If there’s one day when I’d expect to put my feet up and be waited on hand and foot, it’s Father’s Day. As a relatively new dad, I’m still trying to get used to the unexpected benefit of having a bonus special day just because I reproduced. Sure, I’ve had 32 birthdays just for me, but having an extra day each year where I’m lavished with gifts and allowed to be lazy is an undoubtedly cool perk of having a kid.
With Father’s Day approaching, I’ve once again teamed up with the good folk at Iceland. This time, the challenge was to cook up and enjoy a slap up meal for Father’s Day using their luxury meat range. Or, to be more accurate, the challenge was to persuade the missus to cook up and let me enjoy a slap up meal for Father’s Day. My most difficult challenge to date, perhaps?
As a stay-at-home dad, the cooking in our house usually falls under my remit, so having a tasty meal prepared by someone else sounded awesome. I enjoy cooking and obviously don’t mind being the one who ensures that we’re fed the majority of the time, but the chance to let the missus display her culinary prowess in the kitchen certainly appealed to my lazy side. It is Father’s Day after all.
So off we popped to our local Iceland to see what we could find. I’d had a sneaky look online at the luxury meats and ‘luxury’ certainly summed them up. We’re talking veal steaks, lamb cutlets. duck breasts, surf and turf, as well as the likes of rump and sirloin steak. All of which are frozen at the peak of freshness to lock in the flavour – that’s the #PowerOfFrozen. My mouth was already salivating at the thought – good job for the ‘Caution Wet Floor’ sign.
Having spent way too long trying to figure out what my Father’s Day meal would be, I decided to go with the luxury chateaubriand . This was a thick cut of from the tenderloin filet of British beef, which had been matured for 21 days for flavour and came with a red wine sauce. I like steak, but it’s rarely something we have – so for me, a big chunk of quality meat certainly screams luxury. Widely regarded as being the finest cut of beef, this chateaubriand cost just a tenner for two people – that’s a sixth of the price you’d be paying in a fancy steakhouse.
To complete the meal, I took inspiration from a recipe I’d seen in store. This suggested serving with asparagus spears and purple potato chips, so I put these into the trolley. I’d not seen purple chips before, so was curious as to what these would look and taste like. I love onion rings, so also added some beer battered onion rings to the meal, along with tomatoes and, of course, a bottle of red wine. Having a massive sweet tooth, I fancied the pot au chocolat for dessert. For two people (and a toddler) my luxury Father’s Day meal came in at £25 and sounded pretty awesome.
The chateaubriand was frozen, so needed to defrost before cooking – the instructions said a minimum of 12 hours in the fridge. However, everything else could be cooked from frozen which was really handy. Once defrosted, the beef was rubbed with oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, then seared in a frying pan to give it a slight crust. It then went in the oven for just over 20 minutes for medium-rare – the instructions said 20 mins rare, 25 mins medium and 30 mins well done.
After a few minutes of the beef being in the oven, the purple potato chips and onion rings were also added as these took around 15 / 20 minutes to cook. The steak came out after the allotted time and was left to rest for 10 minutes, which meant that the asparagus spears could be cooked in the microwave (5 mins) and the tomatoes could be halved, brushed with oil and then given a few minutes on a griddle pan. Finally, the red wine sauce went into the microwave for 30 seconds before everything could be plated up.
I’ll be completely honest – I wasn’t sure how a £10 piece of frozen chateaubriand would go down. I anticipated that it would lose something in the taste and texture department because it wasn’t an expensive, fresh cut of beef. However, I can genuinely say that it tasted great and has changed my view on ‘fresh is always best’ when it comes to meat. The meat was top quality, tender, juicy and flavoursome, plus the red wine sauce added additional flavour to the meal. It was a fantastic bit of meat for the price and something we’d definitely buy again.
I have no complaints whatsoever about any of the other parts to the meal either. Everything was exactly how I’d hope it would be – tasty, good quality and simple to cook. The purple potato chips were an interesting addition to the meal – the shocking colour was a bit weird visually, but they still tasted like chips so I was happy. The only ‘issue’ was that it all went too quickly and the missus wouldn’t share any of her food with me!
So that was my luxury Father’s Day meal. Good choice with the chateaubriand, eh? What would be your ideal Father’s Day meal this year?
N.B. This is a commissioned post written in collaboration with Iceland.