It did go well, the beef Stroganof. I suppose it does come down to ingredients, doesn’t it? We bought the fillet steak from our real butchers in a local town. As you probably know, this is the most expensive cut of beef. It does taper off at the end – and most people want it to make a special meal around frying a gorgeously tasty steak shaped steak. As we were cutting ours into strips (about the thickness of an old-fashioned wine gum, but 2 inches long (4o to 50 mm) (that’s for you young people)), I asked the butcher to give us the scrappy ends, as we were going to ruin the steak shape anyway. If you look after your butcher, they will look after you, is my philosophy. One other butcher friend is always busiest at Christmas time. That mad and busy (and profitable?) time comes to an abrupt end with the cold lean wastes of January staring him in the face. So he put up a sign, borrowing from a byline you will all remember from The RSPCA. It said, “Your butcher is for all the year round, not just for Christmas!”. Some took offence, but most of us understood both the sentiment and the gentle jibe. It worked.
The mushrooms and onions were bought in a proper greengrocer, opposite the butchers. I do love proper shopping, but only have space at the weekends – so the supermarket wins in the week. That’s why they are called convenience stores, I suppose. The Rioja was on offer at the local (small) co-op around the corner.
Yes, proper romantic dinner. J was out at a night school Pilates class, so I was able to tart up the room and get the food ready for arrival home. A tiny (half a glass each) bottle of Cava was a great start. Bought in chocolate souffle finished the meal very nicely thank you.
Yes, of course it is nice to go out for a meal. But I like cooking for my best beloved on Valentine’s day. It’s all part of the romance, isn’t it? We are going out for a special lunch on Saturday instead – watch this space.