Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Steak Lust - occasional expat cravings


Once in a while we lust after a piece of juicy red meat. As expats living in Portugal we´ve weaned ourselves off the red meat habit. We seemed to have replaced beef in our diet with pork, chicken and fish. Every once in a while, however we are overwhelmed by the desire for a succulent steak. One of these rare occasions was my birthday two weeks ago when invited to spend the day with friends. They buy the most beautiful filet mignon steaks from their butcher, and suddenly I was consumed by steak lust - sizzling steak simply seasoned and grilled over hot flames of a barbecue,
backed up by new potato chips and salad.
This kind of meat is a luxury commodity in Portugal and does not come cheap- maybe one reason that contributed to our weaning!!- This brings me to how I started this story in the first place.
I am constantly being put on the spot at parties, over dinner,or with friends. I am posed with the question. What is your favourite dish? up until recently I haven´t been able to give them a satisfactory answer. I now however have decided that wherever one is located globally, a perfectly cooked steak with chips, and I am in hog heaven. I have to say that France takes the lead here, but as long as I have my steak mal passado ( the Portuguese term for rare, literally badly passed through the grill ), and the chips are up to scratch I have my perfect dish in front of me. Today we lunched with friends at "Vela 2", a typical Portuguese restaurant without a menu
( there are many of these) that serve you platters of grilled fish until you say chega ( enough). This is result of our weaning off red meat, and maybe acquiring a preference for fish, but when we passed by our lunch companions home for an "afternoon glass" they proffered us with a Fray Bentos Steak and kidney pie they had brought back from a recent visit to England. My eyes lit up. I haven´t had one of these for 4 years, and I look forward to cooking some mash to soak up its gravy- yum. not at the moment its far too hot for this kind of food, but something to look forward to, the next time the expat stomach craves!!

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