steak and grilled vegetables salad
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I overcooked that steak. Massively. I massacred a beautiful ten ounce rare breed, British White sirloin. Criminal. It’s bad enough but forgivable if a whole beef roast gets slightly overcooked – timings depend on whether it’s on the bone, really large or not so big. Even then chances are there will be bits you can call medium rare. But a steak? It’s either cooked to one’s liking or it isn’t.
It’s all because I’m so damn selfless.
My favourite beef cookedness is such that will occasionally prompt comments along the lines of ‘this is still mooing! just have a bloody (pun, pun!) Carpaccio, why don’t you!) But I understand that others universally prefer their beef slightly more done, so I take that into account. Nevertheless, steak served in a salad should be rare or medium-rare at the most. It will be well-rested as served warm and everyone knows meat gets more done as it rests.
So there I was, cooking the thing, vegetables happily grilling, timer on for 4 minutes, I was flipping and flipping* and mumbling to myself in slight panic: ‘four minutes… it’s gonna be too rare… people would cook a thing like this for three on each side as per textbook… four won’t do…’ and so I ended up adding A WHOLE EXTRA MINUTE! With sorry results. Well – to be honest it was still rather tasty but I couldn’t help thinking how much nicer if not for that extra minute.
With the benefit of hindsight then I can present the recipe as it should be executed. The idea of serving steak sliced on a bed of grilled balsamic vegetables is brilliant – so much more interesting than plonking the beef onto a pile of lettuce. Just the timing, the timing…
*this is by far the best steak frying technique: get the pan smoking hot and to ensure the meat is cooked evenly through even with thickish cuts, and even at bleu cuisson, you need to flip the meat EVERY 15 SECONDS. I kid you not. It’s stressful, and you need a timer (but don’t you anyway?) with visible seconds countdown, and to look at it constantly but the result is astonishing. If you can’t manage 15, try at least every 30 seconds.
steak and grilled vegetables salad
- one 10-12oz sirloin for two to share
- salt, pepper and a drop of oil for frying
- 2-3 large peppers
- 1 large red onion
- 1 courgette
- a handful of mushrooms
- 1 small aubergine
- 1 tsp of wholegrain mustard
- 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 6 tsp olive oil plus extra for soaking the vegetables before cooking
- a little lemon juice
- truffle oil (optional, but worth it)
If you want to reduce stress levels, cook the steak first, it will benefit from extra resting. If you’re resilient, follow the instructions below.
Season the steak with salt and pepper. Core, top and tail the vegetables and cut the peppers and onion into eights, slice the aubergine and courgette into thickish strips and halve the mushrooms, if large. Place them all in a large bowl and drizzle generously with olive oil. Preheat a frying pan and the grill with no rack on it. Place the vegetables in the hot grill pan, season with salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes, tossing around every now and then.
Meanwhile, when the frying pan is smoking hot, set the timer for 4 minutes, place the steak in the pan and flip every 15 seconds. Remove and keep in a warm place, covered loosely with foil.
Mix the dressing for the veg with the mustard, balsamic, oil and lemon juice. When the vegetables are cooked, pour the dressing plus the resting juices from the steak over them and toss well. Slice the steak, divide the vegetables onto plates and drizzle with a little truffle oil. Place the steak slices on top of the vegetables and serve.