From the Kitchen and from the Bar – Steak and beers

In our cast iron skillet, complete with spatters.

In our cast iron skillet, complete with spatters.

Steak and beer, the classic American experience.  Might be the classic Australian one too.  One of the benefits of working in the meat department of a very large grocery store is that I can get very nice cuts of meat.  No employee discount but I can have a fellow employee weigh me out my chosen chunk and keep it until I’m done with my shift.

I picked out a particularly fine New York Strip (also known as a club steak, etc including evidently a “porterhouse” steak in Australia that is completely different from the US version of a porterhouse) that was about 2 inches thick. And yes, this is another example of American overconsumption of meat.  This is how I grew up, living on a beef/dairy farm, where I knew and cared for what I ate.  We were poor, but we did always have enough to eat, one of the few benefits farmers often have.

Perfect medium rare

Perfect medium rare

This lovely steak was cooked to perfection by my husband.  We were going to grill out with our charcoal grill but decided to do the steak in the kitchen. We have a great cast iron pan from Lodge that is about 12” in diameter.  We also have a gas stove that can get it very hot.  Placing a couple of tablespoons of oil in the pan (canola or something with a high smoke point, please), my husband got it sizzling hot.  He placed the steak in and then *let it alone*.  After a few minutes, it had formed a black-brown crust on the side that was down and had loosened for flipping.  He repeated this with each long side, then setting the steak on a plate to rest for 10 minutes.  This made for the perfect medium-rare (pink/purple and warm in the center).  The photos are  blurry, but you can see what’s needed.  We do need to get a new camera someday….  I hate to admit it but we had nothing else for that dinner.  Except beer.

I also picked up a six pack of assorted beers.  Here’s what we think of them…

DuClaw Mysterion –  this beer surprised us with its honey gold color considering its rich taste.  It has a very musky honey taste.

Dogfish Head Raison d’Etre – Higher in alcohol, being around 8%, this is a dark brown beer that has a raisiny dark fruit taste.  It’s not as sweet as it could be, which is fine with us.

Troegs Dead Reckoning Porter –  Troegs is a local brewery.  This is a seasonal offering, a hoppy-scented porter that reminds me of grapefruit juice and toast.  It’s cola brown, and though it says it’s unfiltered, it seemed fairly clear.

Finch’s Golden Wing Blonde Ale –  I often like to pick up one of the microbrewery beers that come in cans.  It does make it quite a bit cheaper to ship the stuff.  Finch’s is from Chicago.  The blonde ale has an herbaceous musky taste, like a hoppy Genny.   A good summer beer.

Strongbow Cider – My new favorite cider!  Great stuff, not too sweet like most American hard ciders are.  It also has a nifty logo, which took a few minutes for my eye to resolve as an archer in a Norman helm.  It’s pleasantly dry, and is as golden as sunlight.  This is the cider that I can see my sword and sorcery heroes drinking.

Curmudgeon Old Ale – This is from Founder’s Brewing.  The strongest of the bunch at 9.8% alcohol, it’s a ruddy-gold color.  It is brewed with molasses and aged in oak so you get a lot of strong toffee flavors, though the hops do balance them decently.   It reminds me very much of an old candy called a Mary Jane or a peanut butter kiss, soft molasses taffy with a little peanut butter in the center.

That’s all for now.  Eat and drink well!

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