Supper tonight… It’s Saturday, and although as a family we all like variety, there would be mutiny if we didn’t have steak and sautèed potatoes.
I’ve got two nice pieces of dry-aged sirloin, about 8oz, (2 8oz steaks should feed about 2-3 people) which I have left uncovered in the fridge for at least a day. This is to help the caramelisation, and enhance the flavour when I cook them.
An hour before I start cooking, I will take the steaks out, sprinkle them generously with some rosemary and sea salt, and leave them until I’m ready to cook. However just before I put them on the barbeque (no highbrow cooking for this evening!) I drizzle a little olive oil on them.
Sautèed potatoes are a very easy dish, and can be done in a few different ways. The way I tend to prepare them is by choosing potatoes such as Maris Piper, Red Rooster or King Edward’s (this is for the particular flavour that I intend the dish to have) and also to ensure that the potatoes end up fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside. I then wash and peel them (the amount is completely dependent on how many it’s for, I usually allow between 2-3 medium sized potatoes per person) and the cut them into dice-sized cubes.
Cook the potatoes for 5 minutes in boiling water, drain them and leave in a colander for 2-3 minutes to allow the steam to evaporate which will result in crispier potatoes.
Take a large frying pan, put it on to high heat and add 1 heaped tablespoon of duck fat. When the fat has melted, and the pan begins to smoke, add the potatoes. Toss them gently so that all the potatoes are coated in the hot fat (beware of spitting fat!). Season with a little salt and pepper, add 3-4 large sprigs of rosemary, and 8-12 large cloves of garlic (skins left on).
Turn the heat down to medium low heat, and leave to fry gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Your loving partner will have hopefully got the barbeque nice and hot by now. Failing this, either find someone new, or maybe you should insist on the rule (which is set in stone in this house) that whoever cooks does not do any of the washing up. That should get you plenty of volunteers for barbeque duty.
Cook the steaks for 3-4 minutes either side depending on how rare you like it. I find the thumb test really helpful; ‘slightly squidgy’ when you press you thumb in the middle for rare, a bit firmer for medium and it should be quite firm for well done. Do not stick a knife in, as the juices then run out, which results in a tough steak.
Remove from the barbeque and place on a warm (not hot) plate. Cover with foil (or another plate) and place near the hob. The meat must rest for at least 10 minutes, up to 45 minutes maximum.
Remember to check back on your potatoes, they should be pale but cooked through. If not, cook them a little longer (on a medium heat). When the potatoes are soft in the middle, turn the heat up high and crispen them up until they are a nice dark golden brown. All the fat should have been absorbed, if the potatoes look a little dry, you can always add a little more duck fat during the cooking.
Season the potatoes generously with salt and pepper and place in a warm serving dish.
I usually make a parmesan and rocket salad, or really any crisp green salad goes with this meal. Serve the meat with a good dollop of dijon mustard.
And there you go, a traditional saturday night dinner in the Weaver family.
Ingredients (just to make it a little clearer, for 4 people)
- 3x 80z/250g sirloin steaks (well aged, for real carnivores you can get 4 steaks)
- 12 medium sized potatoes
- 2tbs duck fat
- 6 sprigs rosemary
- 12 large cloves of garlic (skins left on)
- olive oil