I’m thinking of renaming this blog ‘John’s Blog of Steaks’. It’s all I seem to be cooking right now. Steak with this. Steak with that. Being married to a vegetarian doesn’t seem to be a problem.
I mean if I decide to make ‘Steak and Beans’ then I simply make ‘Beans’ for the wife. Boom boom! (She told me to write that). So when I visited my newly discovered ‘Country Farm Shop’ I decided to go for broke and get a big steak. A really big one.
I walked up to the butcher’s counter and asked for a thicker sirloin than those on display.
‘One moment sir’, replied the man, and disappeared out the back. He was gone for five minutes.
I started wandering around, and found some chocolate covered nuts to stare at (it’s that kind of shop). He returned, with half a cow slung over his shoulder. (I really like that shop).
He cut out the relevant piece of carcass (I don’t know the butcher’s jingo, so keep with me), and placed it on the counter, holding a large cutlass, sorry knife, over the meat.
Immediately I sprung into action.
‘Keep going’, I said as he moved the knife to his left, slowly, to determine the thickness of the steak I wanted.
‘Go, on’, I continued, a slightly increased pitch in my voice betraying my growing excitement (I’ve eaten steaks at Kincaid’s in Redondo Beach, so I know what I want).
The man gave me a sideways glance (kind of, ‘For God’s sake man, this is England, have some decorum’) but the knife edged along.
He sighed with relief.
To be clear – that’s a dinner plate, not a side plate…
So I had my mega-sod-the-world-sirloin. Now what to do with it. Well to be quiet honest I would have been quite happy to just fry the bugger and eat it, but that isn’t good blog material.
So I thought I’d augment the meaty goodness with some eggs and a homemade hollandaise sauce.
Oh, and some baked potato. But not just any potato. The biggest baked potato. Ever.
How big are they? I mean you can’t really tell from this photo. Need a point of reference…
A phone! Now the true power of these potatoes comes through…
Anyway. Back to the cooking thing. So really the only actual creative cooking element to this creation was the hollandaise sauce, for which you will need…
The wine is purely for medicinal purposes..
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 6 peppercorns
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 eggs, yolks only
- 4oz butter
- lemon juice
- salt and pepper
To begin, stick a metal skewer through the potatoes, prick all over with a fork and bake in the oven for an hour and a half at 180 centigrade. Easy-peasy.
Then make the hollandaise sauce. Put the vinegar, peppercorns and bay leaf in a small pan.
Simmer until you get about a tablespoon of liquid left and drain into a little glass…
Now melt the butter in the pan…
See all that white stuff? Spoon it out as best you can until you have a clear, or clarified, molten golden pan of loveliness…
Halfway through the scummy-bits removal…
Now grab a food processor. You can do this with a hand whisk if you don’t have a food processor. Put the eggs and the vinegar in the bowl and turn on the machine. Gradually dribble in the butter until you get a beautiful yellow emulsion…
Many recipes for hollandaise sauce bang on about splitting and what-not and suggest heating up more butter or adding ice cubes. I think the secret is adding the butter very slowly but very constantly. Whatever.
Put the sauce in a bowl and stir in the lemon juice and season…
Now it’s the steak’s turn. Get a big skillet and heat it until you can see a shimmer come off the surface.
You can’t photograph a shimmer. Well I can’t anyway…
Rub oil over the steak and season well.
Put the steak on the skillet and press lightly down. This beast is so big it will need about 4 mins each side. Do not move the steak. It needs to form a crust. Turn carefully.
Now sear the edges.
Put the skillet in the oven. About 10 mins for medium rare. Meanwhile poach a couple of eggs (a dash of white wine vinegar in the simmering water will help the egg white to hold together).
To serve place the eggs on a platter and pour over the hollandaise sauce. Place the steak next to the eggs and cut into thick slices. Season well!
If I’m brutally honest this was about 2 mins too long in the oven. You’ll notice that the edges of the steak were more ‘well-done’ than medium rare. But it was acceptable because the middle was still pink.
I served it with half of one of those bad boy potatoes.
But really it didn’t need those extra carbs…