Food from a Physicist who loves to cook

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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!


Let be Honest I’m always making excuses about this blog, so instead today I am going to make a resolution, to blog more consistently but scale back my posts. No more fluff about my life etc prattling on for a few paragraphs, at least not until I have a life that involves more than, get up, go to PhD, come home coffee, hang out with the girls (1&2 years old), eat watch tv and bed. Strangely with all that time though I haven’t found time to blog, which is annoying, but I guess I am just a very sleepy person. So here is a post about food I cooked in November when I went home for my mothers 50th.

Rosemary and Port Lamb

This is a recipe I have adapted from Nigella, and I’m going to be honest so far I have yet to use port in it, I find that a half and half mixture of red wine and red vermouth works rather well.

Ingredients For two

  • Two table spoons of olive oil
  • A table spoon of  of Worcester sauce
  • Two bone less lamb legs steaks (a bit pricy but this meal is a treat)
  • Half a red onion (use the other half in a couscous salad to accompany the lamb)
  • a 15g Knob of butter or there about
  • Two sprigs of rosemary
  • A fat clove of Garlic or two small ones finely chopped
  • 50ml of red wine mixed with 50ml of red vermouth
  1. Trim the lamb of any fat, then in a bowl mix together the oil and the Worcester sauce  and then cover the steaks with this mixture, I tend to dunk the steaks in it and let them rest a bit.
  2. While the lamb is resting in the mixture, finely chop both the rosemary and the garlic. Cut a red onion in half and chop into small pieces  you only need one half, but the other half can be used to make a cous cous salad, combine the onion with things like sun-dried tomato, pepper olives and mint.

    Frying off the onion, rosemary and garlic

    Frying off the onion, rosemary and garlic

  3. Heat a heavy bottomed non stick frying pan and cook the steaks for about 3 minutes on either side if you like your lamb pinkish like me or a little longer if you prefer it well done. Then wrap in foil and let it rest while you cook the sauce.
  4. In the juices left over from cooking the lamb and any excess oil and Worcester sauce mix, cook the red onion until it softens down, then add the rosemary let that cook in for a minute and add the garlic. Now pour in the wine and vermouth into the pan and let it sizzle stir and then let it reduce down .
  5. Un wrap the steaks from the foil and add the juices the to sauce, then serve steaks covered in the sauce with the cous cous salad  and some green veg or  fancy mushy peas.
A plate full of goodness

A plate full of goodness



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