Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's all in the Meat!

For mother's day I cooked dinner for the was my gift for my mom. The menu consisted of a green salad with a honey ginger soy dressing, tenderloin steaks with pepper sauce and a side of garlic sauteed asparagus, and for dessert, a honey and yogurt fruit and nut salad. A well balanced healthy and nutritious meal!

My dad decided to purchase high quality tenderloin steaks from our favourite place, Fogal. The name of this place is an acronym for Fed on Grain and Love which tells you just a little bit about where this meat comes from. The cattle are shipped in from Australia live, fed on grains for a few months and are then sent off to a slaughterhouse. This way they are able to monitor the quality and freshness of the meat from start to finish.

I have tried cooking steak many times in the past with regular supermarket cuts and each and every time I failed and I just figured that maybe I was one of those people who couldn't cook steak. They were always tough and rubbery or too meaty tasting...I tried different levels of doneness...I tried marinades, rubs, tenderiser... you name it...I tried it! Fail Fail and FAIL! Steaks were the one thing that had me questioning my own ability to cook...until I met my lovely cut of meat from Fogal.

With this cut all I did was heat a pan till it was smoking hot and then tossed it in. When cooking steak you don't want to move it around too basically put it on let it sear and cook on one side and when you see the juices start to rise up flip it over and let it cook till your desired doneness...that's it! Simple huh? And afterwards all you need to do is sprinkle on a bit of salt and a dash of pepper and you have a wonderful steak.

If you have a good cut that is! And with Fogal I've finally managed to get it right each and everytime...the steaks are tender and juicy and so flavourful...and that is where I learnt that cooking a great steak doesn't have as much to do with your ability as it has to do with the cut of meat.

So next time you want to have a delicious steak dinner at home...splurge a little and get the best cut you can. Trust me you won't regret it!


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I swear that looks like it has a sauce on it it's so luscious looking!

Phoebe said...

it looks so nice! I'm spoiled here when it comes to steak =p but good ones are usually quite pricey.

could i get the recipe of the dessert u mentioned? it sounds really good (and more importantly, healthy =p)!!

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

That does sound like a balanced meal. You even had a healthy dessert! It must have been a relief to find your steak problems weren't a lack of talent. Looks good.

Anita said...

The cut of meat is definitely important, great meal!

Carrie Oliver said...

That looks like a delicious meal. BTW, you are not the only one who blames him/herself for a lousy tasting steak. The truth is, most of the time, it's the steak at fault or, rather, the way it was raised and brought to your plate. I'm guessing that your friends at Fogal actually take the time to age their steaks (dry-aging or wet-aging) which not only leads the beef to be more tender but also enhances flavor.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the tip, alexandra! I always had trouble keeping my steaks nice and moist too. I guess being cheap on meat would only strike me back in the end!

Alexandra@Chefspiration said...

Lorraine - Actually that one does have a sauce...I added some fresh cream to the juices in the pan and tossed in crushed pepper to make a sort of pepper cream sauce...heavenly!

Phoebe - It's so true...good steak always costs you...but it's worth it in the end. The dessert I made was just a bunch of cut up fruit tossed with a bit of yoghurt and honey and then topped with roasted nuts...oh so wonderful! And healthy :P

Arwen - Hehe yes it certainly was a relief :)

Anita - Yes I've learned that now and I'll never buy a cheap cut again!

Carrie Oliver - That's so true! Fogal focuses purely on the meats and you can taste the difference!

BurpandSlurp - I always thought I could get away with a cheap cut and cook it in a way that comes out I know...hehe...always buy the best cut you can afford!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

nothing like a simple good steak..

thenomadGourmand said...

Fed on Grain and Love...then its off to the slaughter house!

sorry for being morbid, then its surreal aint it..

Back to food - ehh, cooking steak so simple only meh?? salt & pepper?

boo_licious said...

That's the best way to enjoy steak, just a dash of salt and pepper hence you can taste the sweetest. Yums!

Alexandra@Chefspiration said...

Joe - you said it!

The Nomad Gourmand - If you want something really tender and juicy then the cut is important...cuz cooking a bad cut doesn't turn out as well.

boo_licious - Yup salt and pepper and that's it! Oh gosh I'm craving a nice steak right now...hehe...