Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Goodbye, Summer

Alas, summer is over. Gone are the days of sunshine beating on your brow, the smell of cut grass tickling your nostrils, skipping to work in short skirts and flip flops. This, of course, being London means that we had maybe a couple of weeks of this weather, but one must grateful for what we did get.

Last weekend saw blue skies, wispy clouds and the sun peeked out; like summer's wave goodbye to us. I do love autumn and all the rich shades of colour it brings, but waking up and getting home while it's dark depresses me. Which is why when I woke up on Sunday and flung the blinds back to be greeted by sunshine, I hauled my housemate's ass out of bed, frog-marched her down to Sainsburys, and got all the goods for what might be our last barbeque of the year.

As there was just the two of us, I thought the best way to go would be a big hunk of meat and a couple of salads. 800gr of bone-in Aberdeen Angus rib was purchased, along with some leaves and knobbly new potatoes to make up our lunch. As a little starter, I steamed up some white asparagus, part of a birthday hamper I received from my mates. This was simply dressed with a healthy glob of butter and a generous grinding of salt. A fruity Pimms cocktail kept us company while we waited for the coals to do its thing.

The steak was left out at room temperature, and half an hour before it was slapped on the barbeque, I lightly dusted both sides with salt. Now, some people say not to salt meat until the very last moment otherwise it draws the juices out, but I seem to recall Dos Hermanos recommending this on Twitter. We tried it at a previous barbeque and it worked beautifully so I shouted "to hell with convention!" (as the housemate looked on, alarmed) and it got a good salting.

A mere 5 - 7 minutes on each side on a properly flaming grill, and it was left to rest on a chopping board. I batted wasps away while the housemate squealed. I paced up and down the balcony. We all know the importance of resting meat, but this was maddening. To console myself I got stuck into the potato salad with gusto. Finally, a good 15 minutes had passed and I refused to wait any longer. The steak was sliced, revealing a deliciously ruby red core, and served onto our plates. Floppy curly lettuce leaves were lightly dressed with heady truffle oil, also from aforementioned hamper, and a barbequed, buttered portabella mushroom completed the plate. We munched in near silence, aside from the odd "mmooh myff god this is good" and "uuugghhhhh is there more? Chomp chomp".

I couldn't have asked for a better farewell-to-summer barbeque. When finished, we pushed our plates away, lay back and had a proper mid-afternoon snooze, safe in the knowledge that our corn on the cob were steaming away under the lid of the barbeque in their leaves, ready for us to slather with more butter and eat once we arose from our little siesta.

23 comments:

Chris said...

Wow that steak looks great! It looks like you cooked it incredibly well, but even so - I'd never expect a big cut like that from Sainsbury's. Well done

Ross Brown said...

that truffle oil is so fucking good. i went to their warehouse yesterday funnily enough

Katie said...

Yum! That looks pretty tasty. I also had the last barbecue of the year on Sunday, but filled myself with pre-made Aberdeen Angus burgers instead of steak... I can't believe summer is over already, though - this year's went by so quickly!!

Wen said...

Absolutely gorgeous. Bravo. Keep the faith - October in London tends to throw up a couple of freak sunny weekends, almost as an apology for soggy Junes!

Kavey said...

That looks lovely and what a cool farewell to summer!

We had a big party (at my parents' house, which is much bigger than ours) on Saturday. It was to celebrate our 15th wedding anniv. earlier in the month.

It was a daytime party, noon to early evening, and the weather was glorious which meant most of the 50+ adults and 20 odd kids could sit/ play outside in the garden!

We had an Indian caterer do the food and I hit majestic/ supermarkets for drinks (went overboard on the alcy and ran out of soft drinks, oops).

It was suuuuch a glorious send off to the summer...

Su-Lin said...

Steak! Steak steak steak! Oh, I wish I had a balcony/roof terrace for barbecues. Not sure where I stand on salting/not salting beforehand - the steak always tastes great regardless.

Emma and Ross said...

I could seriously eat some of that right now! It's a very nice looking piece of beef.

I take it it was bought from Sainsburys meat counter rather than pre-packed?

TC said...

Mmm, this looks do good. I am craving steak now!

We have eaten quite a bit of Sainsbury's TTD steak on the barbeque, and I have to say it is a decent replacement when we can't get to the butcher.

Lizzie said...

Chris - It was a bone-in roasting joint at the butcher's counter, I asked them to hack a bit off.

Ross - it's so delicious, isn't it? I'm planning a decadent pasta with it soon...

Katie - it just flew by, didn't it?!

Wen - I hope you're right!

Kavey - Sounds like you had a great time!

Su-Lin - My balcony is honestly a god-send.

emma & Ross - Thanks! Yes, from the butcher's counter.

TC - I can't always get to the butcher at the weekend, so this was a very decent alternative.

Helen said...

Yeah! Can't beat a bit of raw cow meat on the plate. I want steak now. WANT! I spy the blanket in the background there. Oh blanket, how you comforted me in my hour of need.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I immediately feel in tune with someone who can write "a healthy glob of butter " . And that steak looks perfect .

LexEat! said...

Great blog - although I got distracted with jealousy at the mention of a foodie birthday hamper containing white asparagus! Those friends are worth hanging on to!

Helen @ World Foodie Guide said...

That steak reminded me of the Hawksmoor steak tasting (I was only re-reading that post yesterday)! Looks delicious and a perfect way to celebrate the end of summer. But I like autumny barbecues too, when it's cold and you're huddled around trying to keep warm....

colehillkitchen said...

yuuummmmmmmm!!!!! i LOVE barbeques (who doesn't?!) and I'm so sad that they're over for aother year :-( ... on the plus side I'm looking forward to big roasts, warming stews and generally comforting foods for the cold winter months!! :-)

Gourmet Chick said...

A fitting finale to Summer but I am sure you can squeeze a few more BBQs in particularly with steaks like that - can't believe you got it from Sainsburys. Also have to say that corn on the cob on the BBQ is just brilliant.

Chris said...

Gourmet Chick: Even better, do corn constantly brushed with BBQ sauce. It goes all gooey and crispy and amazing.

Ollie said...

SUCH a lovely post. What a brilliant way to see off the summer. Though I have to say I far prefer autumn. Clever of you to go for the roasting joint.

Naimah said...

i dont usually like beef, but this looks soo great. well done! naimah

CoolBlackChef.co.uk

Audree Fletcher said...

Goodness me - wherever can you get white asparagus at this time of year?

I wonder if your generous foodie friends would be able to share the name of their source?

Remedial Gash said...

I hate you!

Reading your blog makes me explode with jealousy... That piece of meat looks gorgeous.

You're right to dispense with convention; it's a complete fallacy that salting meat just prior to cooking could remove any significant amount of moisture, if it were true we'd all be eating instant hams and such.

Gash
x

Chris said...

Remedial Gash: Best. Name. Ever.

hengki budi prasetyo said...

I cannot pass this post for your steak making my mouth wash. But you have not give what name of this steak is. It looks half done. Hemmmm, wooooow, very delicious. I follow you blog because I like cook too like you. Now Easter. I am from Indonesia, I say to you HAPPY EASTER.
God Bless You.

Lizzie said...

Hengki - I said it was 800gr Aberdeen Angus rib. You may call it half done, but that's as far done as I like my steak. If you like it more medium or well done, leave it on longer. Thank you for your Easter wishes.