Seared steak salad

The Other Half treated himself to some steak whilst the small person and I were away. Luckily he bought quite a large piece of rump (oh-er missus!!) and saved some for us.

I spent quite a bit of time today deciding what kind of salad dressing to use and whether I should do something like a blue cheese sauce. In the end I decided it was bloody nice steak so I’d use the meat juices to form the basis of a dressing and I’d do glazed mushrooms instead of a sauce for the steak.

First of all I parboiled some new potatoes and then added some wholegrain mustard and butter to roast them off in the oven. Salad was very simple, a mixed leaf packet plus radish, cucumber, tomato and yellow pepper. I started the mushrooms off in butter in a frying pan and then added a healthy dollop of red wine and stirred occasionally until they were glossy and coated, finally adding a drop of tawny port (the Other Half doesn’t like this so I shall leave it out next time – if I hadn’t already picked the wine I would have glazed them with balsamic vinegar instead). Once everything was nearly ready, I used the frying pan I’d done the mushrooms in to cook the steak with some butter. Just over 3 minutes per side and 3 to rest.

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Whilst resting, I added some olive oil to the pan and a dash of red wine vinegar to make a salad dressing / sauce. It’s on my cheese salad for lunch tomorrow so I’ll see if it still works!

For wine, I was tempted by something called Garagiste (been saving it for ages) but someone much better at wine matching than me suggested a Primitivo. One of the many good things about the Naked Wines website is the sense of community and access to lots of knowledgeable amateurs, the Primitivo worked really well and as another plus, I’ve persuaded the Other Half to buy more steak next week to go with sauce and chips (plus that Garagiste!!)

Cars not cooking

This weekend was the annual Prescott meeting for the Vintage Sports-Car Club. Explaining the draw of this meeting is easy enough but people rarely understand just how good it is until they have experienced it, especially the combination of the motorsport side with the social side in the campsite opposite.

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First of all a confession of sorts, I did not cook for 3 days and we were so tired last night that we only managed cheesy chips. Prescott campsite is land of the BBQ and, partly as I’d been working as a volunteer marshal all day, I left my mother and the Other Half to deal with that hence no cooking.

So why is VSCC Prescott such a draw? To start with there is a huge range of cars entered, from a lowly Austin 7 (we have one of those) through Bentley, Vauxhall, Riley and others until you get more exotic cars like Mark Walker’s Darraq and the fast things like the Topliss owned ERA, driven at the weekend by a very satisfied James Baxter, his final run having been the first ever pre-war car to break the 40 second barrier. Conditions must have been good as at least 4 class records tumbled as well as that outright record. Then there is the garden party feel to the spectator side of it, the pre war car park would make a lot of proper car shows jealous but these are just people out to have a picnic and watch the action. Yes there are some hooray Henry types but most people are down to earth and lovely, even more so in the active parts of the Club.

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The real draw of Prescott, for some people at least, is the social side in the campsite opposite. Three fields get turned over to the Club each year so families, friends and sometimes even strangers who have become new friends, can get together for food and drink. The BBQ is pretty much mandatory, as is the consumption of plenty of alcohol. On Saturday night, I introduced 2 friends and their 2 friends to another friend and next thing you know everyone is in one big group, sharing wine, BBQ food, crisps, pasta salad and God knows what else. The five children that we had between four couples were running round like old friends within about 30 seconds. This is a story repeated time and time again. Every VSCC person I know has a Prescott story, this is a place of beauty where memories are made and lifelong friendships are forged. I’m already counting down to next year.

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The first post

Well sort of. The first recipe post, kinda.
Crap photo of paella taken on the Hudl, must try to do better.

I recently tried making paella, the brother-in-law is popular for his in the extended family. Mind you, he’s popular for most things, we don’t call him Golden Gonads for nothing! Anyways, it was nice so I used some vouchers to get myself a paella pan (too small) and have a go. Chicken, chorizo and cockles (the small person’s choice) which turned out better than expected, except I’m not a huge fish fan.

So we had another go last week with just chicken and chorizo. It was edible and Adam seemed to like it so no doubt we’ll make it again, but not within a couple of days of the last time, which has left me with half a ring of chorizo and some pancetta. Today’s task was to find a recipe to bastardize as I’d already had the idea of doing something with chicken and tomatoes. I was thinking about rice but I have some gnocchi in the cupboard from my last Aldi trip, so that will probably end up being the accompliment.

I found a recipe on Waitrose, I’ll leave out the rosemary and use one pan (the chicken can get browned off when the onion and chorizo are still in there) and see how it turns out. The original recipe is here.

Amendments to recipe: I fried one onion in oil and butter, added a few cloves of garlic. Added chorizo and pancetta then a teaspoon each of flour and paprika before a good splash of wine and tinned tomatoes instead of fresh. After 15 minutes in the oven, stirred in parsley and served with oven chips.

I also have my quarterly(ish) free samples from Naked Wines to try and not sure which of the three to pair with this. I suspect it might be the Tuscan red but that’s a decision for several hours time.