On The Menu: Longhorn rump steak; Neige Apple Ice Wine; No No flatbreads; G'nosh dips; Drambuie
Samuel Muston is deputy editor & food editor of The Independent Magazine. He writes a weekly food column – On the Menu – which appears in The Independent on Friday and i on Monday. And also travel and general features. Follow him on Instagram at @smuston
Friday 24 February 2012
This week I've been eating...Longhorn rump steak
Steak is that unusual thing, a food that needs no adornment. Liberal seasoning with salt and some pepper is necessary, of course. And you need a scorching-hot pan in which to cook it (though it should be said Heston Blumenthal and Thomas Keller cook theirs sous vide). But that's it.
It can stands on its own, naked and without accompaniment or sauce. And still we'll lust after it – it's a two-fingered salute to fiddly, highly strung food. At the Hawksmoor steak restaurant in Spitalfields, which opens a new downstairs bar next week, they get that. Everything else (including the half lobster on the "extras" bit of the menu) is an addendum.
Its 55-day-hung book-thick rump steak was the best steak, of any cut, I've eaten. Its pink, rich and buttery centre giving way to the seriously charred outside. It was pyrotechnic, even if the 40-minute wait for it to appear was less so. thehawksmoor.com
Never heard of the Neige Apple Ice Wine? If not, you might soon. The sweet Canadian wine is on the up in the United States and is finding its way to trendy tables over here. The after-dinner drink is made with pressed McIntosh and Spartan apples, the juice from which is left outside in the Canadian winter to freeze. The sugar concentrates are then skimmed off, defrosted and left to ferment for seven or eight months. The result? A drink similar to Sauternes. £22.39, thedrinkshop.com
A yes to No No
The Independent''s feature department has been all munch and crunch this week, since a packet of the strangely-named No No flatbreads arrived on the desk. These crispy American imports come in mixed-seed, sesame, Mediterranean, Italian herb and vegetable flavours. But the one that really grabbed our attention was the cinnamon sugar flavour, which consists of the plain, elongated crackers with a very light dusting of cinnamon sugar. A most virtuous vice. £1.91, ocado.com
The posh dip market is a crowded one. Everyone with a blender and a few chickpeas seems to be getting in on the act. But a new range called G'nosh is particularly fine. It has eschewed hummus and instead plumped for sun-dried tomato and basil, spicy red pepper, an unusually sweet black bean creation, aubergine baba ganoush and beetroot and mint flavour. The 200g pots are additive free and taste and look fresh. £2.99, gnosh.co.uk
Stirring it up
Since it was created back in 1893 at the Broadford Hotel on the Isle of Skye, Drambuie has been an acquired taste. But now the brand has released an improved version, marrying 15-year-old Speyside whisky with the usual citrus spices and butterscotch. Not convinced? Mix it two to one with Scotch and turn it into a rusty nail cocktail. £34.99, waitrose.com
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