VEGETARIANS, avert your eyes. One of my favourite things to eat is steak, but the way you get it at a restaurant is often very different to how you prepare it at home. Which is why I was delighted to be invited to a steak master class hosted by Hussar Grill at Silwood Kitchen.
This was going to be the perfect opportunity to up my steak skills, with the added advantage of eating steak and drinking wine at the same time. Who could ask for more on a Thursday evening?
The master class is hosted by Greg Bax from Hussar Grill. The first Hussar opened in Rondebosch in 1964 so it’s backed by more than 50 years of experience.
I’ve always enjoyed eating at the various branches in Cape Town, and my opinion is backed up by the awards it has won for its meat and its wine selection.
As for Bax, he has more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry, and ran the kitchen at the Rondebosch Hussar for a decade. After that he began these master classes, which have been going on for five years.
First, the most important thing to do – and this applies whether you are eating in or out – is to get a glass of wine in your paw. Ernst Gouws (the man and the wine farm) supplied the wine for the night, and he kept my glass full of 2014 shiraz. My kind of guy.
When Bax called the class to order, he explained a lot about beef and things like the difference between wet and dry aging, and why it’s important. Then it was time to cook our first steak. Nerita Bharuth, a Silwood teacher and an excellent one at that, demonstrated how to make béarnaise, which was a whole lot easier than I imagined.
All our ingredients were measured out for us, which made life a lot easier. Bax taught us about cooking times to achieve that perfect medium-rare (or less, in my case), and the results were fabulous. Interestingly enough, Gouws paired a chardonnay with the fillet and béarnaise. It worked because fillet is not high in flavour, but the wine complimented the buttery sauce.
Cooking in pairs, we were equally successful with our sirloin with pepper sauce – spectacularly flambéed – and even won the prize for best pepper sauce. Winning is everything, I don’t care what anyone says.
We finished by making Hussar’s signature chocolate vodka martini, also remarkably simple, and oh so delicious. And very rich, to be honest. This meal included loads of butter and cream along with the steak so it’s not for the (literally) faint of heart.
Gouws is always the wine supplier for the evenings and the class includes sirloin with pepper sauce, fillet with béarnaise, and naked rump (without a sauce).
The chocolate vodka martini we made was an added extra, but it is hoped it will be added in future.
l The classes, which cost R450, a person, are listed at www.silwood.co.za. The kitchen can accommodate 14 people, so you’re welcome to book as an individual, or in pairs or groups. To book call 021 6864894 or email [email protected]