This was meant to be a recipe for Wine-Poached Fillet Steak with Thrice-Cooked Chips and Mushroom Ketchup, as you can see from the photos further down.
‘Don’t do it,’ my wife had warned. ‘It won’t work and it will be a waste of money.’
But the night before, I’d seen one of the contestants on Masterchef: The Professionals attempt it – with very dried-out results – and I was convinced I could do better.
I was wrong.
I first marinated a couple of fillet steaks in a bottle of Muled Wine for an hour, then a put the pan on the hob, brought it to the boil, then turned the gas off and left the beef to steep for half an hour before draining the steaks, then frying in a very hot frying pan.
As my smug wife predicted, it was a dried-out disaster. Fortunately, I had another couple of steaks on standby in case of what proved to be inevitable, so Friday night’s supper wasn’t a complete write-off.
But I feared that the wine-soaked beef was.
What to do with it? Throw it in the bin? No chance. I can’t stand to waste food.
Once the steaks had cooled, I sliced each one thinly and found – to my delight – that it was perfectly pink in the middle, with texture not unlike pastrami and a delicate, spicy flavour from the mulled wine.
Married with gherkins and Dijon mustard, it was a perfect filling for fanstastic Saturday lunchtime sandwiches.
Job done! I just wish I could pretend such a triumph was deliberate, but as you can see from these photos, the disaster was very real.