the meat is usually cut to order.
So I can't ask for a porterhouse or point to something I recognise in the showcase. I do have a wonderful book showing all the french cuts, but it weighs about 7 tonnes (minor and slight exaggeration) and is a little heavy to travel with!
As an aside, I must say that the poultry is sublime in variety and quality and I wish I could as easily buy the same here.
Anyhow, seeing the delicious steak of our friend and reading some of his following comments prompted this.
I thought I would show you an Australian steak.

First I made a butter to go on the top. Garlic, parsley and chlli. Leon did the mixing!

This is a rib eye steak. It is grass fed, which is my preference. Although I am sure Leon would eat it by himself I don't want him to fall into a food coma, so we do it the Italian way and put it on a wooden platter to share. It weighed about 600grams.

I used some of the same compound butter with the mushroom. Only one, I'm not a big fan but Leon is. Little roast chat potatoes are more my style.
Cooked it a bit more than usual. Can be hard to judge. (That's my excuse)

Salad of capsicum, feta cheese, oakleaf lettuce, red onion and toasted walnuts. With a walnut oil dressing.

Yup, guess who got the bone!
So, that's an Australian take on steak for a casual at home dinner. The rib eye cost about $22kg at a local butcher. It can vary wildly in price. Next time we're in France I'm taking a couple of  friends shopping with me. Gentlemen be warned....you know who you are.


  1. LOL! I think that cut may be called côte de bœuf in France, but I'm not sure. The cut Ken used for the birthday steak is called rumsteak, a very nice, tender cut for eating rare. The mushroom with the butter mix looks delicious! And I've not heard of "chat" potatoes, but I know what they are by looking. How does the Aussie Chardonnay compare with what you had here?

    1. Walt, the un wooded one was very much like the french ones I'm familiar with. The other I didn't much like. It was "oily" in mouth feel and oaky. Yuk.

  2. Some of the best steak we have had in our part of France is from the expensive butcher in Thésée. His boneless entrecôte is probably very similar to your rib-eye. I don't remember how much it cost when we used to buy it — need to go back to see him. Maybe about 25 € / kg.

  3. I found this definition in the Free Dictionary by Farlex:

    Chat potatoes : small potatoes, such as are given to swine.

    Ha ha ha.

    1. Now Ken, Leon is taking this to heart! Haha

  4. The Evans Tate Chardonnay comes from Western Australia and was unwooded. Cool :)

    I think 50% of the enjoyment of Chardies (my absolutely favourite wine) is from the visual pleasure and the other 50% is from the taste. Your top photo is visually delicious!

  5. Have to agree.......never eaten a decent piece of steak in France.
    Anyway, apart from disappointing meals, enjoyed reading about your recent adventures thank you for sharing.
    Wishing you all the best with your plans for 2015.
    Granny G (UK)

    1. Granny G - welcome to our Blog and thanks for your comment. Hope we will hear more in 2015.


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