Like so many culinary trends, this one originated in Spain, more specifically in the Basque Country. In this region, chuletóns (ribeye steaks weighing about 1.5 kg) from older cows represent the peak of the culinary art. Beautifully marbled meat and a thick, yellow layer of fat provide an incredibly intense spectrum of flavours that includes buttermilk, herbs, hay and cream. The meat is tasty with a firm texture – not for people who expect steak to melt in their mouth. It is best cooked over charcoal or on a nice wood-burning grill to give the flavours that extra boost. Marbling refers to the fat content of the meat and hence to the flavour and, in turn, the fat content depends on the age of the animal. Anyone who has ever dealt with the legendary Japanese beef from Kobe will know that these animals are not slaughtered until they are about four years old. Thomas Huber would agree with me when I say: we generally eat animals when they are far too young. They should have a longer life, and they should be allowed to graze as often as possible.
Here’s a good tip for you: the website www.kuhteilen.ch is currently selling meat from an old, fat Limousin cow. For CHF 169 you get a BBQ/grill package with meat that has been matured on the bone, plus sausages, burgers, steaks, brisket and ribs (more on that another time). The animal was slaughtered on the farm. I recently saw a neat phrase on Twitter that I’m happy to share with you: A good steak is 90% buying and 10% cooking. Think about that next time you’re shopping for meat. And please always buy locally wherever possible.
To balance out this meat-heavy column, here are three veggie suggestions for takeaway or delivery:
- Vegetable lasagne from Didis Frieden on Stampfenbachstrasse, open Monday to Friday 11 am to 2 pm, also sells great wines at good prices
- Vegan sandwich with baba ghanoush, chickpeas, kale and spices in warm ciabatta from Iykyk at Holbeinstrasse 25, via Ubereats or to go. Iykyk is a joint venture between Mame Coffee and Gajin Izyaka. Monday to Friday 11:30 am to 2 pm and 6 pm to 9 pm.
- Chacheli (bowls) from Huusbeiz, delivered via Dabbavelo in the reusable bowls that we mentioned recently in this column: 100% vegetarian, 100% local, Tuesday to Friday 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.