What does food mean to you? Do you fawn over the thought of a juicy steak like the one above or do you see food as fuel for your busy life and couldn’t really care less what you eat? I would like to think my readers fall in to the first category, if you do then how would you feel if I told you that juicy tender steak above was actually horse, are you viewing it with different eyes now?
There is divided opinion about eating horse meat, many parade themselves as a paragon of virtue by saying it shouldn’t be eaten, it’s cruel and in humane whilst tucking into a roast leg of lamb. There are those that won’t eat it because they’re either vegetarian or just won’t eat it based on there own principles but still respect it for what it is. Then there are those that would happily chomp down horse meat willingly.
I had an uncomfortable situation today, all centred around this dish. I went into a shop to buy this piece of slate, the woman at the counter got into a friendly chat about how nice this piece of slate was and how she might get some for herself, the conversation quickly went sour after I told her I was putting horse meat on it, her face dropped and as I walked away she reeled in horror to her colleague about the atrocious thing I was doing, the whole thing made me un easy and I had second thoughts about posting this. But as I thought about it more I realised that I had nothing to be nervous about, as all I had done was source some responsibly reared meat from a well regulated farm, it just so happened to be horse meat.
There seems to this stigma attached to eating horse, mostly because of our companionistic view of them, we see them as pillars of beauty and lust over there majestic manes, something I view myself, they are beautiful creatures but so are pigs cows and chickens, so who are we to decide which animal gets to have a life of being farmed and which gets to live in a carpeted oasis of treats, squeaky toys and plush bedding. Who are we to decide that a pig is belly fodder yet a horse is off limits?
I will never understand those that willfully remove themselves from where meat comes from yet happily tuck into a pork chop, bacon butty or a roast chicken. This kind of self censorship only breeds ignorance and an un willingness to try something new. This recipe used haunch steaks and it tasted delicious, it’s similar to beef but slightly sweeter, it’s extremely tender.
I’m not saying everyone should now go out and buy horse meat, what I am saying is respect it for what it is, a horse died for me to enjoy these steaks but so did a cute fluffy lamb for you to enjoy your Sunday roast.
Now for the recipe, if you don’t want to use horse meat this recipe will also work with fillet or rump steak.
- 2 Horse haunch steaks (or 2 medium sized fillet/rump steaks)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 a red chilli de seeded
- 2 small sprigs of rosemary
- 2-4 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chicory salad
- 1 head of chicory, outer leaves removed and sliced into chunks
- 2 generous handfuls of watercress
- 1/2 a pomegranate, seeds removed
- 2 tbsp of good olive oil
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Take the garlic, rosemary and chilli and pound in a pestle and mortar until it looks like a paste, mix in the olive oil to loosen the mixture, add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cover the steaks with the mix and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours to marinate.
2. To prepare the salad mix the chicory with the water cress and leave in the fridge until ready to serve. After your steaks have marinated cook on a high heat to your liking ( I like mine medium rare). For a tutorial on cooking steaks properly go here. As the steaks are resting mix the pomegranate seeds with the olive oil and red wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper and dress the salad just before serving.