#TeamHaloodieFoodie joined up with the wonderful people at Halalgems.com to visit Hill Farm and sample some amazing prime Aberdeen Angus Beef!
Perfect Sunday Roast: From the talented Devine Delights
18 hour Smoked Brisket with www.halalgirlabouttown.com
Stoke Newington has a thriving Turkish community, and with its grand domed mosques, it’s coffee shops selling freshly baked Anatolian delicacies, and it’s traditional Turkish Hamaam tucked away in a side street, I sometimes feel as if I’ve been transported to Turkey itself.
I’ve been to Istanbul once before, and during the Autumn half term Team Haloodiefoodie decided to revisit the land where East meets West; the land of the Sultans and the Ottomans. Istanbul is a short 3.5 hour flight from London, so if you catch an early morning flight, you’ll still have plenty to explore on your first day.
The Sultan Ahmed area is the cultural heart of the city. It’s only a 30 minute taxi drive from Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, and has many hotels. I would suggest you stay in a 3-star hotel, which usually serves a simple but hearty Turkish style breakfast of cheese, sour cherry jam, honey, eggs and bread.
The hotels in Sultan Ahmed are within walking distance of the main Istanbul attractions: Topkapi Palace, Sultan Ahmed Camii (the Blue Mosque) and the Hagia Sophia.
I recommend getting a Muze Card for 85TL (£20), which gives you access to a range of attractions including Topkapi and Hagia Sophia. More information can be found here:
Topkapi Palace housed the Ottoman Sultan, his family and various service personnel. It is by far the most popular attraction with beautiful Ottoman Architecture and ornate furnishings. I recommend starting your tour of Istanbul here. I was in the ticket queue for 2 hours during my first visit!! This time, I avoided the queues by reaching the palace at 9am, and I was one of the first to purchase our Muze cards. Topkapi contains 4 main courtyards, various receiving rooms, and the Sultans private quarters. It also contained mosques, kitchens, the Treasury, bathing pools and a hospital!
The views overlooking the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus are breathtakingly beautiful!
The Palace also houses the Sacred Relics which include the cloak and Sword of Rasullah SAW, as well as other relics such as the Staff of Musa AS and the Turban of Yusuf (AS). No photography is allowed in the Sacred Relics section.
There’s so much to more see, you can easily spend a few hours in Topkapi, soaking up life in Ottoman Times!!!
Hagia Sofia was originally a Greek Orthodox cathedral with Byzantine architecture. It was converted into a Mosque and is now a museum. It has high domed ceilings, marble pillars and Mosaics depicting Jesus, the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist and other nobles.
The Blue Mosque is also in the same vicinity, I suggest you visit at a prayer time to hear the call to prayer echoing around the high domed ceilings. Stay after the prayer for the impressive recitation of the Imaam.
The sunset tour of the Bosphorus was another highlight of our trip. The most picturesque time to start the tour is about an hour before sunset. We boarded from Eminonu (A few stops on the tram from Sultan Ahmed). Eminonu is a busy transport hub, with ferries to the Asian Side of Istanbul and a bus station. (You can also take the 99A bus to Eyup Sultan from Eminonu).
Eminonu is very busy, with many sellers of Hamsi (Fried Anchovy Sandwiches). You can also buy freshly fried Lokma, (Turkish doughnuts).
The Mosque is built next to the grave of the famous companion of Rasullah Muhammed SAW
The Grand Bazaar is the perfect place for retail therapy. You can buy almost anything within its winding streets!!
The Spice Bazaar is where you can pick up all manner of spices, teas and the occasional love potion! You can get Urfa Pepper for your adana kebabs here! See my recipe for further details. http://haloodiefoodie.com/haloodiefoodies-adana-kebab-live/
The museum contains many ancient Quran manuscripts and relics of the Kabah
You are spoilt for places to eat in Istanbul, with all manner of cuisines available. We made a conscious effort to sample both the traditional and modern cuisine. Here are some of our highlights.
Situated near Sultan Ahmed’s tram stop is the famous Tarihi Sultan Ahmet Koftecisi which was established in 1920 and is, therefore one of the oldest Kofte houses in Istanbul.
These beef kebabs were cooked over charcoal, the lack of spice was substituted by the super succulent and unctuous kebabs!
I found out about Virginia Angus during my internet trawl for steak places in Istanbul. So after reading Isha prayer in Sulaymani Mosque, we walked through some narrow roads to finally get to the burger eatery. I was surprised to see what looked like takeaway from the EastEnd of London (no disrespect to the EastEnd!!). Nevertheless, the promised lure of Black Angus beef took us inside. As soon as I saw the aged meat on display, any doubts about the eatery soon disappeared. Virgina Angus is not your usual steak and burger joint, they farm their own Black Angus in the lush fields of Eastern Anatolia.
We ordered The Leave it to the Chef Platter, which started with thinly sliced subtly smoked beef. Served with soft and buttery bread rolls.
The burger and steaks were cooked over charcoal and were served medium, the steaks juicy and succulent. The french fries were a little underdone and lacked seasoning. The beef served on the platter wasn’t aged, although the quality of the black Angus beef was apparent.
As part of the platter we were also supplied with a cute mini Virginia burger, with smoked veal, double cheese and caramelised onions!! Totally luscious!!
After eating half of my the mini burger!! I just had to order another one!!
The Virginia burger came sliced in two, with grill marks on the inside of the patty! This patty was cooked rare and juicy. The smoked veal added a salty, smokiness to the juicy beef and the subtle sweetness of the caramelised onions came through in every bite. Mrs HF had a bite and commented that the patty texture was too rare for her liking. That was good news for me, as she concentrated her attention on the french fries while I enjoyed the burger!!
Cag Kebab is a horizontally rotating Lamb kebab cooked over a wood fire. The marinated lamb slices are stacked with layers of lamb tail fat, which help maintain the kebabs juiciness.
Kasab Osman is along the road from Sehzade. Established as a Butcher ‘Kasab’ in 1964, Kasab Osman opened as a restaurant in 1990. The doner kebab uses good quality lamb and is cooked over a wood fire! It’s nothing like the doner found in most takeaways in the UK, utilising lamb shoulder. Also try the amazing Iskinder Kebab here!!
Hafiz Mustafa is Istanbul’s premium dessert parlour. Established for over 150 years, Hafiz Mustafa serves a variety of Turkish sweets including Baklava, Kunefe, Turkish Delight, Creamy Rice puddings and all manner of sweet treats!
The quality of the Baklava was outstanding, and they don’t compromise on the quality (or quantity) of the nuts. The vividly green pistachio Baklava is a must.
If you prefer a more refined meal, then make your way across the Bosphorus to Chef Mehmet Gurs’ acclaimed Mikla Resturant. Situated on the rooftop floors of The Marmara Pera Hotel.
A modern take on Hamsi (Fried Anchovy Sandwiches) found in Eminonu. This was a creative dish which married the intense flavour of the anchovies, with the texture of crispy olive oil bread and the subtle coolness of the lemon dip. Very clever!!
Bonito served with Salicornia, Fennel, Sunchoke, Caper and Apple vinegar. The Bonito was firm and its taste was highlighted by the sharp vinegar dressing.
For my second course, I ordered the Pistachio crusted Grilled Lamb, served with Liver, Mushroom, bulgar and cornelian cherry. The presentation of the dish blew me away. The lamb was cooked medium rare, as requested, succulent and well seasoned. The pistachio crust gave the dish much need texture and the liver added a subtle earthiness.
Mrs Haloodiefoodie went for the fish dish as her second course. The monkfish was perfectly cooked and really meaty. The sauce with the red beans perfectly complimented the fish.
I wasn’t expecting this dessert to look so stunning, amazing colours and textures. I’m glad it tasted as good as it looked. The buffalo yoghurt was sweet and had a Khoya/Mava type of creamy smoothness. The sharp strawberry sorbet gave the contrasting freshness to the rich yoghurt. The fennel sauce added a hint of liquorice flavour to the dish.. I was a happy diner!!
The sharpness of the blackberry sorbet contrasted and cut through the richness of the bittersweet chocolate. This dessert was thoroughly enjoyed, and one of the best I’ve ever had.
The night ended with breathtaking 360° views of Istanbul from the Rooftop terrace!
I have uploaded some key places that we visited during our trip. I hope you find it useful!
We really enjoy our short trip to Istanbul. It’s the first time Mrs Haloodiefoodie has been away from all the children for an extended period of time! Don’t worry we have set a firm resolution to bring the Junior members of Team Haloodiefoodie to sample the cultural and culinary delights of this wonderful and unique city!
Prior to the Launch of Brioche Burger 2, Walthamstow. Team Haloodiefoodie spoke exclusively to Restaurateur Farhad Chowdhury and new head chef Florent Fabulas.
Haloodiefoodie Beyti Kebab and Grilled Onion Salad with Pomegranate Molasses dressing was recorded live for The Best Halal Burger Group on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/halalburgers/
2 tablespoons Pomegranate Molasses
1 tablespoon Fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sumac
Salt to taste
The weather was really temperamental and the video quality suffered. The recipe for my Adana kebab can be found here:
I hope you enjoyed the recipe, please feel free to snapchat your wonderful cooking to Team Haloodiefoodie. Snapchat ID: Haloodiefoodie
Today I will tackle biryani; a grand mughal dish which has caused many an experienced home cook to shiver in dread.
Biryani is cooked on special occasions: Eids, Walimas, Aqiqahs, dinner parties etc.
I’ve come to understand that not all biryani’s are the same. There are two main cooking methods:
Kacche Biryani is quite difficult to master, with a risk of meat remaining raw, or rice becoming too soggy. Most home cooks will not even contemplate attempting it on a special occasion.
However, the flavour achieved with Kacche Ghosht Biryani cannot be surpassed. As the meat cooks, its taste and aroma diffuses through the rice; and the meat itself remains tender and moist.
In the Pakki Ghost version the meat is already cooked, so the rice is devoid of meaty flavour. It often results in a mix-match conglomeration of rice, overly dry meat and spices.
During our recent live video stream we addressed the three common issues people encounter whilst making this royal Mughal dish:
1. Meat sticking and burning to the bottom of the pan
2. Overcooked and mushy rice
3. Uneven cooking of meat
Marinate 2.5 kg lamb meat overnight or for 24 hours in a marinade consisting of :
2 good pinches of saffron
1/4 freshly grated nutmeg
1 large spoon sunflower oil
4 tsp ginger paste
4 tsp garlic paste
4 tsp green chilli paste
5 tsp chilli powder
4.5 tsp salt
5 tsp coriander and cumin powder
1.5 tsp turmeric powder
On the day of cooking
Fry 12 medium size onions
Soak (and boil) 200g masoor daal
Soak 2.5 kg good quality basmati rice
About 4 hours before serving add following ingredients to the marinated meat.
2 large spoons dessicated coconut,
The drained masoor dall
2/3 of the fried onions
1/3 to 1/2 bunch of mint
3/4 bunch fresh coriander
250g tomatoes (Blitz in the blender!)
15 whole dried apricots and 1 Shan Bombay Biryani packet or your own spice mix! (Coriander, cumin, chilli powder, and turmeric).
Also add more chillies and salt (to taste).
Use a good quality long grain Basmati rice, make sure it has been washed and soaked for at least 30min prior to cooking.
To stop the rice from becoming overcooked and mushy, we will need to use rice cooked to different levels of doneness.
Boil a large saucepan of salted water (1.5 tsp salt per cup of rice) with bay leaves, cinnamon stick, a few cloves and cardamons. Once the water has boiled add in the drained pre-soaked rice and stir once through thoroughly. As soon as the water reboils, use a colander to sieve out approx 1/3 of the rice from the pot, and put this aside to drain. This is your 40% cooked rice.
After boiling the remaining rice for a further 2 minutes, take out the next 1/3 rice (60% cooked) and finally drain the last 1/3 rice (80% cooked) after another 2 minutes of boiling. These steps are an essential technique which will allow all the rice (40-80% cooked rice) to cook to perfect fluffiness, without the rice just above the meat becoming too soggy.
Use Potatoes at the bottom of a heavy bottom pot to act as as ‘insurance’ to make sure the meat doesn’t burn or stick to bottom of the pan! Futher details are given in the video above!!
Layer 2.5cm thick slices of potato across the base of a thick based biryani pot. Add the marinated meat mixture directly on top of the potato slices, leaving a gap of approximately 1cm around the edges.
Place the 40% cooked rice onto the meat mixture and into the gap around the meat.
Scatter over half the remaining fried onions and half of the remaining 1/4 bunch coriander. Then layer the 60% cooked rice, then the last (80%) rice.
Sprinkle on saffron infused water and the remaining fried onions, fresh coriander and mint. Use a knife or a handle of a large spoon to poke 7 steam holes down through the layers. Finally spread some ghee/butter on top of the rice.
Make a chapatti dough using approx 2 cups flour and warm water, Roll into a fat sausage and use it to seal the lid of the biryani pot to the actual pot. Alternatively, you could place a heavy weight on top of the pot. Preheat a heavy based cast iron tawwa (used for making chapattis) on the stove. Place the filled biryani pot onto the tawwa and cook on the stove for approx 3 hours; first 10 mins on high heat, then medium/low heat for the rest of the time.
After around 2 hours, the seal will slowly break, as the pressure increases. You’ll see a steady stream of wonderfully fragrant steam escaping from the pot!! Wow, the smell is amazing!! This is a sign that the biryani is in its final stages!! Cook until the steam subsides slightly or for another hour!
Finally cut around the seal with a knife and carefully remove the lid. The Biryani is ready!! Serve with a yogurt raita, poppadoms and Gujarati Chaas (flavoured Buttermilk).
I hope you enjoy the video demonstration and instructions.
I pray you make the perfect Biryani on your special occasions. Please feel free to Snapchat us your results of your wonderful cooking!
Snapchat ID: Haloodiefoodie
Do you have problems cooking the perfect steak? Are your steaks always overcooked, dry and chewy!
I saw a article by Craig ‘Meathead’ Goldwyn about the afterburner method, which involves searing at super high temperatures (400°C+). Meathead’s Afterburner technique achieved a wonderfully caramelised crust, yet a super moist and juicy ‘pink’ centre. Additionally he only used a simple Charcoal Chimney Starter and a grate!
This technique can be used for steaks with thickness between 1-2cm. Salt your steak prior to searing, this allows the salt to dissolve into the meat improving the taste of the steak. Just before searing your steaks, brush a little oil onto your steaks, this will aid the Caramelisation process. Don’t add any seasoning including pepper, as you risk scorching the spices which will result in a bitter tasting steak.
Half fill the charcoal chimney starter and light the charcoal according to a the usual instructions. When the coal is covered with a white ash, you are ready to cook.
Place your grill grate on top of chimney starter, make sure that the grate sits on top of the chimney starter and there’s little or no risk the grate falling. I usually use my BBQ to house the chimney starter.
Place the steak on the grate directly on top of the chimney. You will be cooking for around 3-4 minutes whilst flipping every 30 seconds to get an even sear. Be careful the flames will rise around the steak, especially during the final parts of the searing process. Once you achieve a dark Caramelised crust remove from the grate and set aside for 2 mins before you eat.
The high temperatures allows the crust to develop at super sonic speed. The internal temperature doesn’t rise as fast, thus allowing a perfectly medium and juicy interior. Finally, I added a little herby garlic butter to complete the indulgence.
See my video demonstration below:
Steaks should be cooked to medium rare/medium. Many people of my cultural background may feel that the meat juices from a medium cooked piece of meat is filled with blood! The red liquid comes from the breakdown of the protein myoglobin which is found in muscle fibres.. it’s certainly not blood, cooked blood would become become congealed and have a dark complexion.
Many people would cook and cook their meat until there is no liquid left and the meat becomes grey, dry and chewy.
Why do you want to spend good money on a steak and then cook all the moisture out of your steaks? We then have the audacity to complain that beef is chewy!!
My advice is to cook your steaks to medium well.. around 65°C and slowly move (up!) to medium at just below 60°C. I cannot emphasise the use of a good quality digital thermometer such as a Thermo-pen from Thermoworks.
I hope you get to enjoy perfectly cooked steaks. Please feel free to forward pics of your amazing steaks and other cooking via our social media channels.
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Growing up in a fast developing halal scene, I had my fair share of burgers and doner kebabs. The £2 burger and chips craze came, stayed for a while and went…
The era of mechanically retrieved, horse DNA infused beef Quarter Pounders is dead.
People are now craving for a new breed of burger. They query the quality of the beef and whether the burger patties are hand pressed?
I’ve been keeping this recipe up my sleeve since last Summer, I feel its time to release it to the masses. If I had a penny for every burger recipe request, I’d be giving a lot more zakaat this year!!
So, if you own a gourmet burger joint, look away now and I apologise for the lack of customers in advance!
Welcome to the Gourmet burger revolution…. Haloodiefoodie style.
Burgers are made from beef!!
Real burgers are beef, not lamb, mutton or chicken. I’m aware that some may have a cultural aversion to beef, however if you want the best tasting burgers you’ll need the correct ingredients.
Use a good quality beef mince, 80:20% Beef mince to fat ratio. The fat keeps the burgers moist. Too much fat and the burgers will taste greasy and may even break up when cooking. I usually get the butcher to mince a steak (Chuck steak is best). Don’t settle for pre-minced Beef unless you have complete confidence in your butcher.
The best burger joints use 28+ day aged beef, which elevates the taste and texture of the patties. If you know a of a respectable halal butcher who dry ages beef. Please forward detail to me!
DO NOT WASH THE MEAT!!!
It’s against the traditional teaching of Indian mothers but trust me you have to throw away the rule book for these wonderful tasting burgers!!!
HaloodieFoodie Gourmet Burger recipe
1 kg Beef mince
Using wet hands shaped into 5.5-6oz patties around 2cm thick with a piece of brie sandwiched in the middle.
That’s it!!! This recipe will give you the most moist, flavoursome burgers you’ll ever taste.
Ok, I’m an Indian!! Mrs HaloodieFoodie refused to eat unwashed and unseasoned burger patties! Certain cultural, culinary attitudes seem to be innate. Here is the recipe for my indianified gourmet burgers, suitable for all indian palettes including my honourable parents.
1 kg Beef mince (Makes 6 Patties)
1/2 tablespoon ginger
1/2 tablespoon garlic
1 heaped teaspoon Cumin (jeera) powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
Lightly combine all the spices at least an hour before cooking. Don’t mix too thoroughly! You are making a burger and the texture is important, otherwise your burger patty structure will become more like a sausage or meat loaf.
Using wet hands shaped into 6oz patties around 2cm thick with a piece of brie sandwiched in the middle. This technique helps to cut through the meatiness of the beef. Remember to lightly pack the patties, you don’t want a dense patty structure. Place the patties on a tray and chill until its time to cook, don’t freeze!
The most observant of you will realise that the I have omitted salt! The patties are to be salted prior to searing. I cannot stress the importance of this step. It help ensure the structure and moisture of the burgers.
Drizzle 3-4 tablespoon oil onto a griddle pan (or frying pan) and heat on medium until the oil starts to smoke slightly. Season first side with salt just before putting burgers onto the griddle pan and second side just before flipping the burgers. Listen for the sizzle.
Cook for around 5 mins, check for a brown crust. This is caused when the protein is heated. Its called the maillard reaction and results in a slightly charred, smoky and caramelly taste..
These burgers are quite delicate, therefore avoid temptation to flip. Flip only to change sides. DO NOT SQUEEZE!! We are trying to retain the moisture, please don’t force it out. The patties should be medium and should have a thin layer of pink in the middle. Don’t worry it’s cooked!! The pink/red juice is not blood!! Its the breakdown of the protein myoglobin. However, if you can’t resist double checking, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature has reached 60°C for medium and 65°C for medium well.
2 minutes before the end of searing add your cheese. Use whatever cheese you like. I personally prefer gouda because it melts well and has a subtle flavour. Rest your burgers for 2 mins while you heat up buns or any other accompaniments.
Choice of Bun
Gourmet burgers are incomplete if the quality of the buns does not match the quality of the meat. Brioche is an enriched bread made with eggs and butter. It’s quite a durable bread which can stand the rigours of a big patty and multiple toppings.
Sourcing brioche buns can be difficult. Try your local independent bakery. Those residing in East London can pre-order from Rinkoffs Bakery in Whitechapel.
A burger is a blank canvas, you can add whatever you like. Dont be frugal!!!
Slow caramelised red onions, ketchup, turkey rashers, sweet chilli jam (See my instagram post for a recipe), guacamole, salsa, halloumi, mayo, mustard, little gem lettuce, rocket, jalapeno and whatever else tickles your fancy.
Just ensure that the flavours are balanced.
This was my menu for a recent event during Gourmet Burger night at HaloodieFoodie Dining
1. Classic HaloodieFoodie burger
Toasted soft fluffy brioche, 7oz beef patty stuffed with brie, caramelised red onions, cream cheese and sweet chilli jam, turkey bacon rashers, gouda cheese with fresh crispy little gem lettuce.
2. All Dancing and Singing Mexican Nàchó & Gàwo Burger
Toasted soft fluffy brioche, 7oz beef patty stuffed with brie, tangy salsa, creamy guacamole, sour cream, crunchy brown rice chips .
3. Sweltering, Scorching and Scolding Burger
Toasted soft fluffy brioche, 7oz beef patty stuffed with brie, caramelised red onions, sweet chilli jam, Bajan Scotch bonnet chilli Sauce, gouda cheese with fresh crispy little gem lettuce… Served with tempura chilli’s.
All our burgers are served medium/rare to ensure a fantastically succulent beef patty and served with seasoned French fries, Tempura Gherkins with blue cheese dip, Onion rings, and a selection of house sauces.
Dessert: Hot Sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with extra toffee sauce.
I hope you enjoy the HaloodieFoodie version of gourmet burgers, please don’t forget to subscribe and keep updated with the work of the HaloodieFoodie!!
Adana Kebab are a staple in many of Stoke Newington’s numerous Turkish Mangal (BBQ) and Ocakbasi (Open Grill) Restaurants. The delightful smell of grilled meats have made me drool even when walking to pray at the famous Aziziye Mosque. (Most challenging during our summer fasts). The fact that this place of worship has a Mangal restaurant and a butcher tells you about the culinary link that Turkey has with food!! Istanbul was and still is the spice capital of the world!! It’s where Europe meets Asia and where foodies rejoice at the fusion of Central Asian, Greek, Balkan, Middle Eastern and Caucasian Cuisine.
No wonder I decided to research the recipe!! I was also fortunate enough to pick the brain of a friend who owned an Ocakbasi restaurant!! Living in Stoke Newington, this is the only recipe that came to mind when deciding on my first live Youtube broadcast.
1 Kg Lamb Mince (Min 80:20 Meat to Fat Ratio). Erratum... I’ve spoken to my Turkish butcher, they supply 60:40 Meat to Fat ratio mince to the local Turkish Ocakbasi restaurants!!
15g salt (1.5%)
1 Coarsely chopped Medium Red Pepper
4 tablespoons Urfa Pepper (ISOT)
4 tablespoons Sumac
2 tablespoons Ground Cumin
1 cup of coarsely chopped Parsley.
Thoroughly mix all the ingredients until the kebab mix sticks to your hand. The mixture should become sticky and the fat will coat the side of the mixing bowl.
Although, the experience was quite nerve wracking, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and was astounded with the feedback Team Haloodiefoodie received.
After taking live questions about grilling the kebabs, we decided to make a short video covering cooking with charcoal, kebab grilling technique and removing the grilled kebabs from the skewers.
I hope you enjoyed our first foray into live streaming and I hope you also get the opportunity to try out this amazing recipe.
Please pass on your live streaming recipe requests via the Haloodiefoodie Social Media channels.
During my recent visit to Turkey, we visited Antalya bazaar. The men of the household very quickly decided to make a strategic retreat and leave our wives to the insane bartering of the market. Whilst Mrs Haloodiefoodie happily spent our hard earned cash, my thoughts turned to the picture a friend posted of his KFC Triple Zinger Burger!
After making enquiries in the local shops, we were told the KFC could be found in Antalya’s newest shopping centre, MarkAntalya. Following the tram tracks, we made it through the various shopping districts, food, textiles, lighting, and eventually found the glass clad building.
As we entered MarkAntalya we were informed that KFC could be found on the top floor. Going up endless escalators we finally saw the Colonel smiling countenance from afar.. Unfortunately (for KFC) we got diverted by these rotating slabs of beef and our eyes popped out!!
We had inadvertently found Mark-et Premium Butchers who prepare dry and wet aged meats. Conveniently, Mark-et also has a modern chic restaurant attached. We could see glowing ambers of charcoal through the large viewing glass. Our grins exceeded that of Colonel Sanders, as we began to salivate over the thought of the premium aged beef cuts available.
After much deliberation we chose two 60 day aged T-Bone steaks and a huge 60 day aged Argentinian Steak and requested the beef to be cooked medium. The beef was cut off the bone, the hardened outer surface was trimmed, it was seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked on a red hot charcoal fired cast iron griddle all in front of our eager eyes!!
Whilst we were waiting the friendly waiting staff brought us an intriguing Beef Broth Palate cleanser served in shot glasses. Unusual yes, but it served to increase our anticipation of the impending meal. We could taste an undertone of the umami beefiness, which was subtle and thus perfect as a palate cleanser!
Our food arrived with roasted veg, spiced mash and other accompaniments. The T-Bone steaks had a deep crust with fantastic grill marks. They were cooked slightly more than requested to Medium well and so wasn’t as tender as we anticipated. Next time, I’ll request medium rare!! On the plus side the meat was seasoned correctly and had the intense savoury umami goodness associated with aged meat.
The Argentinian steak didn’t have a deep crust, but had wonderfully rendered fat especially due to the high level of intramuscular fat marbling which resulted in a unctuous and succulent piece of beef. This steak was also slightly overcooked although the high fat content made up for this. Personally, I felt the steaks lacked a sauce and would like to have had a deep full bodied beef jus or gravy served with the steaks to take the dish to another level.
Mark-et’s regional manager came to ask us about our dining experiences and was fascinated to learn that we were ‘foodie’ tourists from the UK as we explained our great difficulties sourcing good quality aged Beef. He promptly ordered free desserts on the house!
We were expecting a plate of Baklava. And we’re pleasantly surprised to see a traditional Turkish pumpkin dessert called ‘Kabak Tatlisi’ brought to the table. The candied pumpkin was served with tahini sauce and chopped walnuts.
The dessert was lighter and less sweet than I had expected and the tahini sauce and walnuts complimented the subtly sweet and soft texture of the pumpkin.
The steaks were 150TL/Kg (Approx £37.50/kg) cooked with all the accompaniments. Total cost excluding the complimentary desserts was around £50 for three carnivorous diners and young Master Haloodiefoodie! A very reasonably priced meal for the aged beef steaks on offer.
Overall, Mark-et is an unique dining experience. If you want to select cuts of aged beef and have them cooked all in one place, then look no further than the finger licking good beef at Mark-Et, Antalya.
http://www.mark-et.com.tr/ (website under construction)
Halal Status: Confirmed by owners. No alcohol is served at Mark-Et.