I don’t know how the beefsteak banquet fell out of fashion but it sure as hell needs to make a comeback. After all, how could a menu of steak and beer be wrong? So, on a not-so-warm Saturday evening a handful of friends gathered to make an honest attempt to bring it back.
|An early 1900s beefsteak. Note the simple menu.
|For those of you who aren’t aware of what a beefsteak entails, I suggest reading “All You Can Hold for Five Bucks,” an (amazingly sexist) article from a 1939 issue of The New Yorker. Quite simply, the beefsteak is, “slices of ripened steaks, double lamb chops, kidneys, and beer by the pitcher […] Knives, forks, napkins, and tablecloths never had been permitted.“
Oh, and one other rule: no women.
I’m not going to lie, though, at the onset of this event, I’d been thinking about throwing sides in, maybe even a salad or other chlorophyll-based sustenance. But a cooler head prevailed and a friend convinced us to throw a genuine beefsteak. Thank you, Scott.
Then as osso buco and round tip hit the red oak wood fire with its aroma and smoke wafting into our faces, we drank beer from mason jars and discussed welding, woodworking, and various other things that we thought would make us appear manly.
The night’s success could be seen on our aprons, wiping steak juices from off our fingers, catching beer spills, and, in my case, wiping blood from a cut tongue on whatever white section of poly-cotton we could find. This is definitely something we’ll be doing again. Just maybe with a sober photographer on hand…