So I whipped up all that yummy BBQ sauce I posted about, and then I broiled 3 kilos worth of chicken leg quarters, and once they were done I didn't feel like eating any of them. What I did have, though, was some amazingly tasty potatoes. When I'm oven-BBQing I put the chicken in the pan on top of thick slices of potato so that the meat does in fact broil and not stew in the juice and melted fat. So the result is slices of baked potato infused with a wonderful chicken flavor and the aroma of the sauce. Of course that would just be redundant to eat with the chicken itself, but not with...
Peppercorned Filet of Beef
6-8 oz filet, 2 inches thick
coarse cracked peppercorns
Simplicity itself. The most complicated thing is cracking the pepper. Place a clean, dry, well-seasoned cast iron skillet in the oven and turn it up as high as it goes. Sprinkle the beef on both sides with kosher salt and allow it to rest while you work on the pepper. A mortar and pestle is the ideal tool for this job, IMO. Or you can use a spice (coffee) grinder but it only needs one or two very fast pulses. (Not having either of these to hand last night, I used the end of my rolling pin in a shallow bowl.)
While the oven is heating. When the skillet is, to quote Saint Alton, "rocket hot" put it on a burner over highest heat, and place the filet dead center. (If your stovetop isn't gas or instant-hot electric, turn the burner on in advance while you're heating the oven.) Sear for 2 minutes without moving, then turn and sear the other side for another two minutes. Now put it in the oven for 3 minutes, turn, and another 3 minutes. (Times are for medium rare. Make it 2-2-2-2 for rare, 2-2-4-4 for medium.)
Invert a saucer or shallow bowl on a plate, and lay the meat atop to rest for 5 minutes. (The inverted dish is so it won't sit in any liquid it expresses and ruin the surface crust.)
Cauliflower & Mushrooms in Miso Gravy
half a small head of cauliflower and 6-8 small mushrooms
2 T butter
2 T white miso
1/2 c + 2 T water
2 t cornstarch
Melt the butter over medium-high heat. Break the cauliflower into florets and saute it, tossing frequently, until it browns slightly. Reduce the heat to medium and add the mushrooms, simmering until they darken and give up some liquid. Add 1/2 c of water and the miso paste, stirring until the miso dissolves. Mix the cornstarch with 2 T of water and add, stirring until it comes to a boil and thickens. Cover and turn off the heat.
Serves 1 (the loneliest number)
Maybe I'll have some of the chicken tonight...