Monday, 23 July 2012

1 Steak, 2 Sauces.

Now that I’m officially a graduate I’ve been spending a bit more time than usual at my dad’s house in London. Free electricity, a full fridge and cupboards upon cupboards of cookery books being a few of the many perks. It also however means I get to raid my dad’s pantry. If you hadn’t noticed, yes, he probably gave me the cookery gene.

This cupboard is like my own version of an Aladdin’s Cave; Kaffir Lime Leaves, Smoked Paprika, infused Olive Oils, I mean you name it and he’s probably got it so, for me, it is TERRIBLY exciting. Recipes that previously have been out of my reach due to being hamstrung by my more meager Brightonian spice rack and budget are suddenly throwing themselves out of cookery books and hitting me between the eyes. This recipe threw itself at me particularly hard so I chose to make it last week. 

This is a Jamie Oliver concoction (with a few tweaks) and I largely undertook it because it seemed ridiculous.

Steak…with two sauces?! I mean, firstly, surely you are just going to loose your steak amongst all those flavors, which is a waste in itself, and secondly how on earth are a peanut sauce and a salsa verde going to marry up?

The answer?

Absolutely, flipping, fantastically. Seriously.

I’m not joking. I mean the peanut sauce is bloody awesome in itself (a week later my dad has STILL got the last of it in the fridge because it was so good he can’t face throwing it away), as is the Salsa (we finished enough for 4 between the 3 of us in one sitting) but put them together, in your gob, with a well cooked piece of meat, a crunchy chip and your literally reaching culinary nirvana. I’ll shut up now.

For the Steaks:
4x 200g sirloin or rib-eye steaks
1 clove of garlic, halved

For the Peanut Sauce:
100g roasted peanuts
50g seasame seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried cumin seeds
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
juice of 2 limes
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 or 2 green chillies, chopped
1 tbsp honey
salt and pepper
200ml water

For the Mexcian Salsa Verde:
Bunch of coriander, chopped
Bunch of Mint, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
4 large spring onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
juice of 2 limes

Firstly get your steaks out of the fridge to bring up to room temperature while you make your sauces.

For the peanut sauce, in a dry pan toast the peanuts and then add the sesame seeds, oregano, cumin seeds, thyme, paprika, chilli and garlic and cook for another minute to release all their flavors.

Tip the whole lot into a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and whiz it until smooth. Taste and adjust, it may need more sweetness or sourness, it can all depend on how juicy your limes were and how hot your chili was etc. When your happy with it tip it into a bowl and move onto the salsa.
Throw all your chopped ingredients onto a big board and keep chopping until it is very fine. Then put it in another bowl, season, add the lime juice and a good lug of extra virgin olive oil. Again, taste and maybe adjust until you're happy.

For the steaks get a frying pan or griddle pan smoking hot and rub your steaks with olive oil and sprinkle with fine salt (no pepper, it will burn) then fry on each side to your liking, to add a bit of extra flavor you can rub the exposed side of the steak with the halved garlic clove between flips.

Let the meat rest, then carve and serve with the sauces and chips.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Venison Sausage Ragu.

So it’s been a while but I think I’m now back in the blogosphere for good (well, I can only hope). The last month has been crazy with getting degree results, two weeks of waitressing at Wimbledon Tennis and being in London for a bit. However I’m back in Brighton from next week for my graduation, (yes. GRADUATION. I feel so old. Sob.) so normality should soon resume.

This was a recipe I threw together as a result of getting very overexcited about some venison sausages I found on deal in the supermarket. Needless to say I indulged and inspired by the ‘pregnant Jools pasta’ episode of Jamie’s 30 minute meals I put together this ragu.

It delicious, meaty and rich meaning that the accompanying simply dressed salad is a really lovely addition, you could use any sausages you want really as long as they’re reasonably good quality, I just got very excited as a student with the prospect of venison.

Serves 4

6 sausages
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ red chili, chopped
handful of mushrooms, chopped
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
good glug of red wine
1 tsp sugar
fresh basil, stalks chopped and leaves shredded
enough pasta for 4, cooked to packet instructions with a ½  mug of the starchy pasta water saved
bag of salad (I used a watercress and peashoot mix)
olive oil
lemon juice

In a dry pan on a medium heat, squeeze out the innards of the sausages and break up with a wooden spoon until you have a mince-like-consistancy. When the meat has started to develop caramelized edges, reduce the heat, add a glug of olive oil, the onions and mushrooms.

Once the veggies have sweated down, add the garlic, chilli and basil stalks and sweat until fragrant.

Throw in the tomatoes, sugar, wine and a good tin full of water, season to taste and leave to simmer until the majority of the liquid evaporates.

When your happy with consistency of the ragu add the pasta and the pasta’s cooking water. This will help the sauce take on a velvety-coat-all-the-pasta vibe.

Serve with the salad drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, scattered with parmesan shavings.