Sounds impossible doesn’t it? A steak cooked to everyones liking in 45 seconds? Ok, it’s a bit of a cheat as the steak is sliced incredibly thinly but it’s still a steak and can be used in a variety of different dishes, two of which are described here.
CHOOSE AND PREPARE THE STEAK
Our preference is for rump steak as it has a good balance of flavour, texture and price. Sirloin is perhaps more flavoursome with a similar flavour but the price reflects this. Fillet, the most expensive cut, has incredible texture but the flavour can be somewhat dull. The quality of the meat is important to this dish. I’m sorry to say, supermarket meat, wrapped under plastic and thanks to a large distribution chain, just doesn’t cut the mustard, if you’ll pardon the pun. Seek out a good quality, preferably local butcher. Ask him questions and look at his display. How long has the meat been hung for? Is it local? How far has it travelled to the shop? Which farm is it from? (all meat should be traceable back to the farm). A good butcher will gladly and proudly answer all these questions.
Once you have chosen your steak, trim it of all fat and sinew and then, across the grain, with a very sharp knife carefully slice into thin strips of approximately 3 millimetres wide. It doesn’t matter if some strips are slightly thinner or wider but try and keep this as constant as you can. Once prepared, don’t season the meat until it is in the pan. Simply drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil over the meat and toss so all the strips are nicely covered. If you’re unsure of what ‘across the grain’ is, try this neat little trick: make your first slice of the meat then pull gently at either end with your fingers. As you pull, you should see the meat separate into vertical strands and holes will appear. If it isn’t against the grain, you will feel a slight resistance and the meat won’t separate. Rotate the meat 90 degrees and try again. Because it is sliced so thinly, don’t worry too much!
Heat a wok or heavy-based frying pan to high. It’s hot enough when you can’t hold your hand for ten seconds a few inches above the surface. Throw in the steak, sprinkle over a little salt and set the stopwatch. Stir constantly, moving the meat around the pan. You will notice the pink bits starting to disappear and after 45 seconds, all the pink should have disappeared. REMOVE THE MEAT NOW to a plate and allow to rest. Don’t worry if you can still see a little pink. Thanks to the residual heat within the meat, it will continue to cook.
Now that we have the basic cooking method for the steak, we can incorporate it into several dishes by adding other ingredients. The trick here is to prepare or have to hand all the ingredients making up the final dish once the beef has cooked.
Steak in Pepper Sauce
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Preparation time: 10 minutes
1 steak, prepared as above.
100 ml white wine
100 ml double cream
1-2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper (according to taste)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1. Cook the steak as described above and put to one side on a plate.
2. Keeping the pan on the heat, add the white wine and scrape with a wooden spoon. Keep cooking until the wine has reduced to a mere 2 tablespoons.
3. Add the double cream, mustard and pepper, stirring well to combine.
4. Add the lemon juice and stir.
5. Add the steak back into the sauce and warm through for a minute, seasoning to taste.
6. Serve with chunky chips and peas.
– Try adding some sliced mushrooms to the pan after the steak has been removed. Cook for one minute before adding the wine and cooking as described.
– Use low-fat creme fraiche instead of double cream for a slightly less calorific variation.
Best Steak Sandwich Ever
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1 quantity of rump steak prepared as above.
3 garlic cloves, whole, still in their skin.
2 tsp mustard
Handful of rocket leaves
4 slices of processed cheese
2 french-style batons or ciabatta
MAKE THE ROAST GARLIC BUTTER
1. Heat the oven to 200F. Place the garlic in a baking tray and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until soft and tender and slips easily out of the skin.
2. Combine the garlic with the butter.
PREPARE THE SANDWICH
1. Slice the bread in two horizontally and toast lightly under a hot grill.
2. Spread a thin layer of mustard over one half of the bread then place two cheese slices on top.
3. Toss the rocket leaves in a little lemon juice and keep to one side.
4. Cook the steak as described above and place over the cheese.
5. Add a nice dollop of the garlic butter on top of the steak.
6. Sprinkle over the rocket and put the other half of the bread on top, pressing down firmly.
7. Serve with fries sprinkled with a spicy salt.
This method of cooking steak is extremely quick and makes for a great mid-week supper. Try it in a tortilla wrap with some fried onions and mustard or in a chinese-inspired stir-fry by adding soy sauce, rice vinegar, 5-spice powder and a big splash of sweet chilli sauce. Don’t forget to add lots of crunchy vegetables and wok-fried noodles.