steak and grilled vegetables salad
Sat, 4 October, 2014
An enormous sirloin steak to share, cooked medium-rare, juices dressing the pile of grilled vegetables with a hint of truffle oil. So easy. So special.
I overcooked that steak when I first made this dish. 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 was 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 steak tartare, 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 it is served warm not piping hot 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. 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 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 saladServings: 2Time: 30 minutes
- a 10-12oz sirloin steak (to share)
- salt and black pepper
- 2-3 large red peppers
- 1 large red onion
- 1 courgette
- a handful of mushrooms
- 1 small aubergine
- a little oil for frying
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. olive oil plus extra for soaking the vegetables before cooking
- a little lemon juice
- truffle oil (optional)
1. Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides and set aside.
2. Core, top and tail the vegetables. Cut the peppers and onion into eights, slice the aubergine and courgette into thick strips and halve the mushrooms, if large. Place them all in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and drizzle generously with olive oil.
3. Preheat a frying pan on the hob and a baking tray under the grill set to medium. Place the vegetables in the tray under the grill and cook for 20 minutes, tossing around every now and then.
4. Meanwhile, when the frying pan is smoking hot, set the timer for 4 minutes for medium-rare; 6 minutes for medium. Dribble some oil in the pan and place the steak in it. Turn it over every 15 seconds. Remove and keep in a warm place, covered loosely with foil.
5. Mix the dressing for the vegetables with the mustard, balsamic, olive oil and lemon juice. When the vegetables are cooked, pour the dressing plus the resting juices from the steak over them and toss well.
6. 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.