Have you ever been in the middle of eating your tea and stopped to think how many people you would have to thank for the food on your plate?
How many people would you end up with? There might be farmers and growers, pickers, sorters, packers, drivers, pilots, more drivers, warehouse staff, more drivers, shelf stackers and the checkout lady. Not to mention the buyers, sales & marketing, finance and HR departments of the supermarkets.
It might be fair to say, then, that the shorter the list, the better the food.
Judging by the steak I've just eaten I'd say that's a fair bet. The thank you list for my steak? Farmer, butcher. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I even said a little thank you to the cow. The list doesn't get a lot shorter than that, not for meat anyway. And steaks don't get much better.
The great thing about buying steak, or any meat for that matter, from a butcher is that you can get exactly what you want. I wanted a big sirloin with a decent amount of fat on it. And that's what I got. A thick slab of deep red meat with a good edge of creamy white fat.
I covered this in freshly ground black pepper and laid it in a hot pan which had a crushed clove of garlic frying in it. I rubbed the garlic of the cooked side when I turned the meat to impart a nice garlic flavour which I think really complements beef. After cooking for around 8 minutes I laid it on the chopping to rest for a few minutes before I ate it.
It tasted every bit as good as I hoped it would, which made me consider who I needed to say thank you to. So thank you, Maskill's of Hebden Bridge, farmers and butchers. And thank you, cow.