BITTERS WITH STEAK!!!
by Andrew Chalk
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.