Before I begin, I’d just like to warn the vegans and vegetarians that the contents of this blog get meaty, pretty quickly. In fact, thats all I’m going to be talking about. Meat!
Here at Silver Mushroom we are lucky enough to stock many weird and wonderful products, from Spiralizers to Vintage Barrel shaped Drinks Dispensers. When we begin selling a new product we like to do research and trialling so that we can discuss the products truthfully with customers. This is part of what gives us here at Silver Mushroom a personal and friendly touch. And also why I feel that, as your friend and confidant, I owe it to you all to tell you about one very special product that we stock, The Steak Stone. Before we really sink our teeth in, I thought I’d just give you a little background on us carnivores.
It all began some 3.4 million years ago. Scientists have found evidence to suggest that markings made on animal remains were actually butchery marks. Human remains from the same time-period displayed a decrease in a bone lesion called Portico Hyperostosis, which resulted from a lack of vitamins B9 and B12, due to a lack of meat. Scientist Dominguez-Rodrigo states these findings suggest that human brain development would not have happened to the extent it did without a diet based on regular consumption of meat. So, to sum up, we don’t just like meat, we need meat.
Now, we’ve got the evidence that humans have been eating meat for a ‘bloody’ long time (get it?). But when did we begin to experiment and eat it rare or tartare (that’s basically raw for those of you who aren’t sure)? The French nicknamed the English ‘les rosbifs’ (yup that is ‘Roast Beefs’) in the 18th century precisely because of the way we like our meat, but the idea of a bloody joint of meat did exist in the 1950’s. In those days people who preferred their steak bloody were perceived to be in cahoots with the devil. The switch from us Brits eating our meat like a well cooked car tire that chews like a slab of leather to a succulent, juicy piece of steak dripping with flavour happened fairly recently; around the time we stopped viewing food as not just a source of energy but a source of pleasure.
It’s this concept of food being a source of pleasure that has inspired the idea of lava stone cooking. I remember the first time I was served my rump steak completely raw, to the side of a piping hot slab of stone, years ago on a family holiday in Portugal. I sat and simply gawked at my Mum in bewilderment. Thankfully, she put two and two together and realised that I was to cook my meat myself, right in front of me. The idea might seem a little odd at first. We go to restaurants to be served food, not to cook it ourselves, right at the table! However, I soon realised that this invention was an absolute game changer.
So, what’s so great about cooking on one of the SteakStones sizzling sets? First of all, they make for an incredibly sociable way to cook and eat. Meal times are a time for you to spend with friends and family, an enjoyable way for you to chat and laugh over delicious foods. In some countries the idea of meal times is almost ritualistic, and even warrant their own holidays. The well known Mexican holiday, Dia De Los Muertos (Day of The Dead) involves families celebrating their loved ones through all sorts off different breads, deserts and sugar skulls! The SteakStones take this concept and run with it, they take the oldest tradition of all, eating, and combine it with new concepts such as cooking at the table and preparing and eating food at the same time.
Not only are the SteakStones perfect for searing steaks and fish. You can pretty much cook anything that you want on them! The concept is brilliant for all of us who get a little panicked over the idea of cooking multiple meals, be it the stress of flavourless food, or the daunting concept of well done, medium rare, rare and every chef’s favourite, the old “rare, but not too rare” classic. Well, with SteakStones you can chill out and forget how your Auntie Sally wants her fillet because the process is mind-blowingly simple! All you have to do is heat the Lava stones to between 280 and 350°C. You can do this in the oven, on the hob, under the grill or even in the barbecue for around half an hour. Once your stones are hot you simply place them into the specially designed steel tray fitted into the sturdy bamboo serving board and you’re good to go! The sets come with little sauce pots and side plates so that your guests can dip away.
The real beauty of the SteakStones is the fact all your guests will receive their perfect steak. Let’s face it, we’re a nation of fuss-pots, ones idea of steak-heaven is another’s hell. Whilst this pickiness really does make us all incredibly diverse and splendidly unique, its a really bellyache for the chef.
As the stones are made from top quality Lava Stone they maintain their sizzling heat throughout your entire meal, meaning that every mouthful is piping hot. The stones don’t require any oil or fats, making them an incredibly healthy way to prepare meals. The dry, searing heat traps in the delicious natural flavours of your chosen meat or veg ensuring that every mouthful is succulent and flavourful, exactly how you like it.
SteakStones are a brilliant concept, and could be considered an investment piece (well worth it, if I say so myself). However, I myself am an advocate of ‘try before you buy’ and so if you fancy using the stones before taking the plunge and buying them then you’re in luck. Because clever restauranteurs all over the country are cottoning onto this genius idea and serving their sizzlers on a SteakStone! Trip Advisor will no doubt give you information and reviews on any steak houses near to you, but we can at least vouch for the North West. An absolute gem of a restaurant as opened up in Rawtenstall, Lancashire; The Fire Pit. Set in an old train station, this quirky modern restaurant and cocktail bar specialises in steaks served on SteakStones. The atmosphere is always lively and the food is always brilliant. If you are local and fancy using a SteakStone in person then give them a visit, you will thank me later! And if you’re over in West Lancashire, they have opened up another branch in Southport in an old converted warehouse. Fingers crossed they start popping up all over the country!
Whether it’s in a restaurant or in your own home, there is no doubt a lava rock steak is the ultimate way to entertain, and satisfy your innate meat cravings! Just be careful who you invite to dinner because once you serve up your sizzling steak, you won’t be getting shut of anyone fast!
SteakStones are available to buy at Silver Mushroom, along with all the necessary accessories and also the new Himalayan Salt Stones, which we will be reviewing over the next few months. Click here to have a browse!