Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I read about Eric’s plans to make a Scottish Steak Pie with no small amount of trepidation.

After all, wasn’t this the very guy who had attempted to make a humble Porcupine Meat-Loaf and had ended up with a Beef-Cookie studded with raw rice grains, the better to crack one’s teeth upon? And now, here he was, attempting something so ambitious as to require the use of Phyllo Dough. Me, I would’ve taken the Lazy-Ass Chef’s way out, covering the pie in a shell composed of conjoined whomp biscuits.

You say you don’t know what whomp biscuits are? They’re those biscuits that come in the form of a cardboard cylinder packed with raw biscuit dough. Pillsbury Grands, exempli gratia. To open the package, you whomp it on the edge of a kitchen counter. Ergo: whomp biscuits.

But Eric is a brave man, willing to test the limits of the envelope. Phyllo! I wish him all the best, and I am sure he and Fiona will feast most sumptuously on a Meaty Treat made by his own hands.

I really can’t give the boy too much crap about his cooking. He has seen at least one culinary disaster at my hands, a rum-glazed lemon cake that refused to come out of the pan in one piece owing to my stupidly using spray-on grease instead of flour-dusted butter to coat the pan. The cake was reduced to a pile of (extremely tasty) shards, and Eric, Fiona, and SWMBO had a good laugh - and an unplanned dessert - at my expense.

But all this talk of Steak Pie gave me a hankering for beef...and so the Missus and I stopped by Harry’s and picked up a couple of hanger steaks.

These babies are a breeze to prepare. I coated ’em with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and ground thyme, and then seared them in a pan with a little olive oil. Once they were done, I threw a couple of good-sized shallots, finely minced, in the pan and sweated them down. In a few minutes they were nice and soft, whereupon I deglazed the pan with some rainwater Madeira and let it all cook down until the shallots were well caramelized. Out of the pan, onto the steaks, and then a sprinkling of minced fresh parsley: Dinner! SWMBO complemented the steaks with a couple of baked sweet potatoes and a salad of butter lettuce, heirloom tomato, and pine nuts.

Our dinner may have lacked a pie crust, but I was not in the mood to quibble.

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