Monday, 25 April 2011

How to dress a cow…

Cold rare beef is one of the nicer things to have loitering in your fridge. (Can beef be said to loiter? It might be a bit regal for that). Its first outing was on Friday, with cubed roasted potatoes with rosemary, a simple tomato salad dressed with olive oil and seasoning, a green salad of watercress and pea shoots and a mustard mint dressing of Nigel Slater’s that is so utterly luscious and wonderful I shall share because I am kind and want only to enhance your day.

Whizz together 2 egg yolks, a large handful of mint, a tbsp grain mustard and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Trickle in 4-5 tbsp olive oil until the mixture has amalgamated and season as you will.

The lovely thing about the meal above is that the beef need not be piping hot and the sauce can be made at the last minute, so you have masses of time to do your sides. By which I mean the side salads, not your own sides. What quite you might be doing with them I can’t think. Moving swiftly on…

If you want to go Continental with your cold beef, think anything Thai, New Yorker style with gherkins and mustard getting involved or even just eat with any of the leftover sauce from above, perhaps on a piece of toasted sourdough with some peppery green leaves. Or you could try the following take on a Banh Mi – a Vienamese pork baguette and a particular addiction of mine that, I think, adapts well to other meats.

Grate a carrot and a courgette coarsely and toss together in a bowl. Throw in some leaves if you have any; other additions might even be a tin of beansprouts if you’re wondering what the hell to do with it. Cool and crunchy is the idea. Slice up a chilli, red or green and add to the vegetables. Whisk together a tbsp sugar with a couple tbsp white wine vinegar and taste – you want sweet and sharp and lip-smacking – then stir through the grated vegetables and leave for a few minutes.

Split a baguette in half and layer with the beef, as thinly sliced as you can, and the grated vegetables. Press together and enjoy. Alternatively, do without the carbs and have it over more salad or even tossed with noodles.

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