Steak with Pea mash
I answered my friends challenge the other day by providing a "hearty" recipe. I thought why not continue with my carnivorous rampage? Bring it on I say! Off I went to the butchers again in search of that perfect meat morsel to cook. I noticed the scotch fillets on display and I gave into my caveman urges once again. They were plump, soft and full of that good ol' marbling that makes it taste that little bit better. Of course, the marbling is fat but its definitely needed in a steak. Without it, we would end up with something dry and similar to cardboard. And I provided the perfect side dish. Minted pea mash. This is another favourite of mine and I tend to cook it more than mashed potatoes. Especially in the winter time. Even though its not winter here in Sydney Australia, the steak and peas are another one of those perfect marriages no matter what the weather is. Add a good Australian shiraz to the mix and you have another easy, fantastic meal.
RECIPE FOR THE STEAK
Make sure you obtain good quality meat. Eye fillet will do but I just happened to fall in love with the scotch fillets that day. Look for marbling in the meat. It shows that the animal has been grazing on good pastures and has been looked after well. The marbling is essential for the flavour and taste. Simply season them with salt and pepper and sear them in a hot pan on a mediumish heat. Once they have been seared I place the pan with the meat in a hot oven and let it continue to cook for about 10 or so minutes. This will yield a medium temperature. If you must have them well done (sacrilege!) keep them in for an extra 5 minutes. Once they are out of the oven, place them in a separate plate, cover them with foil and let the meat rest. This will ensure the steaks remain juicy and tender. Don't start cleaning that frypan just yet. We're going to use it to make a lovely sauce to accompany the meat.
RECIPE FOR THE SAUCE
See all those lovely burnt bits at the bottom of the pan? These are going to help us make a nice sauce. You can add a number of things to make a sauce for the steaks. Mushrooms, garlic, peppercorns, wine. Any of those will do. Just don't get too complex. I basically chopped up a few eschallots finely and placed them into the pan with the juices of the steak and the burnt bits. Once they had fried a little I poured in some readily bought beef stock and let the sauce reduce on a high heat. You can add wine here as well and it would really add a lot more depth to the sauce. To thicken the sauce slightly I added a knob of butter. (An old trick I had learnt from my restaurant years). Once the sauce has thickened, its ready. Pour it over your meat and enjoy heartily.
RECIPE FOR THE PEA MASH
I can ramble on for hours about the reasons to purchase fresh peas and how "fresh is always best". Yes, it's a mantra I definitely stick by. But who has the time to bother with all that? Especially with hungry carnivores circling the kitchen like sharks. The quick and easy way to make the pea mash is to buy frozen minted peas form the freezer section of your supermarket. Place the amount of desired peas in a bowl with a god knob of butter and zap it for a couple of minutes on high in your microwave. Once the peas have been warmed through add them to a food processor. Season with salt and pepper and here's the secret ingredient. Brought to you by the sultry Domestic Goddess Nigella. Add some sour cream or creme fraiche and whizz them until you have a chunky consistency. Don't over process them because you'll have baby food on your hands!
And that my friends is how you bring all these fine ingredients together and make the perfect steak meal. And don't forget the red wine....