Food from a Physicist who loves to cook

Tag Archives: cocktails

So unless you have been living in a cave, or have taken the shunning of valentines day to the point where you deny it happens, you’ll know it was valentines day last Thursday. This year, I decided to forgo cocktails with the girls because we’ve scattered to the 4 winds, Germany, US and China, and cooked a valentines dinner, because I love to cook, also any excuse for steak!

I’m just going to give you my recipe for peppercorn gravy, because people like to cook their steaks differently  and though these were extra tender possibly due to the garlic and time butter, you don’t need another person saying room temperature steaks, dry, hot pan, turn frequently, let it stand for at least 5mins after, it’s out there already. I’ve made this gravy a number of times, and it’s always got a good reception, the comedy soc guys seemed to enjoy it when I cooked it for steak night and here is what the boy thought.

“That steak was so good, one of the best I have ever had, I mean wow, my only worry is that after that other meals just wont taste as good.”

The classic cuts of beef taken from delicious magazine

The classic cuts of beef taken from delicious magazine

Creamy Peppercorn Gravy

  • 1 pint of boiled water
  • 2 beef oxo cubes or possibly a beef gravy pot.
  • The juices from the steaks
  • Double cream
  • Ground black pepper or Crushed pepper corns
  • plain flour
  • butter

Not exactly a heart friendly list there, with double cream and butter, but okay as a treat once in a while as long as you don’t eat it out of the pan with a spoon like me.

  1. This sauce has a Roux as a base, so start by melting a knob of butter approximately 25g-50g in a non stick sauce pan over a low heat. Stir in the flour to make a smooth paste, start with a tbsp and then add a little at a time until you have a smooth paste. Keep this on the heat stirring it a little until the flour is cooked.
  2. Take the roux of the heat. Dissolve both the beef stock cubes in a pint of boiling water. Slowly add the stock to the roux, add a little and stir until you have a slightly thinner smooth paste, continue adding a little and stirring till smooth until all the stock is mixed in and you have a light brown thickish sauce, with no lumps.
  3. Return this to the heat to thicken and add as much pepper as you like, I like lots but I know some prefer less.
  4. As you take the steaks out of the pan to rest, add the cream to the sauce about 1/4 of a tub or more if you like a creamier gravy. Bring this gently to the boil, and once boiling remove from the heat, and at this point add in the meat juices. Taste and season if needed.

Serve with your steak, I like lots of Gravy but I know others who don’t like loads, so just have a little or as much as you like. Now enjoy!


So I’ve had a busy weekend away from the bubble, which is why I didn’t manage to update. I was in Glasgow, seeing friends and family, which was great. It was lovely to see everyone and get a break from work.

A selection of my favourite food

My cousins husband, cooked an amazing tea for us on the Saturday night, it was tai chicken curry with noodles, and was absolutely fantastic, I’m going to be stealing the recipe for sure. He’s also amazing at cocktails; he put my pathetic attempts to shame, so Saturday was amazing.

Getting home on Sunday night, I was exhausted, but quite hungry, so after rushing to do the food shopping before everywhere closed I decided to make fondue. This made me very excited for my holiday to Chamonix later this month, where I will hopefully be eating a lot of traditional Savoyard food, and fondue is the perfect example.

Can do cheese fondue

  • Cheese, a mix of hard strong cheese like gruyer and a soft cheese like brie
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Rosemary
  • White wine
  • Flour
  • Bread for dipping

Three key ingredients

  1. Peel the cloves of garlic and crush with flat of a knife, and then rub around the bottom and sides of the pan. Leave the cloves in the pan, to infuse into the mixture, and deepen the taste.
  2. Then add some white wine, about 200ml depending on how much you are making, turn up the heat and allow the wine to simmer/boil.
  3. While waiting for the wine to boil, chop the cheese into small chunks, and when the wine is boiling, at the cheese a few pieces at a time, making sure you whisk it lots and lots.
  4. Keep whisking until you have a smooth consistency, if needed add a little flour to thicken up the mixture, and season with pepper and rosemary. Serve piping hot in the pan, and eat by dipping chunks of bread into the molten cheese.

This is a simple, yet flashy meal, that will impress, without taking you ages to prepare, plus, it’s so much fun dipping the bread in the cheese and trying to catch the strings. Be careful though it is very easy to overdose on cheese with this recipe.

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