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Sad Bastard Steak Dinner

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Sad Box Man

The Scenario:

Let’s assume that this Valentine’s Day, you are going to be alone. This isn’t a judgement on your personal hygiene, your appearance or your personality, it just worked out that you were single this year on that one particular day of the year when everybody is making a big fuss about being a couple. If there is ever a night of the year to feel sorry for your lonely self, this is it. So why not go all out and prepare a loneliness banquet, a feast of individual servings and sadness, all washed down with the cheapest liqour that you can lay your hands on. It is only one night of the year, so why not indulge in being by yourself for a change? Live in the moment. Make yourself a romantic dinner.

This might sound like the saddest idea that you have ever heard in your life, but consider for a moment how many people out there in the world are in the midst of an unhappy relationship right now. How many of them would kill to be in your shoes, sitting quietly with a nice meal and an evening to spend however you want to spend it? How many more years are you going to have the chance to indulge yourself in a Sad Bastard Steak Dinner?

What You Need:

A stovetop

A frying pan

A chopping board

A sharp knife

Ingredients For One Sad Bastard:

1 medium potato

1 medium sirloin steak

White Wine Vinegar

Crème Fraiche

Wholegrain Mustard


Olive Oil

Optional extras:

You can and should buy yourself something easy for dessert, like a whole tub of ice cream or some sort of fancy pastry from a shop you wouldn’t normally bother with. With this being a steak, almost any drink will go down well, but a bottle of rich red wine, a crate of nice hoppy beer or a tall glass of bourbon on ice will set off the flavors of the meat and sauce nicely.

How To Do It:

1. Chop up your potato into tiny little chunks, trim off any unsavoury looking bits on the skin but don’t worry about it too much.

2. Pour some oil into the pan and get it up to a high heat.

3. Toss in your chunks and keep them moving around in the pan so that they don’t get stuck. It should take them about 15 minutes to cook. Do not call your ex during those 15 minutes, the potatoes need your attention. Once they are crisp and golden, dump them onto a plate and give the pan a quick clean.

4. Get the pan back on the high heat and give it a drop of oil to keep it from drying up entirely. Lay your steak down and let it sizzle. Give it a little nudge to stop it from sticking, but try to leave it in place for the whole minute and a half if you can.

5. Flip the steak, the side looking up at you should be browned off and delicious looking by now. If it isn’t you can give this side and extra half a minute, and then flip it back for another thirty seconds at the end. Should be fine though.

6. A minute before the steak is done, toss the potatoes back in warm them back up, then serve the whole lot out onto a plate. Don’t eat it just yet, there is one last thing that we need to do to cover up the fact that you bought a cheap little steak.

7. Drop the heat on the pan to medium heat and splash in the vinegar. Marvel as it vanishes almost immediately.

8. Dump two tablespoons of crème fraiche and a teaspoon of mustard into the pan and stir everything around to pick up any stray bits of flavour that got left behind.

9. Sprinkle in your tarragon, give it one last stir and then pour the sauce over your steak.

Settle in to a night of trashy television, grotesque horror movies or video games, safe in the knowledge that around the world there are about a million men desperately wishing they were in your shoes instead of watching Bridget Jones’ Diary with someone that they are rapidly realizing that they only feel lukewarm to at best. There are far worse places to be than settled on your sofa with a belly full of steak.

G D Penman writes books. He lives in Scotland with his partner and children, some of whom are human. In those few precious moments that he isn’t parenting or writing he likes to watch cartoons, play video games, read more books than are entirely feasible and continues on his quest to eat the flesh of every living species. He has worked in just about every job you can have in a restaurant and now he is here to yell at you for using a microwave when there is a perfectly good oven right there.

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