This weekend I’m making my best steak and chips, on a birthday request. That’s something you don’t argue with: you don’t say ‘I thought you’d like a pizza instead’, or ‘Are you sure you wouldn’t prefer a fish pie?’ It’s an overbearing parent thing, coming from when you used to know better than the child what they would like. Or so you thought – because knowing better what’s good for somebody or what they actually want, is the parents’ delusion.
So since my (considerably grown up) offspring requested steak and chips for her b-day dinner chez moi, I’m not arguing. The only problem is: which particular steak? and which type of chips?
Fillet steak classically fried in the pan, served with anchovy butter and fried onions and mushrooms? (fried onions and mushrooms are mandatory regardless of the beef cut or potato cooking method). Or perhaps a cast iron steak, a nice thick ribeye, with winter rainbow salad alongside those onions and mushrooms? Maybe a côte de boeuf, shared between all of us, large and juicy, almost like a roast joint of beef? All equally good, all appealing.
Then chips: classic triple cooked, or how about the funky baked, super-crispy chips? Parsnip fries perhaps? So many options that I’m sure you’ll be tempted to make steak and chips too one night this week, or on the weekend. And I’m not forgetting meat objectors, I actually love the veggie/vegan steak and chips concept, made of celeriac and sweet potato roasties. With mushrooms, absolutely.
On another night less fancy, quick and a salad – try the bulgur wheat and chorizo salad. If the idea of chorizo is displeasing, what about the pear, pumpkin and haloumi salad? Both healthy, but nicely filling which you need on a chilly autumn day. And if you crave a hot meal from the oven you definitely should try this chicken tray bake, roasted with vegetables and all, a truly one pan dinner.
What about the birthday cake, to follow the birthday steak and chips, you may want to know? Well, it’s going to be the lighter-than-air genoise sponge with blueberry mascarpone cream. But if you’re looking for an easier and less fussy cake option, there’s redcurrant sponge cake, and redcurrants are just about still available to buy in the UK – if not, they can be swapped for raspberries or even diced apples.
Have a good week of cooking and baking, subscribe to my newsletter and look out for the new blog post on how to cook yourself happier coming soon!