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BITTERS WITH STEAK!!!

by Andrew Chalk



Our test products. Runamok Orange Maple at a virile 42% alcohol
Our test products. Runamok Orange Maple at a virile 42% alcohol

Bitters have always done magic to cocktails in the hands of the right mixologist. And any good pastry chef can describe how they are an essential ingredient to their occupation. I always wondered if their unique range of flavors, textures, and volatility could contribute to savory cooking. Other than some vinaigrettes, dressings and marinades (dressings in drag) Mr. Google didn’t seem to offer much. Maybe I was wrong, and bitters were best left out of savory cooking. I forgot about the idea until Runamok sent me a sample of their Maple Bitters.


That put the idea back on the front burner. One of Runamok's flavors was Orange Maple and I took a swig, er, sip. The non-cloying woody sweetness of maple seemed to be infused into the 42% alcohol spirit. I can see why all the bears in Vermont (home of Runamok) don’t feel the cold if this is their go-to breakfast. The spirit provided a backbone that made me think that there were possibilities imbuing the sweet flavors of sautéed onions with it.


A few minutes searching threw up Steaks with French Onion Sauce which qualified on two counts. First it included sautéed onions. Second it used steak, and I had just the right steak sample in Pre grass fed beef, which I used a few days earlier.


Here is a pictorial of my first shot at the recipe. Notice how I am meticulous in using the recipe’s specified ingredients and exactly measuring the quantities.



The recipe specified the tenderloin cut but I used top sirloin.
The recipe specified the tenderloin cut but I used top sirloin.

The recipe specified thyme but I did not have any so I used sage. The black pepper and gralic powder were to-spec.
For seasoning the recipe specified thyme but I did not have any so I used sage. The black pepper and garlic powder were to-spec. This is sauteed to develop a good sear.

For a teaspoon of butter to saute the steaks Iused one ball of butter with dill left over from a Costco salmon fillet.
For a teaspoon of butter to saute the steaks I used one ball of butter with dill left over from a Costco salmon fillet. Awful pattern on the bowl is the fault of the previous occupant.

The recipe specified one medium onion so I used half a large red one left over from something else. For a quarter of a pound of small fresh mushrooms halved I used a handful of medium fresh mushrooms quartered. After a few minutes all is soft and the onions give up their sweetness.
Set the seared steak aside. In the pan juices the recipe specified one medium onion so I used half a large red one left over from something else. For a quarter of a pound of small fresh mushrooms halved I used a handful of medium fresh mushrooms quartered. After a few minutes sauteing all is soft and the onions give up their sweetness.

Add the browned steak back to the sauce to get the centre cooked. Reduce and voila, a tasty steak sauce. Magic provided the roast cauliflower.
Add the browned steak back to the sauce to get the centre cooked. Reduce, and voila, a tasty steak sauce. Magic provided the roast cauliflower.

It would be only half a meal to serve this without wine and 2014 Perissos Aglianico is at its peak.
It would be only half a meal to serve this without wine and 2014 Perissos Aglianico is at its peak.


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