As I have mentioned on a couple of occasions I often cook solely for my own (and your) benefit as Yolanda is in training to compete in a body building competition in November. I do however get to cook for her once a week when she is having a cheat or re-feed day. On these days I usually ask her what she would like to eat and make whatever she asks for. Last Sunday was the most recent cheat day and I made her the eggs benedict that I have already written about, which was her request for breakfast. I also cooked her this steak meal for her dinner along with a dessert that will be added to the blog soon (I bet you can hardly contain your excitement).
This is a pretty minimalist dish which did not require much in the way of prep work or cooking processes, it’s difficulty is in it’s simplicity as each element has to be cooked well as there is nowhere to hide. I made the somewhat controversial decision not to make a sauce, this was a personal choice and on other days I would have. Sometimes I just want to enjoy the flavours and textures of the core ingredients and then have some mustard or other condiment when I want to add something else. For the potatoes I was originally planning on making sauteed potatoes however I wanted to leave the skin on so that they had a nice rustic feel to them and so ended up doing part sauteed and part roasted which came out quite nicely. For the steak I have definitely been converted from my previous way of thinking that biggest is best, my younger self would be appalled. I now tend to go for fillet as it has the best texture and flavour in my opinion – please note that I am referring to supermarket bought steak here, good butchers should have better quality options for other cuts. By my standards I ended up with a fairly attractive plate of food that involved some consideration around its presentation and was not piled high (although there was a healthy serving of potatoes) I even bothered to do a criss-cross pattern with the griddle pan on the steak. As I mentioned there were not a lot processes involved but I will run you through how I made this.
First up I started with the potatoes. These were chopped into decent sized chunks with the skin left on, as I mentioned previously. I then heated some oil in a frying pan on a fairly highly heat and added the potatoes, to which a generous amount of salt had been added, turning them on a regular basis. During the cooking I added some chopped rosemary and a few cloves of slightly crushed garlic with the skin still on. Once the potatoes had picked up a nice colour I transferred them with the oil from the pan into a glass ovenproof dish and placed into a pre heated oven. These took about another 20 minutes or so to cook, you will know when they are done, and as everything else takes next to no time to cook you can wait for the potatoes before starting on the rest. For the steak I ensured that they had been removed from the fridge at least an hour before cooking so that the meat could return to room temperature. I then covered in oil whilst I heated up the griddle on the highest heat of the largest hob until it was smoking hot. Obviously I am not going to tell you how to cook a steak, but it should be rare if you ask me. If your pan is really hot then this should only take about a minute on each side, that of course depends on the steak that you are cooking. You can do the classic thumb to finger test to check how firm the meat is if this works for you. In order to get the pattern on the steak you have to turn the steak by 90 degrees during the cooking, easy but effective. For the vegetables I placed some more oil and a decent knob of butter in the same frying pan that I started the potatoes in. Once the butter is foaming I added the asparagus and carrots to the frying pan with a good sized pinch of salt and fried off for around 5 to 8 minutes. Again I go by sight rather than timing with these and can tell when they are cooked based on the level of charring on the surface of the vegetables. I like a good crunch so if they are slightly under then this is a good thing, make sure you do not over cook them as they will be floppy and shriveled which is never a good thing.
This is really lovely and satisfying dinner which is pretty much stress free but looks fantastic. The potatoes are a great alternative to chips and look a little more classy in my opinion, not that there is anything wrong with chips as I love chips. We had a bottle of Chinon with this which is a really fruity red wine that is not too heavy and so is great on a stuffy summers evening. I had a little horseradish mustard with mine and did not miss any sauce so felt justified in my decision to leave it out. Yolanda was very happy with her dinner which is the main thing; as pleasing your loved ones is pretty much one of the best things about cooking.