BLOKES EAT BEEF: NO HEFFERS ALLOWED
One of the beauties of the Internet is how quickly a plan can come together.
A few weeks before Christmas, I was scrolling down a page of comments of Twitter and came across a tag which read #girlssteakclub. As the name suggests it was a steak-eating event at the splendid Hawksmoor restaurant, organised by women for women with a strict ban on those of us who carry a Y chromosome.
I thought it was a rather silly idea to have an event which set out to exclude half the possible audience and more in petulance than anything else, I created my own tag suggesting a competing event open only to those who could prove they have never talked about their feelings, watched Sisterhood of The travelling Pants (I or II) and think that a good scratch “down there” in the morning is one of the proofs of God’s existence. So, #blokeseatbeef was born and within twenty minutes of me creating the tag, nearly thirty people had contacted me asking for a place.
With Will & Huw of Hawksmoor throwing their lot in with the girlies and with London’s paucity of places for great steak there was one other option for the dinner and that, of course was Goodman. One call to their estimable GM David Strauss and the private room was booked giving us space for twenty-five serious meat eaters to explore their wildest dead cow fantasies.
Although I will of course take lots and lots of credit for the success of last night’s events. In truth every bit of the organisation bar getting people to turn up was down to David and his team. The Goodman guys went into action contacting their suppliers to send in the very best beef they had. There were two five rib joints of Irish beef from Darragh O’ Shea, huge slabs of Belted Galloway from the Lake District, Charolais/Limousin from Scotland and, of course Goodman’s USP, a whacking great piece of prime wet aged USDA from Nebraska.
On their own, this amount of beef (36kgs for the record) would have been enough for a feast, but David was determined to make it even more of a night to remember and had turned to his best suppliers to bring us three courses that will stay in the memory as long as the beef does in our colons.
Glasses of Chapel Down Sparkling Rose might not have seemed the most butch of drinks to begin with, but cleared the palate wonderfully as we all gathered in the private room and watched members of staff carry in trays of raw beef so chef, John Cadieux could take us through the merits of the different cuts. Again, for the record, there was an equal amount of beef to that shown in the picture left down in the kitchen ready to be thrown on their Josper grills
Yes, in case you are not believing your own eyes, we did all gather around to take photographs of the meat as if we were The Sun's finest and it were Amy Winehouse on one of her regular late night tumbles to the gutter. We (and by we, I mean I) may even have given one of the more oxidised joints a stroke as it went passed.
First however, a little starter courtesy of Frank Hederman who, with his wife, had personally flown over three sides of smoked salmon for us to begin our meal. For anyone who hasn’t tried it, it is well worth seeking out. It was a glorious colour, meaty and with a light scent of smoke, a perfect way to begin and complimented by a separate preparation with a mix of cucumber and crème fraiche.
The main course, the beef of course, involved a bit of a test as plate after plate of perfectly cooked meat was brought to the table with only numbers to identify them. The three tables jumped on the plates as soon as they were placed in front of us and we soon began heated debates as to which was our favourite. Opinions differed widely as to which was the best and why. #2, my own choice turned out to be the USDA prime, but there was a strong show of hands for all the other plates at the end of the meal when David asked our opinions.
With steaks, of course come sides, this time in the shape of chips (fat, damn them) creamed spinach and excellent tobacco onions all from vegetables supplied by the excellent MASH Purveyors of New Covent Garden. Also, there is nothing to compliment well prepared meat than an excellent glass of wine and again, thanks to the generosity of Goodman’s suppliers our glasses were constantly topped up during the evening with delicious Malbec and Chardonnay from Argentinean award winner Catena.
I find it hard to imagine that I or anyone else could possibly have made room for more food, but the cheese course, courtesy of La Fromagerie offered up a particularly ripe and pungent slice of Stinking Bishop and I could not resist having a nibble before finally giving in and slumping back on my seat exuding meat juices through some most unusual places.
Meat sweats were very much in evidence amongst the others too as the trays of bones were carried away, but not before most of the party had requested doggy bags to fill with the remains so they could relive the evening at a later date.
In case you are wondering why there is a picture of the food correspondent from The One Show gurning over a plate of bones, Mr Rayner popped in to steal some leftover beef on his way home from reviewing another restaurant.
All that for the bargain amount of £50, which again owes more to the generosity of David, Goodman Steakhouse and their terrific suppliers than it does to my own powers of persuasion. #girlssteakclub is tonight. I am sure it will be a great event, how could it not be at Hawksmoor? But, it is going to have to go some to beat the first of what I hope will be many #blokeseatbeef events.
And, of course, you have to wonder what the hell they are going to do if someone finds a spider in the sink.