Steak Dinner Lesson Learned

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Recently my husband read an article about Faviken a restaurant located on a remote hunting reserve deep in the Swedish Scandinavian forest. Under the guidance of young chef Magnus Nilsson they serve only fresh local foods in season or in-house preserved ingredients. Keeping in mind my opinion that indigenous food gathered grown and preserved or cured in the way they been for centuries and prepared traditionally or as in this case with exquisite creativity is the best cuisine. Since Nilsson has become the head chef the restaurant is now considered 34th on the list of the world’s top 50, and he’s considered one of the world’s 10 top young chefs.  After an internet search I was hooked on trying at lest one of Chef Magnus Nilsson’s recipes.  I’d love to snowshoe out for some wild game, forge fresh fungi and flora, and collect fresh scallops from a bay down the road.  Here in California’s Central Valley that’s not going to happen.

Local dry aged beef, was my best option, I decided to add a salad with greens from my yard, including dandelion, nasturtium leaves and blossoms, baby lettuce and green garlic leaves.  Dressing will be my home-made Honey-Dijon dressing using local wildflower honey, and walnut oil.  Locally grown organic yams for fries.  All paired with the an exceptional Lodi CA. wine, Earthquake Zinfandel from Michael David Winery.  My decadent dessert is Sprouted Chandler Walnut Maple Toffee smothered with Sharffen Berger 70% dark chocolate which also pair superbly with the wine.

First I was off to Dave’s Meat Service to get dry cured beautifully fat marbled ribeyes from local cattle.  Dave cut them 1 inch thick as called for in the recipe.  Next take them out 2 hours before cooking so the meat comes to room temperature. Salt the meat with good sea salt, but here I made a mistake by using too much salt.  Make some garlic butter, using a local source for butter from pastured cows and local garlic. The recipe said to cook the steaks in cast iron on medium high to caramelize in the butter on both sides.  Next take them out, and wipe the skillet clean. Add new butter and juices from the steak plate, return the steaks to the hot pan turn frequently to baste, cook until meat is firm yet yielding to touch.

Sounds simple, but then I made the mistake of second guessing.  Medium high heat, won’t the butter smoke and burn?  It must be a miss print.  So in my steaks go on medium, a couple of minutes in, I know I’ve done something wrong. The meat is steaming!  Not good.  I plate the meat, remove the steaming liquid.  Re-read the directions.  Not hot enough!  Restart this time on medium-high, ok I just hope it’s not to late. I get some carmizling,  remove the steaks clean the skillet, it’s cast iron so I wipe it clean with paper towels.  Now to restart medium-high heat add new garlic butter and juices from the steak plate. Turn a lot to achieve basting. Now I don’t test by feel as recommend by Nilsson, because I don’t trust my judgment on that, so in goes my instant read thermometer and I get a perfect 123-125 degree reading.  The steaks where succulent juicy and tender just a bit beyond rare, although the over salting was a big mistake.

My two big mistakes here were over salting the meat, and starting to cook at the wrong temperature.  The lesson, is never second guess Magnus Nilsson and always make dessert first!  The dessert recipe and the others will appear in the next few posts.  Up dates will be added with pictures when I repeat and improve on this recipe.

*The steak recipe is paleo.

DSC02457 Click on picture for the salad recipe.

DSC02464 Click on picture for walnut chocolate toffee recipe

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