Monday, March 07, 2011
An almost perfect meal
Written for Sunday Scribblings
Everything planned to the finest detail. Need to make an impression on the boss.
The finest locally bred beef steak hung for twenty eight days then expertly butchered. Laid in a hand thrown dish on a bed of rosemary and marinated in vintage Bordeaux with pungent herbs and crushed spices. Fresh vegetables plucked that very morning from organic beds. Wild mushrooms picked at dawn and truflles sniffed out by pigs in France just a few hours earlier and flown to the local airstrip. Appetizers artistically arranged on gleaming porcelain plates, and a selection of dessert dishes chilled to precisely nine degrees in the refrigerator.
Nothing left to chance. Everything prepared to perfection.
The table set with antique silver cutlery and sparkling lead crystal glasses. A seating plan worked out to ensure that conversation would flow effortlessly.
The guests arrive a couple at a time. The clink of Martini glasses punctuates the merry chatter. In the kitchen various parts of the meal are starting to cook in accordance with a carefully calculated timetable. The steak dish placed into the oven precisely twenty seven minutes before it will be required on the table, which allows for exactly four minutes resting time.
The meal commences. The first course a triumph. Empty plates are cleared away and platters of steaming vegetables appear in the centre of the table. The empty Chablis bottles make way for carafes of Chateau le Frenau '94 which has been breathing for exactly thirty five minutes. Now for the beef.
In the kitchen the oven door is flung open. But instead of a rush of aromatic hot air there is nothing. One essential step in the operation was missed. The oven cold. The beef raw.
Anyone for steak tartare?