In the fantasy beast food chain, on creature stands supreme; an apex predator all fear: The dragon. With no natural predators, the dragon eats others at its leisure while never fearing ending up on the dinner plate itself.
Which is partially why dragons are so delicious. In eating them, one inverts the natural order as well as tickling the taste buds, making the consumer not just equal the majestic creatures, but their superior.
Simply put, by eating a dragon, one becomes temporarily immortal.
Which might explain why the cost of a single dragon steak could bankrupt a small nation. And being as that if you’ve got to the time to waste reading this post, chances are you aren’t burdened with the responsibility of small-nation-leadership, we here at Bugbear BBQ will teach you how to make your own seared dragon steaks on the cheap.
Well, cheaper, at least.
Dragon steaks are like engagement rings in that purchasing one is either a buyer’s or seller’s market based upon WHICHEVER IS WORSE for you at the time. Ready to get engaged? You’ll find rings breathtakingly and wallet-emptyingly expensive. She said no and now you need to unload that ring? Well, suddenly no one wants to pay more than 30% of what you put down for it.
The same is true of dragon steaks in that, if you’ve got a hankering for some, you have to go to the few high-end restaurants in the realm catering to your tastes. Which means shelling out the big bucks. But if you fell the beast yourself, suddenly you’ve got a glut of dragon meat on your hands and, after selling off the choice few cuts, will find yourself stuck with tons of rapidly spoiling meat you’ll take coppers on the goldpieces for.
Which is the long way of saying, you’re better off killing your own dragon and harvesting the tenderloin yourself. Sure you’ll be stuck with a dragon carcass that will stink up the place, but surely some treasure in the dragon’s lair will help dry your tears.
Plus, you know, a pretty good meal fit for kings.
Click the image for the source of dragon meat.
Some recipes out there demand all sorts of esoteric ingredients like pixie dust and fire elemental’s tears, but we at Bugbear BBQ just use salt and pepper. Whenever we’re feeling particularly sassy, we might dress it up with some Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow Crust, but if you don’t have any laying around, don’t you let it worry your pretty little head.
If possibly, make sure to dry brine the steaks a day ahead of time. Even better, makes sure to dry age your steak for a month to increase flavor and tenderness. However, since both of these methods will require some sort of refrigeration and a fair amount of time, both can be bypassed without too much loss of flavor.
Now there are a lot of unscrupulous establishments out there bragging they have “dragonfire seared steaks,” and we at Bugbear BBQ would like to emphatically state if you see a “restaurant” making such a deceitful claim, report them to the nearest constable immediately since they are bilking their customers.
Why, you ask? Because a dragon’s body contains the dragonfire in question. So how exactly is that fire supposed to cook its container? That’s like a rattlesnake poisoning itself, or a basilisk turning itself to stone. It just doesn’t work.
So while the idea of cooking a dragon steak in its own flames does have its own poetic and delicious irony to it, it just doesn’t work unless you have two dragons of different species on hand, one of which is still alive and under your command.
My serious sous vide rig makes a second appearance. As does Little Wooden Boy.
As such, we prefer to sous vide our steaks at 133 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour and adding a sprig of rosemary and smashed garlic clove for aromatics. Then we toss our skillet into the oven at around 400 to warm it up.
Once the steaks have sat through their 133 degree bath for an hour, we pat them dry, give them a good once over with safflower oil, then salt and pepper again. Make sure to set your meat drippings aside for a pan sauce though.
Then the skillet goes on the open flame and give it a good swipe with some more safflower oil, which should start smoking pretty quickly. Then sear each steak for about 30-45 seconds per side. As this is going on, we toss a tablespoon of butter into the skillet and spoon the melted results on top. Soon as your searing is done, move the steaks to your plate.
Sauce, Sides, & Pairings
As with most our meals, our dragon steaks don’t require a sauce, but if you want to level your taste buds up, here’s a nice pan sauce: While the skillet is still Hades-hot, pour in your meat drippings and a few tablespoons of wine. This will deglaze the pan, especially as you scrape with your spatula to get all the seared bits still stuck on the skillet. Once this has reduced, you can pour it over your steaks, but we like to set it to the side since it’s so strong.
One always needs a potato dish and vegetable as a side, and while we prefer Otik’s Spiced Potatoes plus some apple cider vinegar braised chard, whatever you decide won’t really matter. Because how can any type of vegetable ever compare to this?
Pair with a nice, rich red wine. Any will do, but we like to go all Argentinian with a Malbec. In terms of beer, many suggest something Dwarven or perhaps an IPA. Those people are obviously idiots since there nothing will sully that steak dinner faster than the bitter abomination commonly known as an IPA. As such, we go with the opposite route with something light like a pilsner, kolsh or wheat beer.
But again, who cares what you pick? All your senses will be entirely focused on the dragon steak in question while, for a brief moment at least, you sit high atop the fantasy food chain.