A Review of Empanada Masterclass at Cau, Blackheath
Have you ever had the experience of not actually ordering for ages, despite hunger, because there are so many exciting options on the menu. Cau, in Blackheath presented the most impressive solution to solve this problem I have ever seen, they invited us to a master class where they presented the steak cooked in most of the ways of the menu.
They called this an Empanada Master Class. I like empanada’s but I think they undersold themselves in the name here, no?
Wee..ll okay, they didn’t offer us everything off the menu, just a hefty chunk of the crowded speciality cut steak menu, followed by the empanada’s they cooked (Cau wisely provided takeaway boxes for the ones their guests prepared, although please note that my husband won a bottle of wine for his efforts as joint 2 best empanadas.)
They certainly demonstrated some impressive cuts. We saw them raw first:
Got talked through how the cut is used by the chef – how to cut around the muscle, and slice and how to spice. My favourites were Asado de Chorizo. Alert Chorizo sign! always a good reason to seriously consider a dish from a menu. However no sausage featured in this Chorizo, this dish was sirloin with chorizo type flavours (paprika, chilli, garlic); and Tapa de Cuardril, thinly sliced, well salted rump steak which drew frequent comparisons to bacon.
So that when Cau then sat us down for our main courses (yes, the sampling the entire menu and eating emapanadas was generally considered the starters), we ordered these as our mains. Brilliant. I was then presented with a brick of Asado de Chorizo.
More steak than I could ever consider ordering… I’d remembered the flavour and forgotten to check the size: 500g. Fortunately i had left a little room by declining the side of chips and ordered tomato salad, allowing me to steal my husband’s chips.
None of this stopped us ordering desserts. Had they been a bit more boring, i might have considered skipping them – THATs how full I was. But the menu had a few intriguing options, including frequent use of the dulce de leche phrase. I settled on three-milk cake. All good. This was kind of a lemon meringue in basic ingredients but the added cream, condensed and evaporated milk (and no pastry) took the flavour in a completely different direction. And, no offence to Lemon Meringue Pie it was a good direction.
*The meal and masterclass at Cau were entirely complimentary to promote August’s #CAUnival (try getting that past spell check) and you should know that ‘free food’ always makes me happy (even if it was free cabbages). #CAUnival has been introduced to support the charity Action Against Hunger.
10-12 Royal Parade, London SE3 0TL