I know you all missed me. I missed you too. But don’t worry – today’s food will make up for the lack of posts in the last 5 days.
There’s an amazing butcher on Kipling and Dundas in Toronto (rather, Etobicoke, to be exact) that’s been around for a while called Medium Rare. They specialize in local, mostly grass-fed meats, and they have an outstanding selection of in-house sausage: all MSG/nitrate/sugar/gluten FREE. Linda and I have tried their venison and berry sausage (delish!), and their duck and cherry sausage (awesome!). We absolutely love their Great Polish Garlic Sausage. Go figure. A family of Italians make better Polish sausage than us Polaks. It is out of this world!
We recently bought a whole chicken from them, and roasted it with a lemon up it’s rear end, tons of fresh thyme and sage, garlic, and I slathered that bird in butter and lard. Oh. Em. GEEEEEEEEEEE.
This is where I also buy my wild boar lard. It’s about $8 for a container and lasts me a while.
No matter where you are in the GTA, I urge you to please check out Medium Rare. Their staff is impeccably friendly, their meat to die for, and you will thank me once you try their wild boar lard. Promise.
The weather has been stunning lately. Almost a little too warm for March. I’m not complaining. The Weather Network is warning us that winter isn’t over yet. I’m in denial. But today certainly feels like a blast from the Ol’ Bugger: it’s about -10 degrees celsius, and windy. But it’s so sunny!
I had a package of Great Polish Garlic Sausage, and a 2 lb piece of flank steak, both purchased from Medium Rare. Linda said she wanted to try that sausage on the bbq, as we’ve always oven-roasted it.
I threw on thick socks, and my house coat, and proceeded to head out into the chilly, sunny air and start up the bbq.
Speaking of our bbq, we are in need of a new one. It’s a hand-me-down, and it’s served us extremely well for over two years. But a knob broke off, and only one side lights up. Believe me, the thing is still usable. I just feel kind of ghetto.
Maybe after the wedding. Or if we snag a good deal on one before it gets too warm.
I’m rotating my veggies again, I need/like variety, and I’m always looking for different ways of eating the same veg in a new, special way.
Baby bok choy, for example. It’s easy to prepare, and has a mild flavour. But no matter what I do to it, it’s always kind of…boring.
Until today. When bacon met bok choy.
Sautéed in bacony goodness, onions, garlic, and of course, butter: the mildness of the bok choy contrasting with the bold flavours of bacon and onions is magical. You will lick your plate. I almost did.
The rub I created for the flank steak is simple to prepare, and can be used on anything. I love it on beef, but it would be awesome on eggs, in a burger, pork, salmon, you name it.
Smoky, Spicy Rub
Makes almost 1 cup.
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1.5 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons chipotle powder
Combine all the above in a bowl. Set this aside.
1 2lb piece of flank steak
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Preheat your bbq to about 300 to 350 degrees. I can only use one burner, so one burner at 300 degrees gets pretty hot. I grilled the Great Polish Garlic Sausage first. Don’t they look awesome?
Now, on to the steak. Rub about two tablespoons of olive oil on both sides of the steak. Generously coat both sides with your Smoky and Spicy Rub. Really pat it into the meat. Some rub will fall off. This is ok. Sprinkle generously with sea salt. I was left with a few tablespoons of rub left. I’ll use it for something else later this week.
After the sausages were done, and the bbq was a little hotter than 300 degrees, I threw the steak on. Close the lid. Leave it for about 3 minutes, then give it a quarter turn on the grill. This will give you beautiful hash marks. You will look like a pro. Cover it again for about 2 – 3 minutes. Flip it. Leave it for another 3 minutes. Add a few globs of lard or butter on top, let it melt. Remove from heat onto a large baking sheet or cutting board. Your choice.
Bacony Bok Choy with Onions and Garlic
5 stalks of baby bok choy, separated into leaves, and washed thoroughly
1.5 tablespoons organic or grass-fed butter
2 slices good quality pastured bacon, snipped into pieces
1/4 of a white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
Prepare your baby bok choy by cutting off the ends and separating the stalks. Leave the little guys deep in the middle alone; they look pretty. Rinse these well in a colander and set aside.
Heat a large frying pan to medium heat, add your butter and snipped up pieces of bacon. Let your bacon brown just slightly, and add your onions in. Stir, season with a little sea salt. Allow onions to bright a little. Add in your bok choy, red pepper flakes, and some extra sea salt. Toss, stir, coat. Put a lid on and leave it for about 3 minutes. Check on it: your leaves should be wilted, and stems should be turning a little translucent. Add in your garlic. Toss to coat. Take it off the heat, and leave it while you slice up your steak.
Plate this up and devour!