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Steak Out

There’s something rather disconcerting about everyone else knowing what you are going to order in a restaurant before you’ve actually had a chance to make your mind up. This happens to me every time I dine out. I try to peruse the menu just like everyone else but always end up ordering the same thing. Boring? Maybe, but I just don’t seem to be able to break the habit. I go through the pretense of running my finger down the menu, pausing for dramatic effect at the sea bass or lamb but I really needn’t bother.

“And he’ll have a medium rare steak” My friend said the other night before snatching the menu out of my hand and passing it to the waiter.

“I might have wanted the special” I protested

“Well, do you?” My friend asked

“Er, no. I want the rib eye”

The thing is, I am not alone in this. If you put 6 chef’s around a table I would bet good money that 5 of them would order a steak. The one that didn’t will then spend the rest of the meal talking about how he or she should probably ordered a steak after all. It probably has something to do with being surrounded by choice every day or maybe it’s more primal than that. Either way, steak and chips is the go to menu item for me.

I had an onglet steak the other night at Hotel du Vin in Brighton and it was bloody delicious. Rare and full of flavour it was everything you could ever want in a slab of meat. Despite it cropping up on many a decent eaterie’s menu at the moment it’s still not that well known. Onglet has pros and cons for the first timer. It has to be said that raw, it’s not going to win any beauty contests and it’s unfamiliar appearance could have some people reaching for the rib eye.

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Asking the butcher what part of the cow it comes from might not be much of a reassurance either as it’s actually a pair of muscles that hang from the diaphragm.

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Lets just say it’s hell of a lot tastier on the plate than the page. It also requires a a certain amount of chewing so it’s probably not for the kind of diner who want’s the flavourless ‘melt in the mouth’ experience you get from a fillet steak. In fact it needs very brief cooking over a high heat to render it rare to really get the best out of it. Those preferring a medium to well done steak should ┬áprobably stick to what they know.

All that said, what it lacks in good looks and familiarity it more than makes up for in flavour and lets face it if you’re not eating steak for flavour then maybe you should have had the sea bass after all.

If you’re planning on trying onglet you could ask your butcher for hanger steak or skirt steak. I got mine from award winning Sussex Butcher of the Year Bramptons (Cause he’s my mate!) and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better it’s cheap too!

http://www.bramptonsbutchers.co.uk/contact.htm

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11 Responses

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