Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Steak, Pepper & Goat Cheese Crustless Quiche {Brunch, a Plea}

I made a surprising discovery recently while doing some research for my monthly Style recipe column. The concept of brunch, which I had long supposed to be a uniquely American invention, was in fact first mentioned in print 1895 by British author Guy Beringer in the rather melodramatically-titled article "Brunch, A Plea."

He opined, "Instead of England's early Sunday dinner, a post-church ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, why not a new meal, served around noon, that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare? By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers."

A man after my own heart, this Guy. Naturally, I heartily approve of supplanting the dreary moralizing activity of churchgoing with the life-affirming pursuit of eating, especially when it's undertaken at a civilized hour, like noon. And then there's his wholehearted approval of Saturday night carousing: no puritanical guilt or whiff of self-flagellation for an evening of indulgence here. A laudably healthy attitude.

And so, this quiche.
In keeping with Mr. Beringer's secular outlook on life, I like to think of this quiche as evolutionary. After all, it represents the survival of all of the fittest ingredients I had on hand, although the metaphor doesn't really hold because it didn't survive very long before being devoured by a pair of greedy omnivores.

We actually had this on a Saturday, as the steak was left over from a little tradition we have at Casa Trix called Flank Steak Friday, in which the arrival of the weekend is heralded with much Grilled Meat and Bourbon.  Usually I marinate the steak in a mixture of honey, tamari, olive oil, sesame oil, lemon juice and seasonings (pepper, dried garlic, chili flakes) and grill it on the rare side of medium rare.

It's rare (pardon the pun) that we have any meat left over (I am afraid after a couple of bourbon drinks we descend on it like underfed predator animals) but I bought an absurd (even by my standards) amount of the stuff and decided to put it to good use, in a quiche that was, in honor of the British roots of brunch, a sort-of homage to a steak and cheese pie.

Here's what I did: In a 9-inch pie dish, I layered some chopped shallot, chopped sweet red pepper, the steak, and blobs of goat cheese. Over this I poured a mixture of 4 beaten eggs, 3/4 cup half and half, salt, and white pepper. I then plopped a bit more goat cheese on top, grated some Parmesan over the whole lot and popped it into a 350 F convection oven for 30 minutes. And because I don't believe in false modesty, I will tell you that what emerged was perfection.

This is an eminently adaptable dish, but do restrain yourself if you feel tempted to toss too many ingredients into it, lest it veer from well-balanced into hot mess. But let that be the extent of your restraint!

And by all means make this for breakfast or dinner if the fit takes you, but I promise you it does make for a very satisfying brunch. Guy would definitely approve.







8 comments:

  1. I think I love this Guy and I love your advice. I can speak from experience that when one samples too heavily on a Saturday night it results in some sort of Hot Mess or another. Yes, restrain yourself as the church of brunch teaches us and you will be worshipping such divine dishes as this. Halleloo!

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  2. That is one good looking quiche!!

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  3. Bourbon and grilled meat - most definitely an appopriate way to bring in the weekend. Frankly, bourbon is a good way to bring on anything....

    Great quiche.

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  4. While reading this lovely article I actually felt like it was written by a British lady who brunches often. Meat, eggs, cheese... what is not to love?

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  5. Love leaning historical food tib bits. Gorgeous pie, no crust but meat :-)

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  6. Great to know the man to thank for brunch... one of my favorite things that makes weekends special treats.
    Great idea to put the meat bits into a baked egg and cheese. Bravo

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  7. This Guy rocks! Thanks for the intro. I had never heard of him, and I must confess I too thought Brunch was an American a\thing. That is mostly because I have an image of the proverbial groaning board so often seen in hotels and eateries, a table (or tables) so over burdened with food they could only come from our side of the pond.

    Your recipe sounds great, and I agree with your advice about restraint. There is a tipping point with these things, no doubt about it.

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  8. Searching Pinterest for steak and goat cheese recipes and what do I find? This is just what I was looking for. Eggs from my neighbors farm, chevre I made myself but can't use fast enough and leftover brisket from last week. Dinner is in the bag, baby!! Thank you so much for the idea.

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