Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

$20 Feast: Grilled Rib Eye Steak, Potato au Gratin and Cherry Strudel

The Menu

Steamed sweet corn on the cob

Grilled rib eye steak, served with zucchini, mushrooms, potato au gratin and horseradish sauce

Cherry and cheese strudel with luxurious chocolate ice cream

Steak was long overdue in our household. So to kick off the premiere of the $20 feast, I settled on a nice piece of rib eye, which, in my opinion, is the best cut of steak out there. It does need a little bit of work and tender, loving care though!

Please note that I’m not a butcher, so I might not be using the correct terms in describing things.

Grilled rib eye steak

(Rib eye – straight from the butcher)

This is what you’d get from the butcher. The meat would be held together by a bit of string (see the bit of string sticking out from the lower right hand corner?). Remove that string and, with a sharp knife, take out  the bit of fat that’s in the middle. Don’t throw it away!

(The rib eye with the fat from the middle removed)

Cut a clove of garlic into thin slivers and place the garlic slivers and half a spring of rosemary where the fat use to be. Cut the fat into small pieces. Make a few incisions all over the steak and stuff the pieces of fat into those incisions. Turn over and do the same on the other side. Sharpen the picked end of the rosemary and use it to hold the cut of meat together.

(the rib eye studded with fat, rosemary and garlic)

By studding the meat with its own fat, it ensures that the meat stays moist and tender while it’s cooking. I cook my steak on a cast iron griddle pan. I recommend you buy one for your meat. I recommend you buy one at a barbecue equipment shop where they sell them for less than $15 rather than paying $40+ in a homeware store.

Get your pan nice and hot. It should be too hot for you to hold your palm a few centimetres from it. No need to oil you meat as it’s fatty enough. Keep the heat on very high and bung it on.

(the steak after 4 minutes on one side)

This piece of steak is about 1.5 inches thick. I grill it for 2 minutes, turn it around 90 degrees (note: you’re not turning it over, you’re turning it around to achieve the criss-cross pattern on the steak) and wait another 2 minutes. So4 minutes on very high on one side, turn it over and do the same on the other side. Total cooking time on the stove should be 8 minutes (4 on each side) for a medium rare. Please don’t ruin your nice steak by cooking it anymore than this!

Take the griddle pan and place it in the oven along side your potato au gratin to finish up for 10 more minutes.

Potato au gratin and vegetables

Cut 3 potato cross wise into thin slices (about 3mm thick), line them up in a shallow baking dish. Top with some cheese sauce and mozzarella (or any melting cheese) and bake at 200′ C for 25-30 minutes.

(grilled zucchini and mushrooms)

Cut half a zucchini into thin slices length-wise, brush with a bit of oil and grill along side the meat. Turn over after one minute. Remove from the pan.

Thickly slice 3-4 button mushrooms and sautee with a bit of butter and wine until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap the vegetables up in a piece of foil to keep warm in the oven.

Remove the corn silk , peel back the corn husk and rinse the corn under running cold water. Cover the corn with the husk. Steam in the microwave on high for 4 minutes for each cob.

(the shared platter)

I served the lot up on a shared platter because the steak was too big for just the one of us. We plate our own food. It felt like being at a steakhouse after ordering a share platter (hey! mission accomplished!)

(my plate)

I ate the steak with a little bit of salt and some bottled horseradish sauce from Ikea. That was very yummy. The steak was perfectly cooked and tender. We had the corn plain, but you can easily butter it and add whatever you want.

(The potato went perfectly well with the steak)

(The zucchini and mushrooms round the whole thing off nicely)

The trick to put everything together is, of course, timing. You must eat the steak as soon as it’s ready. Never let it sit around! The great steak does not wait for you, you wait for the steak.

(Cherry and cheese strudel from the deli)

As if that wasn’t enough food, I served up the cherry and cheese strudel ($7.50 – large enough for four serves) that I bought from the deli at the market. We had it with a bit of chocolate ice cream to top it off.

That was a feast indeed!

The Bill

Total $19.18

  1. Rib eye steak (450g.) ______________  $10.45
  2. Potatoes                          ______________   $0.70
  3. Sweet corn                     ______________   $1.98
  4. Button mushrooms    ______________   $0.60
  5. Zucchini                          ______________   $0.30
  6. Cheese                             ______________    $0.10
  7. Seasonings                     ______________    $0.30
  8. Strudel                             ______________    $3.75
  9. Ice cream                       ______________    $1.00
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