2 bio-dynamic T-bone steaks, grown on Avonmore Estate
Aussie Rules Grand Final Lunch
T-bone steak, Italian-style with wilted spinach (Neil Perry's Good Food)
Baked new potatoes on a bed of salt (Bill Granger's Holiday)
Asparagus steamed in a paper bag (Tyler Florence's Tyler's Ultimate)
Yes, I know the Grand Final is on. And yes, I know my team's in the final. (GO THE HAWKS!) But I'm too nervous to watch, so here I am blogging, and getting updates on the game from hearing my dad yell at the TV.
There's nothing like the footy to put you in the mood for barbecue. So this morning, I had a leisurely stroll to my local grocers, and picked up 4 massive T-bone steaks, 2 big bags of spinach, and an incredibly gorgeous bunch of sage.
When I got to the butcher, I couldn't see any T-bone in the cabinets, but the friendly butcher got some for me from out the back. He brought out a freakin enormous side of beef, started trimming off the fat, and cut up 4 thick slices for me. He then used one of those big electric saw things that butchers have to slice through the bones and finish the job. Wow. I love watching butchers work. (Maybe that's why I like Dexter so much).
The total weight of 4 steaks was 2.4 kilos, and came to $70!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahem. I guess it really does cost a lot to produce biodynamic beef, and to have a skilled and trained butcher cut it up for you. Neil Perry's recipe suggests one T-bone per person, with a small side of wilted spinach. I, however, realised there was no way we'd each eat a whole 600g steak each, so I carefully double wrapped 2 of them and stashed them in the freezer.
This picture shows you 2 of my favourite things - my labelmaker and gratuitous umlauts.
The other accompaniments - potatoes and asparagus, were the result of some fruitful rummaging through the fridge and pantry.
Bill Granger suggests serving these potatoes with a massive La-Plancha style rib-eye, so I knew they'd go great with my T-bones. You put the potatoes, oil-less, on a bed of sea salt, and roast at 200C for an hour, turning once during cooking.
I found 2 bunches of asparagus in my fridge crisper drawer, and vaguely recalled a beautiful picture of asparagus in my Tyler Florence book. Upon reading the book, I realised that Tyler cooks his asparagus in a brown paper bag. I happened to have a brown paper bag, (it had previously held free cookies from my local bakery), so gave it a go. Apparently, steaming the asparagus means you keep all the nutrients, rather than having them leach into the cooking water. So, you pack up all the ingredients in the bag: asparagus, lemon slices, salt, pepper, a bay leaf and a drizzle of olive oil.
Then you wrap it up tightly, drizzle the bag with olive oil to prevent it from burning, and bake it for 20 minutes at 180C. Easy!
While all that was going on, I prepared the steak. Perry suggests a mixture of sage (above), rosemary and oregano to press onto the meat. I have both rosemary and oregano growing in my garden, so that saved me a bit of money.
My little herb collection. As you can see, my oregano (at the front) and my thyme (on the right), are going great guns, but my coriander and parsley have seen better days.
And I have a massively wild bush of rosemary growing in the garden. I think Mum planted a little seedling of it a few years ago. Look at it now!
Then it was time to light up the barbecue and slap on the steaks...
In a stroke of fantastic timing, the whole lunch was ready just as Hawthorn ran onto the field...
Two big steaks were a great amount for four of us. I'm glad I didn't cook all four!
The spinach just needs a quick toss in a pan with some garlic and oil. Super easy!
Paper-bag steaming was a great method of cooking the asparagus; it was so vibrant and green.
I adored these potatoes! Blistered skin on the outside, super, super fluffy on the inside.
Great lunch. Ok, gotta watch the match. 3 minutes to go. GO THE MIGHTY HAWKS!!!!!!!!