Steak needs chips and some kind of sauce of course. I did a red wine and shallot reduction; one of the boy Ramsay’s concoctions, which hit the spot perfectly – deep, rich, glossy and delicious.
We have these cute little chip baskets as seen in the pic, which I used to think of as a purely aesthetic item, but they huddle the chips together and help stop them from going cold. OK, the mini saucepans are an indulgence. But such fun!
I know a lot of people go crazy for char grilling their steaks in a griddle pan. I sometimes do this, and aesthetically it's great, but flavour-wise, I have a Scanpan all stainless steel frying pan (no non-stick interior) that obtains perfection. We always carry them in our stores as they make such a great addition to one’s arsenal. If I had to choose only one pan, I’d go for a good non-stick (scrambled egg is all but impossible, for example, without it), but a good steel pan is perfect for steaks, mushrooms (they take on a lovely colour too), as well as flambes where you want something super-durable.
The fact that things stick to a stainless steel pan, with steak, is the whole point. First, you heat the pan. Oil your steak. When the pan is very hot (I put my induction on 7), add the steak. The steak will stick to the pan. As it’s sticking, the surface of the steak will become beautifully caramelised. The steak above is medium rare, but look how much colour it’s taken on. It’ll relax after 20 seconds or so and allow you to turn it, which you should do after a total of around 30 seconds. After 30 seconds on the second side, turn again, but drop in a good dollop of butter. (Cut a chuck that’s around 4 tablespoons worth) Tilt the pan, so the butter runs to the edge, get a tablespoon, and spoon the butter and juices back over the steak constantly. After 30 seconds, repeat on the other side. Put to one side to rest and season. Most people would season the steak beforehand. Heston Blumenthal is convinced this burns the pepper. Salt’s tendency to draw moisture to the surface also adds a voice to the season after argument. You may think it’s cobblers – I’m sure it’ll taste great seasoned before or after.
The sauce was amazing, so I’d recommend giving this a go.
- 250g shallots, sliced
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
- sprig of rosemary
- 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 400ml red wine
- 400ml stock
- knob of butter
Saute the shallots in the oil over a high heat for around 3 mins until lightly browned, stirring often. Season and add the garlic and rosemary. Cook for a further 3 minutes, continuing to stir.
Add the vinegar and cook until syrupy and reduced. Add the wine and cook until reduced by two thirds.
Add the stock, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until reduced by two thirds again, until you have around 250ml of sauce. Remove the garlic and rosemary, season to taste and whisk in a knob of butter. Add any juices from the pan before serving.