Adventures in Bachelor Cookery, part 7: Dawn of the Magimix

After deciding to start experimenting moderately seriously with cookery, I figured - maybe foolhardily - that I might not actually be getting too bad at it; although, as you've seen, I do cheat a lot.

So, a while back (OK, major food blogging latency) I went a little bit mad and treated myself to a Magimix 3100 Compact.

I've had some major fun with it, so far - while it comes with an thoroughly eyebrow-raising recipe book which I really should take a more serious look at, I think it's fair to say that I've not made anything which remotely resembles anything in the book yet :-). Probably, other than the recipe below, the main thing it will do for me is to increase both the range and arbitrariness of my soups - I don't think I'm quite ready to start baking yet, for instance.

FWIW, here's the (honest) story of the day I bought it...

After lugging the thing home - a Magimix is NOT light - I took an inventory of the contents of the (suitcase-sized) box and decided to put it through some of its paces. I started by fitting the grating disc, and grabbed the most obvious gratable substance out of the fridge that I had to hand. As I'm a cheese-fiend almost of the magnitude of Wallace, the substance in question was a lump of Cathedral City cheddar.

I found myself, after maybe 8 seconds of testing, with a bowl partly full of remarkably efficiently-grated fairly serious cheddar.

Now what?

There's only one good thing I could immediately think of when it came to cooking with grated cheese, and that was a Swiss Roesti. Granted, such things are supposed to be cooked with Gruyere, but I figured it might work reasonably well with a serious cheddar.

I chucked some baby new potatoes I had going spare (washed, skins still on to keep the best of the flavour) into the Magimix and grated them too. Again, 8 seconds later, the main bowl had a big bunch of well-grated potato in it. I mixed the potato and the cheese up.

I peeled a big bunch of garlic, sliced it as finely as I could with the Bloody Big Knife, put some tinfoil in my grill pan, mixed everything up some more and spread it out on the pan, and then thought "OK, so I've got a serious proto-Roesti here, I just need to bake it well. What can I think of which will go well with it?"

It took maybe an hour for the lightbulb to go on over my head. When it did, I went straight off to Tesco's (again).

I came back with a pack of a couple of rib-eye steaks and a loaf of regular sliced white bread. Oh, and some Chablis to be consumed with dinner, and some beer to be consumed while cooking :-).

I put a couple of slices of bread in my toaster and toasted them until they were on the dark side of golden brown. I then tore the slices up, put the results in the Magimix's mini-bowl, and used the small knife to obliterate them into coarse breadcumbs.

I then took one of the steaks, trimmed the excess fat off it with the Bloody Great Knife, and cut it coarsely into cubes. I put the cubes in the big bowl of the Magimix, and used the main knife to obliterate them. Seriously, it's necessary to get the meat down to the consistency of warm plasticene for the purposes of what I'm up to, here.

(note to self - a Magimix would be awesome for doing Steak Tartare, but I need both very, very serious steak for the purpose and a good recipe in terms of getting the herb balance right... have to look at the recipes linked above)

So, I got to the point of having a small dish full of coarse breadcrumbs and a big bowl containing some raw meat paste. What's next?

Take a big round dinner plate, apply a uniform (as best as you can) layer of breadcrumbs to it.

Press the raw meat paste onto the breadcrumbs by hand, trying to overlap handfuls as best you can to give the overall entity some structural integrity. Keep the meat layer fairly thin if you can, though.

Crank the oven up to maximum heat (about 230 degrees C), put the Roesti in. Cook for 50 minutes.

Wait an appropriate time before doing the mad thing below. This is a good time to have a beer.

Grab your biggest frying pan, add just a little oil, heat the thing up until the oil is smoking.

Slide the meat-and-breadcrumb composite off the plate into the frying pan. Sprinkle the rest of the breadcrumbs on to the top of the meat, press them hard onto the top surface of the meat with a wooden or plastic spatula, making sure the top surface is well covered.

Fry for 3 minutes.

Flip the whole composite over. If things break up, rescue and flip fragments with a (wooden) spatula as best you can.

Fry for 3 more minutes.

Transfer to your plate, add an appropriate portion of suitably-cooked Roesti on the side. Season with freshly-ground black pepper and freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Pour a big glass of dry white wine to drink with it.

If you haven't made the initial commitment of preparing a Roesti, the resulting steak dish actually works better with a light salad drizzled with sesame oil, and / or a potato salad comprising skin-on baby new potatoes with a sesame oil and whole-grain mustard sauce.

Granted, what you get is not Wiener Schnitzel. I'm a big fan of Wiener Schnitzel and have had (probably) the definitive Wiener Schnitzel at Figlmueller in Vienna after presenting at RSA Europe last year, so I know for sure just how good Wiener Schnitzel can get :-).

However, as "Englischer Ledigmaenner Schnitzel", what I got was surprisingly good :-).

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