Halloween Vampire brisket steak

This week Celebrity & Master Chef Steven Saunders, proprietor of The Little Geranium in La Cala cooks a special Vampire brisket steak to keep the vampires away this Halloween!

ALL HALLOWS’ EVE is a Christianised feast influenced by Celtic harvest festivals with pagan roots. It is also sometimes known as the Day of the Dead.

Many modern pagans celebrate the Day of the Dead. This is a happy day (even though it celebrates death). It is the day that some believe that the souls of dead people come back to Earth.

Halloween is a fun night and we always celebrate it. Let ́s be honest we all love to dress up and be someone or something else for the night!

This year we have been invited to a party at a friend’s house following Covid restrictions of course! They know how to throw a party. They own a Vodka called Nero made in London which we stock at the Geranium. It’s totally gluten-free and tastes divine so it suits my gluten-free clients and people love it, it’s a really cool brand.

I’m sure that EWN will be there reporting at the party on Halloweens evening taking loads of photos (as I write this the party hasn’t happened yet). The whole world now seems to celebrate Halloween, but when I was a kid it was a totally different story!

Some school friends who looked a lot older and were a lot taller than me said they were going out to celebrate Halloween. I had heard about Halloween from the Blue Peter TV show. So, we all dressed up as ghouls and spooks and went knocking on the neighbour’s doors.

The door of the first house opened with a spooky squeak and there was this old man standing there.“Yes” …. he said in a deep voice…” What do you kids want?” “Well”, I said, “It’s trick or treat”. The man looked confused and replied…” Trick or treat, what exactly is that? ” So, I explained. “It’s easy to understand. We ask for sweets or money and if you don’t give them to us, we play a trick on you”.

He yelled out some abuse and slammed the door. So off we trotted with our spooky costumes to the next house. The door opened and there was an old lady standing there looking terrified. She asked nervously what we wanted and I explained the trick or treat concept. “Just wait a minute please” she said. She closed the door and we stood at the door waiting for about five minutes, hoping to get our treats.

Then this Police car pulled up and outjumped two officers.“What’s this all about?” they asked… ”It’s Halloween” we replied “and we are just having fun”. I remember that one of them made a telephone call and came back and said “OK off you go, but don’t knock on any more doors or I will arrest you all! Go home now. ”We were petrified. I went home and told my mum about it.

My mother told me that we went to the wrong area. We had gone to the old peoples home nearby, most were in their late 80 ̈s, they wouldn’t have understood she explained. The following year I was invited again. “You have to be kidding” I said “unless you want to get arrested!” Since then Halloween has been far more recognised. I can’t imagine that experience happening these days unless you said Covid or treat! That for sure would scare everyone!

If you are having friends over this Halloween keep the food simple so that you can enjoy it yourself and this recipe ticks all the boxes, is super delicious and inexpensive.

It’s my experience that the Spanish butchers struggle to understand this cut so go and see Scott at The Scottish Butcher at the Mercacentro in Fuengirola near the bus station. He supplies me so he will know exactly what you want. There are many good butchers on our coast but his quality is excellent and he speaks our language! This meat with the reduced wine sauce is to die for…excuse the pun!

Whether you believe in the living dead or not it’s a really fun and memorable night to do something with friends and family. Remember that the head stone in cemeteries was originally created to keep the dead from rising out of the grave!

Vampire Steak, bloody red wine sauce Ingredients (serves about six)
  • Approximately 1.5 kilos of Flank steak or brisket (you may not get too much choice on the exact size)
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped or minced
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • Maldon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of barbeque steak seasoning
  • ½ bottle red wine
  • 500ml of beef stock
For the sauce
  • ½ bottle red wine
  • 6cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 onions peeled and chopped
  • 500 ml of quality beef stock warmed
  • 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons of cornflour
  • 200ml of tomato frito or tomato puree
  • Firstly, rub the spices and seasonings including the minced garlic into the beef and allow to marinate for a minimum of five hours but better overnight.
  • Take the marinated brisket and pour over the red wine and the warm beef stock.
  • Pre heat the oven to 150c and cover the beef with tin foil.
  • Now slow cook for four hours then check because the quality of the meat varies and it may need longer.
  • If nice and tender then remove from the oven and rest until required.
  • If not then leave it for another hour.
  • Make the sauce by sweating off the onions and garlic until starting to colour and now add the balsamic vinegar followed by the red wine, the tomato frito (puree) and finally the beef stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then on a fast simmer leave it to reduce by about 2/3rds.
  • To finish the sauce taste it and then mix the butter and the cornflour together to create a paste.
  • Whisk this into the sauce until it thickens and if too thick add some more red wine.
  • Put sauce back on a slow heat for about 10 minutes. Reserve.
You can re-heat the brisket on the barbeque as a whole piece and colour it all over and then on a wooden chopping board cut into even-sized slices about 1 cm thick and serve with the reduced red wine sauce. The reason this recipe is ideal is because the beef is already cooked and all you are doing is re-heating it on the night on the barbeque. Serve with jacket potatoes also finished on the barbeque and a huge leafy salad.
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The Little Geranium, Winner of Best International Restaurant Spain…2020
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Thank you for reading this article, “Halloween Vampire brisket steak”. For more amazing recipes from Steve Saunders, visit the Euro Weekly News website.

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Steven Saunders

Steven Saunders FMCGB - The Little Geranium - La Cala de Mijas & Marbella


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