Thursday, 3 March 2011

A glorious platter of beef, that costs less than you might think...

Every now and again you deserve something special, it doesn’t have to cost the earth but it has to be a one off delight for the senses! ALL of the senses!

This platter of beef from Donald Russell is just that, at its bones its simply 4 fat juicy steaks for 4 people but the presentation makes it look a lot more.

I serve this with garlic rubbed ciabatta bread, an olive tapenade, a huge rocket salad flecked with shavings of pecorino AND the piece de resistance, my slow roasted tomatoes, the quintessential side for the fabulous beef.

This recipe is merely my method to cook the perfect steak, but it’s a skill I can without arrogance say I have mastered and would like to share.  At the end of the day with beef this good you can’t go wrong…

Here goes…
A Donald Russell steak per person, we had the pleasure of a rump, a fillet, a sirloin and a rib eye.
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

For the black olive tapenade:
Around 100g of black olives
4tbsp of red wine vinegar
1tbsp of Dijon mustard
6tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 clove of garlic

For the tomatoes:
1 large tomato per person
1 clove of garlic per tomato
Sprigs of thyme
Olive oil
Extra virgin ilive oil for drizzling
Salt and pepper
Balsamic vinegar

Start with the tomatoes, cut them in half, scoop out the seeds (the wet bit from inside) fill the hole with salt and pepper, a ½ clove of garlic, sprinkle with thyme and olive oil and roast in the oven on really low for around 1-2 hours.  Timing isn’t a big deal here you just want to cook them slowly to intensify their flavour.  Once they are cooked drizzle with the extra virgin oil and set on a platter ready to serve.

For the tapenade, blend the olives with the vinegar, salt and pepper, garlic and mustard.  Once that’s like a thick paste add the oil and mix together.  That’s it! Pop the tapenade in a ramekin ready to serve.

Ok so onto the steaks, the centrepiece for the platter.

Rub the steaks in a little oil, season with pepper – no salt at this stage.
Get a pan smoking hot, season 1 side (the side your going to place down on the pan) with salt and place the steaks in the pan, LEAVE THEM, step away from the pan and set a timer for 2.5 minutes.
After 2.5 minutes, season with salt on the side that’s facing up and flip the steaks and again leave them alone. Set a timer for 2 minutes.
After 2 minutes, turn the heat off, add the butter to the pan and baste the steaks in the buttery juices for around 30 seconds.

Remove the steaks from the pan and leave them to rest for at least 10 minutes.  This makes all the difference and the flavour will intensify and the steaks will be SOOO juicy!

The timings are for a standard 1 inch thick steak; if your steaks are thinner adjust the timings to cook the steak less.

The reason you don’t season the steaks with salt until the last minute is salt draws out moisture, if you season the steaks too early they won’t be as juicy J

Carve the steaks into thick slices and present on a wood board, or some slate, with the sides positioned around the beef!

When I made this the steaks were delicious, juicy, full of flavour, charred on the outside from the heat of the pan and knee quivering medium rare in the middle, the perfect black and blue steak! YUM!

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