I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would have me.
But I will make an exception for The Beef Club, a Parisian restaurant, inspired by American steakhouses, supplied by a British butcher, and captured in this book.
Probably the leanest thing about the restaurant is their website, but the book will give you the full (fat) experience.
The most challenging thing about this cookbook for home cooks will be replicating the quality of meat served at The Beef Club. It is carefully raised, aged, and butchered. But in in more and more communities, farm markets and artisanal butchers can get you pretty close.
The other challenging thing may be some of the cuts–are you ready to take on pig trotters, marrow bones, and rabbit livers? If not, stick to the steaks–grill them–and the sauces that gussy them up. The Beef Club’s chimichurri is a just-right balance of heat, green, and tang that you’ll spoon onto every bite. For classicists, there are also Bearnaise, Stilton, Aioli, and Pepper sauces. Good steak deserves good sauce, so go for it.
And like all good steakhouses, The Beef Club works the sides, around which most people could make a full meal. The Roasted Pumpkin Boulangere could easily be a vegetarian’s Thanksgiving centerpiece. The gazpacho is bright–finished with a blend of ice cubes and un-clicheed anchovies.
Brunch comes in suitably carb-heavy. Along with waffles and pancakes are light and rich scones–a mix of white and whole wheat flour, drawn together with creamy ricotta. Whenever you’ve got a bit of puff paste lying around, turn to Almond Tartlets filled with and eggy frangipane, ground almonds and a few berries.
Desserts are suitably indulgent. Sundaes and profiteroles will appeal to the inner child, and for the only slightly more restrained diner–apple and strawberry tarts.
The Beef Club is in Paris, and offers a well thought out wine list, but in the tradition of early English beefsteak clubs that served punches, the restaurant has developed a cocktail menu that includes nouveau creations like Experience #3 and a few shameless updates– mai tais and zombies.
You don’t eat like this everyday (sigh), but when you do, do it right.