Wednesday, 15 June 2011

A thorough(bred)ly tasty cut

So I've noticed more and more Pferdefleisch on sale here in Germany - in the local weekly markets and the supermarkets - and was curious as to what it would be like.  Now back in good old Blighty you don't come across much horsemeat in Sainsburys (you may find it in Waitrose I suppose.....!!) and as a result I'd certainly not cooked it myself nor knowingly eaten it (although you're never quite sure when you order a steak in France!).

So anyway, I thought I'd take the plunge and give it a go.  I spoke to the lady on the Butchers stall at the local market to ask her what it was like and how it ought to be cooked.  It is a very lean meat and so either needs very quick cooking (for the sirloin/hufte steaks I cooked) or slow pot-roasting.  It's a good strong dark coloured meat and ours had been well hung to make the most of it's flavour.  Taste-wise, it's not dissimilar to beef - indeed I think you could get away with calling it beef and most people probably wouldn't think it wasn't.

So, wanting something quick and easy to cook and eat with a forbidden salad (that's another story), I opted for two hufte steaks which I think is the equivalent to a sirloin.  I lightly seasoned them with salt and pepper and quickly griddled them to medium-rare.

So - how did they turn out?  Surprisingly well -  not tough or chewy as I was led to believe by some, not too gamey either - but good tender, juicy steaks - and better in terms of impact on both my health (they're low fat, low cholesterol) and my wallet (significantly cheaper than the equivalent cut of beef) - an all round winner!

So what to accompany the steak?  I was looking for something robust, which would stand up to a strong flavoured meat - I had a choice of Tempranillo or Carignan.  We plumped for the Tempranillo which worked well - full enough to hold its own and smooth enough not to out run the steak so to speak!  On the plate, I didn't plump for salad - we've been off the raw foods here due to E-Coli concerns, but suffering from a distinct lack of vegetables, I cooked up a large bowl of Ratatouille - all in all a very yummy meal and one I'd be happy to give another ride to....