We rarely eat steak. We love steak. We never, or almost never, eat it because Swiss beef is incredibly expensive and far inferior to U.S. beef. It has no flavor. …except for the sour taste left in one’s mouth after paying for it.
But yesterday I wanted to treat the family and serve big, juicy steaks, oven fries and homemade Caesar salad for dinner. It is possible to get U.S. beef here-- at a price. I went to the butcher who sells U.S. beef and bought two small steaks (for the girls) and two good size (not gi-normous, just typical U.S. size-- a strip steak about an inch thick). It cost 99 Swiss francs, about $80. Gulp.
This is why eating steak is an annual event at our house.
The mister says that it took him about two years to even enjoy a steak here-- it cost so much.
I like steaks grilled the best, but was too lazy to fire up the charcoal grill and decided to pan fry them. This is also a fabulous way to cook steaks as long as they have good marbling that melts and caramelizes the steak as it cooks, and you have a good exhaust fan (this method produce a prodigious amount of smoke).
I sliced up some potatoes into fries, tossed them with a bit of vegetable oil then sprinkled them with sea salt and black pepper, stuck them into the oven at 400F and started on the salad. Homemade Caesar dressing, of which I can not share the recipe, because it is going in my book-- so you’ll just have to wait for that one, but it was really good…
On to the steaks. I took them out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before I wanted to cook them. Set a large non-stick pan on the stove over hight heat (11 out of 12 on the dial); getting it scorching hot. Salt and pepper both sides of the steaks, laid them in the dry pan with plenty of room between them, turned on my jet-powered exhaust fan and listened as the meat began to sizzle. After about four minutes, the outside was mahogany brown in places and was developing and nice, salty crust. I flipped them and cooked the other side for about four minutes also.
I plated up. On one side was the steak, a thing of beauty; crunchy, salty and caramelized in spots, cut open it was gloriously pink, with juices so abundant that the plate filled with them. On the other side was mounded oven fries, golden and crunchy, the bottom few quickly soaking up the steak’s juices.
There was silence at the dinner table that night, as we all tucked in to the best steaks we had had all year.