For the medieval steaks, take two lovely grass-fed ribeyes from the fabulous butcher at the 3rd & Fairfax market and throw them into a marinade of red wine, sugar, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and zest of one orange.
Marinade for five days, flipping twice per day. You don't have to marinade for five days, but a minimum of two hours is required. I like really strong flavors. The longer you marinade, the stronger the flavor. At the end of the marinade period the steaks have turned a gorgeous purple and the marinade is viscous, like snot.
On cooking day, heavily salt/pepper, drop into a hot cast iron pan. Cook through to your preference (assuming your preference is either rare to medium-rare because anything more than that is disrespectful to the meat).
Parboil the garlic, quick drop into a bowl of ice water, strip, crush, then throw everything in the pot with a little bit of kosher salt & crushed white pepper and boil slow for about an hour. Adjust salt at the end. Remove most of garlic, cool, put in baggie and freeze until dinner day. This time out, for serving I added shredded daikon from the box. (Note: For a lighter garlic flavor, barely crush. For a full garlic flavor, completely crush or slice.)
I didn't take pictures of making the rolls, but they're rolls. Not too exciting. Same with the wee potatoes boiled in salt and served whole w/skin on. Where it got wiggy was the new side dish.
The new side dish landed in the inbox courtesy of writer/artist Jane Irwin, who noticed the I Hate Beets post and kindly offered up an option out of the blue! One thing about the medieval steaks is the flavor is so complicated I've never been able to come up with a decent side dish for them that doesn't involve potatoes, which I feel is workable, but boring. Irwin's solution was phenomenal.
THOSE WHO ARE SENSITIVE MIGHT WANT TO AVERT THEIR EYES FROM THE NEXT SHOTS FEATURING IMAGES OF THE GUEST DOING UNNATURAL THINGS WITH BEETS.
What was supposed to happen was (this bit in the different font is cut/paste directly from Irwin's note) in a skillet, heat some oil and cook some garlic till it's either crispy or soft, your choice. Toss in some lumps of goat cheese (I like the soft kind, but feta's also really good). If you don't do dairy, you can skip this part, or use some onions for extra flavor. Then add your beet and/or chard greens, torn up into bite-size pieces. Dress with balsamic vinegar as it's heating up, and grind on some fresh black pepper to taste. Cook the chard until it's bright emerald green and not an instant longer. Eat immediately. The only adjustment I made was throwing in chopped leek.
But while my back was turned at the stove, The Guest decided to be all ooo, i have a mind of my own and also a knife and so *this* happened:
And so here is the slightly reconstructed and only a bit wildly exaggerated exchange that resulted from said Abominable Act:
Me: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!
The Guest: These are perfectly good beets!
Me: You were only supposed to cut up the tops!
The Guest: But they're organic. They're so lovely!
Me: THEY'RE EVIL.
The Guest: Cook them so they don't touch your part of the food.
Of course, due to the Homeric Rules Of Hosting, they went in with the rest of the stuff,*** but I idiotically added them late. I should have added them when the leek, which went in right after the garlic, so they'd have time to soften. Also, because the meat needs to be fairly heavily salted when it goes into the cast iron, a good chunk of the leavings should have been scraped from the pan before the beet tops and chard went in so they wouldn't be too salty. I blame the evening's Cabernet for not having that thought in time. So next time I make Irwin's fabulous side-dish with this meat I will make sure to scrape first. But even given that error that dish was so good that I'm going to make a big stand-alone pile of it for myself when I get the next box of veggies.
The steak should have been sliced delicate & thin and presented in that lovely fan pattern they do at restaurants, but we were starving and The Guest was fine with just having a hunk of flesh put onto plate so we could dig in.
Dessert was blackberry sorbet from the fancy grocery store, which I forgot to photograph.
*** Once we started eating, I very carefully removed the Demon Beet Chunks from my serving and threw them onto The Guest's plate.