playing with fire

summary: cooking organic steak on charcoal in a gas barbecue (click on images to see photo essay) and served on a stock reduction and garnished with fresh herbs; salad with goat’s cheese; orange fennel salad; asparagus; dining al fresco

steak Steak… mmmm… steak… grilled over charcoal…

We had this fabulous dinner in early July. I have been meaning and meaning to post about it. I hope you’ll agree that it was worth the wait!

We don’t actually have a charcoal grill anymore. But on the rare occasions that we would like to use charcoal, we don’t let that stop us. What we do have is a gas barbecue and an aluminum chimney for starting coals.

playing with fire I love the chimney! It means that charcoal can be lit without the aid of that revolting starter fluid (or worse, those little starter discs) And we use charcoal rather than briquettes. They smell better and burn longer.

Oh, by the way, don’t even imagine that I would do this if I had to light the charcoal and transfer it to the gas barbecue…. But lucky me, I live with a pyromaniac.

steak The dinner really was fantastic. We got an organic steak from a little shop called “Butcher by Nature” not far from here. The steak was fantastic! It was beautifully tender and tasted just like steak used to taste. Like the best Alberta beef.

(click on images for larger views and more photos of playing with fire)

What a feast it was!! We started with spinach salad in a warm vinaigrette made with raspberry vinegar then topped with Danish blue cheese and bacon bits (from actual pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped, not those silly fake uniformly shaped tastefree things that are sold on the supermarket shelves…). There were a few slices of Italian bread from the previous day to sop up any extra dressing.

Then T got the charcoal going and grilled the steak. As the steak was resting, he then barbecue-wokked asparagus. (We were going to add the three lone scapes from our garden but I’m afraid I cut them too late so they were WAY too tough) T cut the steak in half and drizzled reduced chicken stock overtop. Oven roasted potatoes were placed beside and the asparagus artfully draped in the middle of the plate. We garnished with thyme, tarragon, bush basil and nasturtium.

And just in case that wasn’t enough, we each had side plates of orange, fennel, red onion salad. And to wash it all down? A bottle of 1990 St.Julien Chateau La Grange – still lots of fruit on the nose and amazingly still somewhat tannic. Not at all a sipping wine but it was fantastic with food!

And so we sat and dined in the garden under the canopy of the locust tree, listening to the music of the spheres.

Even though it was more than a month ago, and there have been many feasts since then, I am still savouring that wonderful dinner!

click on image for larger view

(click on any image see photo essay of playing with fire)

Hey!! No cake??! That’s right. They had cake but we had fruit… fruit pie that is: strawberry pie made with half fresh strawberries and half cooked strawberries. With whipped cream.


This entry was posted in food & drink, main course on by . playing with fire

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2 responses to “playing with fire

  1. bing

    (I thought I posted this already yesterday … )

    What a feast! I usually think that steak smells a thousand times better than it tastes; sounds like yours tasted as good.

    Doesn’t the last picture in the garden look like halloween, with the pumpkiny-looking fire on the table, and the head-thingl on the fence?

  2. ejm Post author

    The steak actually tasted even better than it smelled. It was really beyond our wildest dreams, it was so good.

    I guess because I’m used to the mask on the fence, it still looks like summer to me. But I can see what you mean. (I somehow doubt that the garden will be quite as lush looking at the end of October. I’ll try to remember to take a photo then to compare.)


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