The first time I ever tasted côte de boeuf was in the Butchershop Bar and Grill in Glasgow many years ago. It was quite unlike anything I’d tasted before. It was near-perfect in appearance with beautiful charred grill lines and buttery-crisp edges. It was soft too, despite being as thick as a hardback novel. I decided back then that this was the cut for me. I loved the fat marbling throughout the cut and the intensely bold flavours and have always chosen it over any other cut on a menu since. For the first edition of ‘The Steak Diaries’, I felt that it was only right to return to where I had my first côte de boeuf to see if it held up to my memory of eating it all those years ago.
I love the Butchershop’s overall look and feel. It’s undergone some small changes over the years, but that classic Manhattan steakhouse vibe has always remained. I love being able to get a feel for a bar or restaurant as soon as I walk through the door and the beautiful lighting, smooth jazz and lively chatter that I always find here really helps set the scene for a great night.
We decided to go for the scallops to start. I love scallops. Despite prawns being the more common seafood accompaniment to steak, I’d much rather have a side of scallops any day of the week. I opted not to have these with the beef though and instead allowed the anticipation for the côte de boeuf to build a little further and feasted on these first. The scallops were served on a bed of celeriac puree and cooked with a beautiful curried butter. They were topped with charred pepper chutney, coriander and crispy onions. At £12, these were some of the finest scallops I’ve ever eaten. The curried butter stained the plate yellow and really elevated the flavour of the scallops, with the pepper chutney really slicing through for an explosive finish on each and every bite. The crispy onions added a nice complexity to the dish. I could have easily eaten another plate, but it was time to pour the wine and get ready for the main event.
I settled on the côte de boeuf, cooked medium rare. Each steak comes with the option of fries or mash potato and your choice of sauce or butter on the side. I opted for skinny fries (does anyone ever choose chunky?) and garlic butter. I generally would never have sauce of any kind with steak, but a knob of garlic-infused butter resting on the top is something I can’t turn down.
Much like my first côte de boeuf experience at the Butchershop, it was buttery-crisp around the edges with lovely charring. It almost looked too good to eat. There’s something about the way that the butter slowly melts and runs down the contours of the steak that’s enough to make anyone salivate, as you can see from the photo below.
This was one juicy piece of meat. The outside of the steak glistened with the garlic butter that I’d so recklessly dumped on top of it – but the rest of the plate was clean. The meat wasn’t lying in a puddle of liquid – all of the juices were firmly sealed inside. With each bite, my mouth was coated with the wonderfully rich juices of the steak – the beautiful fat marbling and full, decadent flavour of the beef only adding to the experience. Despite the thickness of the cut, it wasn’t really chewy. The outside was crispy and charred and soft, yet substantial inside. This is a monstrous cut that had me scraping everything I possibly could away from the bone because I just didn’t want it to be over.
What’s a good steak without a great Malbec to enjoy it with? We had this with a Catena Appelation Vista Flores. I’m no wine expert, but I love Catena. This particular wine wasn’t quite full-bodied, but had a strong hint of leather (nobody else at my table seemed to be able to smell this but me. But it was definitely there!) and cherry. Taste-wise, it was oaky, cherry goodness that tasted even better with the côte de boeuf. I’ve already ordered a bottle of this to enjoy at home.
The côte de boeuf at the Butchershop lived up to my expectations. It was every bit as delicious as it was the first time, several years ago. It’s not a cheap evening (we were around £130 between two), particularly if you’re also having some wine, starters and a dessert, but there’s something about eating here that just makes me intensely happy. This is ‘what would be your final meal?’ levels of good.
I hope you’ll join me in future editions of ‘The Steak Diaries’ here on the blog as I try côte de boeuf in the city’s other establishments as well as other cuts to find the ultimate steak. After this feast, I’m already planning on where to go next.
Price: £35 (includes fries or mash and choice of sauce or butter). Scallops & wine extra.
THE JUICY BITS
+ Sesnsational steak
+ God-level garlic butter
+ Great scallops
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The Butchershop Bar & Grill
1055 Sauchiehall Street
Tel: 0141 339 2999
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