The Brooklyn Beefsteak is back and bigger than ever.
On March 21, send out the winter with an all-you-can-eat and drink meatfest at the Bell House, a revival of the Tammany Hall tradition that thrived during the late 1800s that can still be seen today in places like New Jersey and abroad in England. But there’s no politics here, it’s all about the food, the music and good times.
To that end, organizers Derek Silverman and Andrew Dermont are buying twice as much meat than they had at the inaugural event last November – that’s 650 pounds of rib eye and hanger steak. In recreating the beefsteak, the boys are following the rules in the preparation, relying on histories like the 1939 Joseph Mitchell piece, “All You Can Hold for Five Bucks,” that laid down the laws of the beefsteak.
“What happens is the meat gets grilled, then sliced and dipped in butter then Worchestershire sauce. And then it’s laid on top of a slightly stale slice of bread. That’s a beefsteak,” says Dermont. Added to that equation is beer – endless pitchers of McSorley’s at the Brooklyn Beefsteak. Subtracted are utensils; There’s nothing between a man and his steak here.
“We tried to recreate the turn of the century event as best we could, while also ensuring it was modern,” says Silverman of the saloon-style event, inspired more by that period than the current models found in New Jersey (no french fries here).
For the second go-around of the Beefsteak, which the organizers look to twice a year during the winter months, the day will feature two seatings, both with music from Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. The old timey, lo-fi band played the first beefsteak and had written a song just for the occasion, which the whole place sang communal-style.
“The music is a big part of this,” said Dermont. “(The band) came through really big last time.”
“They really brought the whole room alive,” added Silverman. “We had just put our first platings of food down, and the moment the guy played his upright bass, I was like, alright, this is going to work.”
The Brooklyn Beefsteak is March 21 at the Bell House (149 7th St.). There are two seatings – 2-5 pm and 6-9 pm. Both are $45. Advance purchase is advised, as both sittings are expected to sell out. For more information, go to www.thebellhouseny.com, http://www.brooklynbeefsteak.com, or call 718-643-6510.