ʽʽHi, I’m Benjamin Nunn – critic, gourmand and author of Ben Viveur. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You might have read me in an in-flight magazine, or a beer publication, but here on my own blog I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others so anything goes.

I deal with real food and drink in the real world, aiming to create recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. Likewise, I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended.

Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Final meal 2014 - Black Forest Churrasco

The super-sharp amongst you will recall that, when Italy faced Spain in the Euro 2012 final, I created an awesome new recipe - Gnocchi Bravas - combining the respective cuisines of the finalists.

The super-curious will now be wondering if I've done something similar for Argentina vs Germany in the World Cup, and the answer is: Yes. Yes, I have.

The super-cautious can probably look away now, as it's a bit, well, left-field. Think of it as an inspired tactical substituion.

Argentina is best known for seasoned, grilled meats, and while I could've gone down a safe route and just served that with a bit of Bratwurst, there didn't seem to be a whole lot of imagination involved there.

Black Forest Churrasco: Official meal of the World Cup Final?

So instead I've partnered the steak with elements from that classic Teutonic dessert of the 1970s, the Black Forest Gateau.

Chocolate. Cherries. Cream. Individually, none of these are that uncommon as partners to meat. Like most good foodies, I put chocolate in my chilli con carne. Duck and Venison go well with cherry, and (like the late Michael Winner) we've all enjoyed a rich, creamy sauce at some point.

However, I'm not sure anybody has ever attempted a full-on Black Forest sauce in a savoury context before.

Because of its experimental nature I've conceived this as a starter/small plate, but if you like it, by all means use a larger steak and serve it with potatoes and salad.

It tastes surprisingly good. 

Black Forest Churrasco

Ingredients - two small plates:
Preperation is key...

Two smallish sirloin steaks, ideally cut gaucho-style (long and thin in a zig-zag)
Olive oil
Cayenne pepper
Sea salt

For the Black Forest sauce:

Dark chocolate, just a few small squares
Butter, a small knob
Double cream, about two tablespoons
Black cherries, about a dozen, stoned, halved, and marinated overnight in...
Kirsch (or similar liqueur)
Sea salt

To serve:

Onions, sliced for grilling
Carrot shavings (optional)


The first thing is to get your sauce going by gently melting some butter in a small saucepan on a low heat. Chuck in your marinated cherries and the alcohol they've been soaking in and when it's warm, add the chocolate.

Chocolate cherry cream sauce
You don't want to burn the sauce so keep the heat low and give it a stir, finally adding the cream and a pinch of salt to taste. Ideally the sauce shouldn't be too sweet and the tartness of the black cherries should shine through.

With the sauce done, you can prep your steaks, by rubbing both sides with oil, Cumin, Cayenne and salt - any excess oil and spice can be rubbed into your onions.

The steak can be done on any sort of open grill - like the faithful old George Foreman - or a barbecue.

When the steak is prepped Churrasco-style, it cooks extremely quickly, and you don't need me telling you that it's important not to overcook it.

The Argies are in for a right grilling at half time...
In practice this means get your onions on first, and only whack the steak on board once they've started to brown. Two minutes on side one and a minute on side two will probably be enough if you've got a really hot grill - on a misbehaving barbecue it'll probably take longer, but you know how you like your steak done better than I do.

When you're ready to plate it all up, put the sauce to the side - folks will undoubtedly be sceptical about the prospect of chocolate and cherry with their steak - and finish it off with a final drizzle of cream in the middle of the sauce.

Serve immediately with a few carrot shavings - and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. wtf, sort of thing that looks totally insane but might just work


Comments are always welcomed and encouraged, especially interesting, thought-provoking contributions and outrageous suggestions.