I’ve heard so many excuses why people don’t cook their own steak. ‘It’s too expensive’, ‘it’s too difficult’, ‘it’s time consuming’. WRONG, my friends! Wrong, wrong wrong. Being absolute meatheads, you would never believe that we both used to be vegetarians. I fell off the wagon in style – with a steak. Jennie was a little more reserved and started eating fish first. Then I cooked her this very steak dinner and the wagon was long gone.
Yes, a proper steak dinner with a lovely bottle of Malbec is a treat. But it doesn’t have to be reserved for restaurants. As a matter of fact, I hardly ever order steak in a restaurant because I know I can do a damn fine job at home.
You will need:
2 steaks (I used sirloin this time)
1 large potato plus oil, chilli flakes, dried thyme & salt for seasoning
2 handfuls of rocket salad
For the peppercorn sauce…
a knob of butter
1 large shallot or half a small onion
1 clove of garlic
150ml double cream
3 tsp english mustard
*secret ingredient alert!* – the juice from your cooked steaks.
An hour before you start cooking, take your steaks out of the fridge. They should cook at room temperature. If you put cold meat in a hot pan it will tense up and you’ll end up with chewy steak. Blergh! I rub my steaks with oil and grind some pepper over it. Some people sprinkle with salt, our Dad puts brandy on his. You might want chilli flakes or paprika. It’s entirely up to you.
Turn your oven onto 220º/gas mark 8. This seems high but if you like crispy, home made potato wedges then the heat needs to be quite high. Cut your potato into thin wedges and put them into a sandwich bag with a drizzle of oil, a sprinkle of dried thyme, some chilli flakes and a pinch of salt. Tie the bag at the top (very important unless you want oily potato all over your kitchen, we live and learn) and give it a good shake to cover the wedges with the seasoning. Pop these onto a baking tray and into your oven for 25minutes. If you like your wedges a little thicker then you might need to boil them first, just to make sure you don’t get undercooked wedges. I like mine thin and crispy so don’t bother.
Whilst your wedges are cooking, get started on your peppercorn sauce. Now, I’ve been threatened to never have peppercorn sauce again unless I mention that this is my boyfriend’s recipe. He does make the best peppercorn sauce ever, it is the bee’s knee’s.
Finely chop your shallot and garlic and sweat them in a knob of butter, add a sprinkle of whole peppercorns & 1 teaspoon of mustard. Leave these to mingle together, they should form a sort of messy paste.
After 5 minutes of mingling, add your double cream and stir. Then add another 2 teaspoons of mustard and a LOT of black pepper. All the sauce needs to do now is heat up. How easy was that!? If you like your sauce a little mustard-ier then add more mustard. If you like it peppery, add some more. It’s very versatile and make sure you taste it as you go along to make it perfect.
Right. Your wedges are crisping, your sauce is heating. Check your wedges every so often and about 5 minutes before you think they will be done, pop a large knob of butter into a griddle pan.
Once the pan is hot, and I mean hot, carefully (it will sizzle and spit) lay your steak down and count to 20. Turn. I like my steak rare as hell, the bloodier the better, still moo-ing so I only have mine in the pan for 2 minutes. 20 seconds and turn for 2 minutes. The 20 seconds means that the meat will cook evenly. If you like yours a little more well done then cook it for another minute on each side. If you’re not sure, then take it off the heat, cut into the thickest section and take a look.
*Top Tip* – Take your steak off the heat when it’s just a little undercooked for your liking. The meat will continue to cook after because it’s still warm, and nobody likes an overcooked steak.
Take your wedges out of the oven, turn all the heat off and plate up, don’t forget to pour the steak juices into the peppercorn sauce, it really makes a difference! Stir stir stir, pour yourself a big glass of wine if you haven’t done already and dig in.
On a Sunday night, this definitely made me forget all about work the next day, take a closer look…
The perfect steak dinner.