15 September 2013

Vegetarian Steak & Chips [by @Nli10]

I'm a meat-eater.  I tried vegetarianism for 9 months and came to the conclusion that if I wanted to survive university that eating at least some meat was the way to go.  This said since living with a vegetarian I've certainly reduced my meat intake at home to almost non-existant levels.  Most of the meals that I make at home (and all of the ones I don't make) are 100% veggie, and a lot are probably vegan too.  That said I do like to have a variety of flavours and textures and to try new things.

When I was doing an online Sainsbury's order I spotted Quorn Steak Strips.  To me this sounded fantastic - I used to love the peppered Quorn beef thing that I bought at uni.  Although it was far too easy to dry out once you got the hang of it it was lovely.  This brought back those memories and I remembered I also had some dodgy American Fries I got from my local shop to go with them.

I got out some large Sun-Dried tomatoes and the ketchup ready to go on the side but thought that it may be a nice idea to crack out the take-away grade sauces.

You know how you can't get that Spare Rib flavour at home using the traditional jar sauces in normal supermarkets?  You need this. We reviewed their plum sauce and similarly you really don't need much of this to make a flavoursome recipe.  After coating and frying the 'steak' in the sauce I added some mayo and left it to break down and intermingle to take the edge off it.  This really does work (once the egg hits the temperature it vanishes and just becomes a clear sauce and bubbles away) and helps make the Quorn a bit crisper like tofu.

The 'steak' looks so pale above as it's cooked from frozen.

Here it is looking black and charred and just like real sliced steak!  The pic is too dark as I took it in the living room instead of the well-lit kitchen, but you get the idea.  

The fries were a bit underdone (even at Gas Mark 8 they needed longer than stated on the bag - probably as my freezer is very cold) but nice.  The steak was amazing.  Yes - it pretty much just tasted of the amazing sauce and the texture won't fool a veteran carnivore, but it was a really nice satisfying meal.

I think that the great tastes here will encourage me to swap out a bag of the frozen chicken Quorn from our shop for steak on most weeks.  I know it's probably the same stuff fundamentally, but it really was a nice enough change to warrant the extra effort.

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