cooking on slate

Steak on a Slate

Food cooked on the campfire always tastes great. But it’s good to experiment. It’s good to try different foods and different ways of cooking them too, but still on the fire of course. 

So this week I’ve been cooking steak on slate. And it tastes epic!

Heading to one of my favourite woodlands, my dogs and I took a walk through the winter foliage. The dogs love this time of year, scampering through the deep crunchy leaf litter, scenting and playing as they go.

The day was a bit overcast and drizzly but there was a steak to be cooked so the weather wasn’t going to stop me. So once we reached our space for lunch I put up a tarp so the dogs had somewhere to shelter and cracked on to get the fire lit. 

I feel incredibly grateful to have access to such an ancient woodland. The landowner has given permission for me to be here, and most importantly, I have permission to have a campfire. That is incredibly important.

With such dense leaf litter it is important to clear it back in the patch where the fire will be lit. This helps to stop any potential spread of fire and means the fire will be lit directly on to the damp bare earth.

There is plenty of dead standing wood so collecting firewood in this patch is straight forward. 

Once the fire is lit and going well the slate was placed over the fire and balanced on rocks either side. The heat transferred well through the slate and it was soon ready to use.

These steaks are locally produced and a great cut of rump. Before being placed on to the hot slate I liberally seasoned the steaks with a blend of dried chilli flakes, paprika, salt and pepper to enhance their flavour.

As the cool steaks hit the hot slate they make a satisfying sizzling sound and the smell  is immense. Though already packed with flavour the steaks are  enhanced even further by being liberally smothered with smooth creamy butter using sprigs of fresh rosemary, a winning combination.

And as the tender steak starts to brown and the melting butter oozes across the sizzling meat with the oils releasing from the Rosemary, the smell is incredible. 

So while the slate is working its magic on these prime cuts of meat it is time for coffee. And if you’re going to have coffee, it has to be proper coffee, right?

So with the ground coffee spooned in to the kettle, and water added, the kettle is nestled at the side of the fire to gently brew and bubble away. The Eagle kettle is great for this, it holds the right amount of coffee for one, it’s small and portable and its shape sits well amongst the embers. Definitely a great piece of kit.

Once the steak is browning on one side, it was time to gently turn, and listen to the delicious sizzle of steak on slate. The other side of the steak was also treated to a smothering of smooth creamy butter liberally spread using the rosemary sprigs to enhance the flavour. 

As the fire and hot slate continue to work their magic on the steak I cut and prep the fresh, white, crusty bread. Cutting, then smoothing over yet more creamy butter, the bread is ready.

There are so many great accompaniments with steak. But when the steak is the star of the show, then keep it simple. So don’t overlook the humble steak sandwich, made extra special cooked in this way. 

With the kettle now boiling it’s time to pour, after giving the kettle a few gentle taps to settle the coffee grounds to the bottom. This little tip means you get a cup of smooth coffee to drink and enjoy, rather than a cup full of grounds to chew…yuk.

Coffee poured. Bread and butter ready. And the smell of the steak, rosemary and campfire permeating through the woodland air, it’s time to serve.

Placing the sumptuous steak on to the buttered bread, my stomach is more than ready for this feast. And as the oozy butter starts to dribble from the side of the succulent steak sandwich my salivary glands have definitely kicked in to life! 

Coffee in hand, the steak sandwich on my plate and relaxing under a tree, I take the first bite. It’s an enormous bite, but there’s no time for manners here, this tastes just too good! Incredible in fact!

The steak just melts in my mouth. The smokey infusions from the fire, combined with the oils from the rosemary and the rich creamy butter are a taste sensation, all wrapped up in fresh white crusty bread.

Enjoying great food is good anytime. But enjoying food while sat in a woodland, enjoying the peace and sounds of nature, with my dogs by my side? Life just doesn’t get better than this!

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