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The 'Beefsteak' in New Jersey-NYT


Sounds like fun every once in a while. I can see people doing this as a social ritual. And a reason for gluttony.

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  1. “You’ve got the tender beef, butter, salt, French fries, beer — all your major food groups. "

    What a great line! Sounds like a blast; maybe they finish it off by popping a few lipitors...

    1. Oh, that article made me HUNGRY. I'd definitely pick the place that uses butter. I just read the 1939 Joseph Mitchell article referenced in the story and thought it was terrific -- it's the first piece in "Secret Ingredients," the newish anthology of food writing from the New Yorker, a truly delightful book.

      1. a great article.....

        Raised in Passaic County, I had no idea that the beefsteak originated in NY.

        I vote for Nightingales, but am surprised that they do not use butter....

        1 Reply
        1. re: JerseyNOLA

          I sort of see why, with butter's propensity to burn, though I assume that even in a catering kitchen they would be able to find a slow burner to keep it just warm enough... Thomas Keller always has beurre monté going after all.
          Granted, that is probably an unfair comparison for something closer to a pancake breakfast than French Laundry.

          1. re: SunnysideUp

            I loved the article too! Did a Google search and there's one tomorrow night in Bloomfield! Fund raiser - no need to crash!

            1. re: Concetta

              I hope you get to go! It would be great to hear a report.

              1. re: SunnysideUp

                Wish I could, but I live in the SF Bay Area.

              2. re: Concetta

                I have a group getting together next weekend (march 8th) and we would love to go to a beefsteak event.

                Aside from random Google search results, how do you know when/where they?!

                1. re: marc10

                  I would call the 2 places in Clifton mentioned in the article to find out what gigs they have next weekend and if they're open to the public.

            2. I lived in No. NJ for 13 years and never heard of these. I grew up in Philadelphia where "beef and beers" were the de facto fundraiser activity. Essentially the same thing, but without the deep social roots or machismo! If you Google "beef and beer fundraiser" you'll find them all over Philly.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Divamac

                I was thinking the same thing. Sorta reminds me of the Philly Beef and Beer. Terrible I know, but we pile beef between two rolls. All that bread, tsk tsk. Not as gluttonous as the NJ version.

              2. Just talked to my husband about this. He got all worked up & drooly. I've never had the pleasure but I've heard stories. With all the transplants in this area (FL) this should be his next fundraiser event.

                1. The New Yorker magazine ran an article on these institutions back in the 1920's, and it was even more hedonistic and over-the-top back then. However, they were just as wound up about the old-fashionedness and historical veracity of the tradition back then. My favorite quote was from a guy, on the question of should there or should there not be other cuts of meat allowed besides the beef steak itself "they say it's not old-fashioned. I'm eighty-five years old. I know what's old-fashioned and what's not old-fashioned."

                  1. We cook a beefsteak just about every year for New Years Eve. Unlike Hap Nightingales, we roast ours encased in a kosher salt crust. I have a post about our beef steak experiences with a recipe at here: http://househubbie.blogspot.com/2008/...

                    1. The Market Basket in Franklin Lakes, NJ will cater a full Beefsteak (soup to nuts). It's $30 a person, with a 50 person minimum. I guess when all is said, done and spent - it can be easier on the nerves than handling a holiday party on your own. Novel theme for those who've never been to one. Incorporate the NYT article with 1938 photo into the invitation and/or place cards.

                      You'll need to download the catering menu PDF. http://www.marketbasket.com/