Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Another biefstuk

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Gorssel, Netherlands, November 28, 2018—

WE BEGIN THE WEEK'S exploration of Gelderland with an outing to this small town south of Deventer and east of Apeldoorn, just within the provincial boundary. (A look at the map of Gelderland reveals the stupidity of political boundaries, but that's not a subject for this blog.)

There are only 4,000 or so inhabitants of Gorssel, which lies on a flat area of field and forest drained by the river IJssel; but the town supports a fine museum of 20th-century art, whose permanent collection reflected one man's taste, and a notable restaurant, where Hans proposed we have the day's principal meal at midday.

Loetje is in fact a chain of restaurants: half a dozen of them in Amsterdam; another nine or so beyond. It is known, Hans told us, for its steak, and so of course that is what I ordered. It looks like a hollandse biefstuk, all brown and brown; and in fact my first taste suggested it had been pan-fried and was even a bit burnt. Later bits disproved the burning: this steak was cooked to a perfect rare degree. I wish I'd though to photograph a slice.

It's a softball-steak, and the Countess — who ordered soup and capucijners, those delicious field peas — glanced at it when it arrived and recalled a similar steak we'd had decades ago in Oklahoma City.

Like that one, this was extraordinarily tender, with a delicate flavor perhaps overwhelmed by the rich gravy. It came with a bushel of french fries, very nice ones, and I ordered a serving of fried onions as well. Delicious.

Dessert: half the Countess's Dame Blanche: a fine soft milky vanilla ice cream with whipped cream and, of course, chocolate sauce.

     🍷Garnacha, Spain

•Loetje Gorssel, Hoofdstraat 26, Gorssel; 📞0575 -760 199

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