There are numerous reasons why I am glad I am not French. However, one thing I do admire about the French is their attitude towards food. Had I been contemplating the works of Proust or Rousseau in an apartment by the Seine, rather than struggling to make sense of IR theory in my matchbox room in Uni hall when the horse meat scandal struck, I suspect that public reactions would have been quite different. Stage an all-out boycott on Tesco? Alert the Food Standards Agency? What madness, you’d hear us say. A prime cut of hand reared pony all for the price of a 50p frozen Bolognese – C’est bon. So rather than scour my freezer for any hidden traces of Pasta alla Seabiscuit, I have decided to embrace my inner Francophile, and discover how to serve horse the French way, wine recommendations included. Dinner on Saturday anyone?
Cheval Steak avec Croute Rustiques
Serves – 4
Costs – hard to tell, possibly your reputation
What you will need
4 horse meat steaks, a ballsy butcher and some culinarily adventurous friends
2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
3 tbsp of butter
2 cloves of fresh garlic, or a tsp of the powdered stuff
A handful of bread crumbs
A head of chopped parsley and a few stalks of rosemary
Salt and pepper
Instructions for Preparation
After safely making it home avoiding the wrath of VeganSoc or the RSPCA, preheat your oven to gas mark 6 and begin to prepare your steaks.
Score the outer surface of the steaks, as this will help to hold your crust, then season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for around fifteen minutes.
While My Little Pony and Friends are happily cooking away, you should begin to prepare your rustic herb crust. Mix together the mustard, butter and garlic to form a smooth paste. In a separate bowl combine the bread crumbs, parsley and rosemary, season with salt and pepper.
Once ready, take the steaks out and leave to cool for a few minutes. During this time you could lay the table, wash up or perhaps consider the morality of the meal you are about to serve.
When the steaks have cooled slightly, first spread the mustard paste on the scored side of the steaks, then cover with the herby bread crumbs.
Place the now-herby steaks back into the oven and roast for a further 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is slightly golden brown.
Horse meat, I am told — I admit I am yet to try my culinary creation — lies (in taste) somewhere between beef and venison. So serve with seasonal veg, potatoes, a bottle of full-bodied red wine, nothing too fruity, and certainly not with white. That would be the real scandal.