how to clean a mortar and pestle

How to clean a mortar and pestle?

Kitchen gadgets thrill me and I LOVE my mortar and pestle.

I see out reasons to use it.

Back story – We raise organic chickens for meat here on Half-Way Farm… la Ferme a Mi-Chemin and we barter with other people for some of the things we need and want (meat, piano lessons, etc).  Well, ma cousine (Dear Darla) is an amazing gal and she was proud to shoot a deer this year… WITH HER BOW!

Hello?  Can you say bad ass? 

So – I gave her some of our farm raised chickens and she gave me some venison steaks.  Chicken does nothing for me (my fam loves it though) so I think I got the better end of the deal.  I could eat red meat every day of the week.

With red wine = happiness.

She’s the pro so I asked her opinion on preparing my steaks and she explained to me that venison is a big meat so it can take big flavor.  The minute she said “Rosemary” I couldn’t wait to hang up the phone and get started.  What about a “take” on the traditional French Steak au Poivre??? “Game style” if you know what I mean.

Whoohoo!  An excuse to use my mortar and pestle!

A mortar and pestle is nothing to be afraid of and mine is marble to match all my other marble accents in the kitchen.  I love it against my new blue countertops.  (Yes some of you have noticed on Instagram, the horrid brown laminate and red sink are gone.  My landlord doesn’t even KNOW yet!  Don’t worry.  He can have his laminate back when we leave.  HA! But come on.  I couldn’t shoot a cookbook with those brown countertops and I just didn’t know what I was going to do.  Thankful for this farm and cursing those hideous things every time I walked into my kitchen!!!!  Thankfully I have a very lovely aunt and uncle in the countertop biz…  BONJOUR!   My uncle even picked the color!  PERFECT!   I’ll be taking them with me when we leave and using them in a future basement or summer kitchen don’t you think???   My kitchen went from trying to be cute to absolutely charming.  I went from cursing that laminate in my heart to blessing my aunt and uncle every time I’m in my kitchen – which is literally about ten hours a day.  Even when it’s messy it looks clean… the sunlight bounces off them… ‘scuse me while I gush…

Ok, where was I…

Get yourself a mortar and pestle Get one here, in fact.  It’s almost just like mine.  They are easy to care for.  I just use hot water and a clean cloth and clean it out after each use.  If it’s had an oil substance I’ll use a little gentle soap.  Then I rub my hand around inside to check for any chips but I’ve never had any.  They are made to take a beating so get one and get to smashin’!

how to clean a mortar and pestle

mortar and pestle care

And now for a recipe!  I used venison but I am sure regular ol’ steaks would do.

First – let’s make the rub.  Lay your steaks out on a plate and gather your ingredients.  Here they are and they are all “to taste”.  For example I used about 5 cloves of garlic and a huge french shallot…  you’ll notice I used my homemade flower pepper but rainbow peppercorns will do if you don’t make flower pepper.  But while you’ve got those seed catalogs spread out before you this weekend be sure to order what you need to make flower pepper.  It’s life changing.

Venison Steak Rub

So, chop ’em up a bit and toss them in your mortar and get smashin’.

The smell alone is going to require that you pour a glass of wine.  Pronto.

And for heaven’s sake.

Make it a good one.

It’s steak night.

venison steak rub

Venison Steak Rub

You can crush your rub ingredients to the desired size.  Your call.  I swear by this salt from Trader Joe’s!

Then with a fork spread the rub on top of your steaks and let it sit for awhile.  Mine sat for about 30 minutes.

Melt three tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and fry your steaks rub side down HOT for two minutes then carefully flip them over, trying to bring as much rub with you as possible and fry for another two minutes.  Promptly remove from skillet.  Venison is wonderful served a bit rare – serving it this way inhibits that “gamey” taste and keeps them absolutely mouth melting.

And now we need a little sauce… non?

This is nothing labor intensive –

With a spoon remove a bit of the remaining oil from your pan, scrape the meat bits loose with a wooden spoon (don’t remove) then add the following:

– 2 tablespoons of butter

-1/2 cup beef stock

-2 tablespoons of white wine Dijon mustard (this is my fav)

Bring to a simmer and simmer until reduced a bit then add 1 cup of heavy cream.  Simmer for another couple minutes.

Remove from heat and pour thru a strainer.  I do this so the sauce looks “clean.”

Drizzle your desired amount of sauce on our plate, place steak on top and enjoy.

Steak au Poivre

Oh my gosh.  Hold on to your chaussettes. 

Soooooooooooooooo good and now you know how to clean a mortar and pestle!

For more recipes suivez-moi on Pinterest!

Bon Appetit.

Parisienne Farmgirl