A few years ago I was doing a speedy roundtrip around certain parts of the Island of Mindanao and ended up one night staying at a cheap guest house called Friendly’s in Iligan City. The next morning my friend, and also the driver woke us up early and said we were going for breakfast. So we sped about two hours away and entered the Del Monte Golf Club in Manolo Fortich in Budkidnon. Now I am useless at Golf and it did seem a strange place to go for breakfast, but as his passenger I just went with it.
The place is beautiful and the golf course very green. However, we did not head for the golf course we instead headed for the dining area. This is a place that has very high customer service standards and it is very obvious that the staff are very use to dealing with some very important clientele. Today they had me.
We were sat at a very sturdy table that allowed us to look out across the grounds and see just how beautiful the place really was. It was decided that this would be a very special breakfast indeed. We were going to have steak for breakfast.
I smiled at this prospect and looking at the prices on the menus- my heart dropped. The quality of meat and the ability to cook steak in the Philippines is very poor. The steak is always extremely small and tasteless. The cows here in the Philippines seem to grow to a foot tall before they are slaughtered. Not even enough time for them to have anything on the worth eating.
I voiced my concern to my friend who told me that these steaks are made from cows imported from Australia and he promised me I would not be disappointed in any way. Australian steak for breakfast-why not? So I placed an order for REAL T BONE steak (not the Philippine version) and sat and enjoyed the view of the grounds and the all-important morning coffee.
Maybe thirty minutes later the waiter came over with the Steak breakfast. The plates were big and I could see that the slabs of meat were even overhanging these large plates. As he put it on the table I actually heard myself “wow” out loud. It was not only cooked to my perfection, but it was at least three times bigger than I expected and much thicker than the normal steaks served in the Philippines. It looked great and it smelt great too. Other dishes were put around the main dish that contained the vegetables and chips (fries). We even had gravy.
Suddenly my memory started telling my taste buds what to expect. After all I had eaten some fantastic steaks in the UK during my life time. I picked up my proper knife and fork and cut into my steak. The knife cut through with such ease and the steak was cooked just how I liked it. Medium to well. There was hardly any fat and the steak was begging for me to eat it. I did.
The first bite was great, but after a few seconds there was a taste that was extremely pleasant that I could not identify. The steak tasted great and the gravy was great, but there was something else. A few mouthfuls later and I was intrigued. The steak was tender and delicious but what was it I was also experiencing? I asked my friend that question and the answer stunned me.
The cows when they arrive as a calf in the Philippines are fed Pineapples. So for most of their lives they are fed non-stop Pineapples, which gives it this outstanding taste and also breaks down the enzymes and makes the meat so easy to cut and chew. I often tell my story of Pineapple steaks in the UK, but no one believes me. I promise it was true and I have never had another Steak like that one in Mindanao. Sponsored by