Tag Archives: Steak

Why we got rid of our deep fryer

So, you all came here today expecting a recipe to follow on from my Deep frying post yesterday. Well I’m sorry to disappoint, but as we got rid of our Deep Fryer years ago, I don’t have any way of preparing and photographing a dish, even if I wanted to. That’s not strictly true, I could use the cooker top method. However, it’s difficult to control the oil temperature as well as being dangerous and to be honest it’s not something I’m really comfortable with, so I’ve decided instead to tell you about why we got rid of our deep fryer.

Fish and chips, a popular take-away food of th...
Image via Wikipedia

The short version of this story is because I was morbidly obese and deep frying was one of the reasons that I had become (and remained) that way. The long version goes a bit more like this…

When we first got our deep fryer it was a fabulous tool – every so often, we’d have chips with our dinner or onion rings or some battered fish etc. This is back in the days when I was first starting to cook “properly” from scratch. It was really handy just to be able to fire something in there to go with whatever I was cooking from scratch.

That was part of the problem though, it was too easy, too convenient. What’s for dinner tonight? Fish and chips? Chicken, chips and onion rings? Steak and chips? you get the idea and what was even worse was that we were using frozen chips, onion rings etc. We weren’t even cutting our own potatoes not to mention cooking from scratch for more than half our meal but that was OK cause at least we were cooking something from scratch!?

In truth, that would be fine if we were only doing it occasionally, but it started to become multiple times a week. All because of the convenience and the easy excuse “I’m too tired to cook after a long day in the office”. And then there was the smell of chipper throughout our entire home. It became easy to use the same excuse to leave the cleaning of the fryer and changing of the oil until the weekend.

Eventually we came to our senses and we said that we would put the fryer away in the back of one of the cupboards and try to eat “proper food” for 2 weeks. Thankfully, about 6 months later we discovered the fryer in the back of the same press and it wasn’t a pretty reunion, as soon as I lifted the lid and got the smell from inside I gagged and I knew deep fried food had returned to it’s proper place in my diet as a treat every once in a while.

Have I ever regretted it? On occasions, when I see a nice piece of cod in the fish monger or when we visited Fifteen Amsterdam on holidays and tasted deep fried Zucchini for the first time, oh and that time experimenting with Gnocchi before service in a restaurant kitchen and someone threw the little pillows of heaven in and crisped the outside, they were divine!

Overall though I don’t regret getting rid of our deep fryer, we both lost weight and are healthier as a result :)

Thinking about Meat

It’s a really strange thing I’ve noticed but most meat eaters don’t really think about the meat they eat terribly much, in fact from talking to vegetarians I know and have known over the years it is clear to me that they actually think more about the meat us meat eaters eat than most of us do.

For a lot of us the most we think about meat is will I have beef, lamb, chicken or pork for my lunch/dinner? Most of us make our way around the supermarket and pick up our nice pre-packaged cuts without ever wondering how long it is since this mooed/clucked/snorted etc. Really how many of us actually look closely at the cut before we put it in our trolley and take it home? How many of us even look at the label to see where it came from?

It’s a bit crazy especially when you come to realise that one of the key differences in the meals you eat at home and the meals you eat in a restaurant is the quality of the ingredients. Not all meat is created equal, just like some cuts taste better than others some animals just taste better. This is usually in my experience to do with the way they are reared and the way that they are butchered.

A well butchered cut of meat can make an impact as dramatic to a meal as the addition of seasoning and sometimes even more so. That’s why I’m constantly on the search for a better butcher. Every so often I try a new butcher and for a while I find good value or better cuts but then almost as soon as I get comfortable with a butcher, the quality or value or both just start to drop off, so I end up varying which butcher I use just to keep them on their toes.

The Market Butcher
The Market Butcher

When we visited Taste of Dublin, one of the many brochures that I picked up at the event was one for The Market Butcher it was only later I realised that their shop is just up the road from me, so I popped in one day and picked up some steaks for dinner, let’s just say that they were among the finest I have ever tasted.

Since then, I’ve been a regular customer and I’ve seen no difference in quality, every cut I’ve tried has been superb. It’s great for me because we are local but they do accept orders on-line and even offer free delivery for larger orders.

The range on offer is huge and the pricing is competitive with the supermarkets while giving much better quality and to top off, all their beef, chicken, lamb and pork is Irish. I haven’t tried the other more exotic options yet, so I haven’t asked about the origins but the staff have never been anything other than exceptionally helpful so I have no doubt they will be happy to answer any questions from customers.

Give them a try – I cannot recommend the fillet steak highly enough – I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.