Wednesday 15 March 2006

seared beef and rice

It is not often that I will choose to eat a fine piece of aged sirloin steak other than plain, griddled to pink perfection, and served with eye-wateringly hot English mustard. But change is good. It allows one to appreciate the differences and thereby make educated decisions when asked - "What would you like for dinner?" - rather than just saying - "I want that one".

So how else can a fantastic sirloin steak be prepared that almost compares to its plain excellence?

Marinating the steak in a savoury sauce then serving it griddled juicily rare and thinly sliced.

This can then be served in a light broth with noodles, or atop rice with the marinade boiled into a sauce and poured over, or in a lovely crunchy bread pocket. Stringed green beans, bok choy or butter crunch lettuce go so well. This way of preparing and serving a steak is, to me, health giving, not too heavy, yet satisfying.

It is important to choose a good steak which will be tender and tasty when served rare. And choose a thick enough piece so it has time to cook to a good crust in a hot pan yet still leave the inside rare. One thick steak is best for two people, rather than two thinner ones.

I marinate the steak in a combination of worcestershire sauce, wasabi paste, olive oil, soy sauce and a minced clove of garlic (or what ever else I fancy) for as long as I have got, perhaps an hour or two.

Put some some rice or noodles to cook. Or warm some bread.

Get the griddle really hot then cook the steak for a couple on minutes on each of the six sides then wrap in foil and leave to rest while you prepare the sauce and vegetables.

Bring the marinade to a boil in a small pan and add some more of the marinade ingredients or other things such as chilli sherry as you like. Or prepare a broth with miso, or stock and some of the marinade ingredients.

Steam some green vegetables or get out some lettuce.

Thinly slice the steak and lay on top of the cooked rice and noodles, or inside a bread pocket. Pile up the vegetables and pour over any sauce or broth.

So good. But I still prefer a plain steak and hot English mustard.

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