Steak Tartare

Last week was Bryan’s birthday! On his birthday, I shared with you a list of some of his favourite items that I have shared on this blog. Because we’ve both been incredibly busy, our first opportunity to celebrate his birthday was Saturday evening.

To save on money (and a secondary motive of getting some interesting blog content), we decided to stay in to celebrate Bryan’s birthday. Don’t get me wrong, I spent more than usual on this dinner. It’s not every day you celebrate a birthday!

This week, I’ll be sharing three recipes with you. These recipes are how we celebrated Bryan’s birthday on a “less than we would have paid having a a fancy dinner out at a restaurant” price. All of the dishes were requested by Bryan, but I was given free creativity for preparation and presentation (although “no parsley” was another of the requests).

Hope you will enjoy reading about them (we sure enjoyed consuming them)!

Steak Tartare

Adapted from Chow’s Classic Steak Tartare

Ingredients

  • 350 grams high-quality fresh sirloin (buy this from a trusted butcher) – approximate cost $7.00
  • 1 fresh egg – approximate cost $0.30
  • 1/4 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce – approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper – approximate cost $0.05
  • 3 teaspoons capers – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 baguette – approximate cost $2.00

Method

  1. Slice the beef into very small (about 1/2 cm or smaller) pieces.
  2. Combine the beef slices, egg, sriracha, dijon mustard, worchestershire sauce, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Move mixture to a serving bowl.
  5. Serve with slices of baguette and a side of capers.

Makes about 4 servings (approximate cost: $2.69 per serving) or 2 large servings (approximate cost: $5.36 per serving).

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Hanger Steak

Last week I mentioned that I’ve been working at a butcher shop the last few months. I’ve learned so much already. I’ve quickly learned to identify and recommend cuts of meat. I’ve learned a few things about cooking. Yet, there’s much more to learn.

Today, I’m featuring a steak that I brought home last week: the hanger steak. Why? Because it’s quite unique. I hadn’t heard of a hanger steak before starting my job. I’m told it’s a piece that’s not frequently sold (many butchers will reserve it for themselves because there is only one).

The hanger steak (which, as its name implies, hangs) comes from just below the ribs. It’s known for being a bit tougher than a rib-eye or striploin steak, but has a stronger flavour.

What’s so great about a hanger steak you ask? Why would you buy it over another steak? It’s got a lot of flavour. Even though it has a strong grain running through it, the steak is quite tender (that is, as long as you prepare it carefully and slice it correctly). Also, it seemed like an interesting challenge for me. Hanger steaks become tough if over-cooked. So they must be rare or medium-rare when served. You also have to slice them against the grain, again, because cutting with the grain makes the meat tougher.

This hanger steak did not disappoint! It had so much flavour and we didn’t find it tough in the slightest. I enjoyed mine with steak sauce. Bryan ate his plain (the browned butter flavour was very nice with the sauce!). We will definitely buy this again!

What is your favourite cut of steak?

Hanger Steak with Homemade Steak Sauce

Steak Sauce recipe credit to Bryan

Ingredients

  • 1 hanger steak (ours was about 700 grams and was enough for two people) – approximate cost $8.00
  • 2 tablespoons butter – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil – approximate cost $0.07
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce – approximate cost $0.15

Method

  1. Prepare the steak.
    1. In a frying pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until it is melted and begins to brown.
    2. Add the olive oil and continue to heat.
    3. Place the hanger steak in the frying pan.
    4. Cook for 5-7 minutes (depending on the thickness of the steak and the desired done-ness).
    5. Turn and continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
    6. Remove steak from the frying pan and allow to rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes.
    7. Slice the steak into thin pieces against the grain.
  2. Prepare the steak sauce in a small bowl.
    1. Add ketchup and Worcestershire sauce  to the bowl.
    2. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. Serve steak plain with the sauce on the side and your favourite side dishes.

We served this with a side of Jasmine rice and a tomato and cucumber salad. Yum!

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $4.29 per serving).

Chicken Hearts, Gizzards, and Liver Stir-fry

The weather has been so gorgeous here lately, that I’ve been taking the opportunity to walk more often rather than driving or taking the bus. I decided to take a detour through the park on my way from school to UpTown the other day, expecting to make a short stop by the petting zoo and continue on my way. Somehow, I’d forgotten that there would be baby ducks and geese everywhere, and stopped to take a few photos of the fuzzy ducklings and goslings. So cute!

I think the ducks thought I would feed them, which worked out well for a close-up photo!

The geese, as you could imagine, weren’t as welcoming. The adult goose was hissing at me while I snapped this photo. They are very protective of their goslings. I managed to get this photo and get away safely. The babies are just so adorable, I had to stop! Seeing all the animals return after winter, and the cute little ones is one of my favourite things about spring!


While I was out taking pictures, dinner was marinating in the fridge at home. I’m quite excited to share this recipe with you. It looks like a giant mess of a stir-fry, but it was really tasty. Bryan thought so too, but he rarely complains about anything I serve him, he’s such a good sport when I try out new recipes!

Normally, I avoid cooking liver. It’s cheap, yes, but it’s not always my favourite. It tends to have a weird texture and a strong flavour. It’s one of Bryan’s favourites, so I make try to buy it every month or two and eat it for one meal, leaving Bryan to finish off any leftovers. However… this adapted stir-fry recipe is a hit. I enjoyed it and didn’t really notice the things I normally dislike about liver. I will be making this again. In fact, I will probably make this often. On top of being delicious, it was very affordable!

How do you usually prepare liver? Any tips for having it turn out delicious every time? Please link to recipes if you can!

Chicken Hearts, Gizzards, and Liver Stir-fry

Recipe adapted from Simple Chicken Liver And Gizzard and How to make the green seasoning paste that’s so unique to Caribbean cuisine, both recipes from Caribbean Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken livers – approximate cost $2.00
  • 1/2 pound chicken hearts – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 pound chicken gizzards – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 Vidalia onion, diced – approximate cost $0.75
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved – approximate cost $3.00
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.45
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and minced – approximate cost $0.15
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 lime, juiced – approximate cost $0.75
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil – approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 cups of uncooked Basmati rice – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 cup water

Method

  1. Cut the chicken hearts, gizzards, and livers into bite-sized chunks.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken hearts and gizzards (set the liver pieces aside for now), lime juice, salt, pepper, tomato pieces, garlic, jalapeño pepper pieces, thyme, cilantro.
  3. Mix well and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours (or longer).
  4. Cook Basmati rice according to directions.
  5. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the onions and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).
  7. Add the chicken and marinade to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes, the chicken pieces should brown a bit.
  8. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce and reduce heat to simmer.
  9. Cover the pot with a lid and allow mixture to cook for 30 minutes (stirring occasionally and adding water if liquid begins to boil away).
  10. Turn heat up to medium.
  11. Add liver pieces.
  12. Remove lid from pot and cook for 5-10 minutes (until the liver is cooked through, watch it closely at this point, because liver cooks quickly).
  13. Serve over Basmati rice and enjoy!

Makes 5 servings (approximate cost: $2.13 per serving).

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