A good lunch should set you up for, well, your next great meal. So the other day I tapped into the meaty resource that is the flat iron steak from Coombe Farm Organic.
I had spent most of the previous evening thinking about this meal, getting hungrier and more ready to eat it up. This is a recipe for a fine midday meal… or evening alone… breakfast with a loved one… a late supper while the cat watches on with hopeful eyes and a pleasing purr.
I give you – my steak and mushroom open sandwich.
- Steak (flat iron)
- Mushrooms (shiitake)
- Potato, one med size (something good for chips maris piper etc)
- Beef stock 100ml(ish)
- Red wine, one glass (Malbec?)
- Balsamic (dash)
- Star anise
- Black peppercorns
- Good salted butter
- Olive oil
- Oil for deep frying (veg, sunflower etc)
- Good flaky salt
- Time for yourself (factor in a little sleep? Up to you)
Take a fine and perfectly proportioned cut of steak. Flat iron makes a great lunch and Coombe Farm Organic know amazing beef. This cheap cut has deep enough flavour to satisfy the most hardened steak lover and is best when it just kisses a smoking slab of cast iron. If you’re stuck ordering the same old cut, please take my word for it and take a leap of faith – it’s worth the possible plummet As they say, tasty stuff is always worth falling to your doom for, possibly since you’ll be rubbing your belly and making “mmmm” noises, instead of flailing your arms about and screaming “why gawd, why?!”
To get even more flavour, grab some thyme, star anise, black peppercorns and garlic. Get them ready. Pop’em in a pot like a TV chef. And while you’re forward planning, get your stock, red wine and balsamic ready too.
Now peel your potato and cut it into neat little thin fries. They should be too small to be real fries or chips as you want them nice and crispy. Sticks – cut them into potato sticks. Heat the oil to 180c, but please be careful, be smart about this. Use a suitably deep pan and do not over fill as it will increase in volume once the chipped spuds are added. Once the oil reaches the desired temp (use a thermometer and if you have one… get one, get a thermometer) slowly, carefully add the potatoes. With a slatted spoon, keep those sticks moving to avoid climbing and fry for approx 12 mins, or until a bloody lovely golden brown. Remove and place on kitchen towel to drain and sprinkle liberally with great salt, twist a few layers of pepper over them, shake and set aside.
Ensure your steak is at room temp before rubbing with oil and season well. The jury is out on whether adding black pepper at this stage burns and goes acrid… or not. I’ve heard so much conflicting advice from meaty-experts. So you be the judge. Heat a pan – really heat it. Now, get ready as this is like a little dance. The more you prepare at this stage, the better. Get a spoon ready… you set? Cool. Lay that steak in the pan and leave it… listen to that sizzly music… chuck in the aromats (garlic, thyme etc) and a few (big) knobs of butter. Now work quickly, and without moving the steak too much, baste the flat iron in the foaming butter, turning over after a minute. Repeat the foaming butter bath. Depending on the thickness of your steak and how you like it cooked, just 1 – 2 mins a side should be more than enough. Use a timer or actually count. In an accent. A Transylvanian accent – you know where I’m going with this. Remove the steak (leaving garlic and co in the pan), pour over pan juices and set aside, before covering with foil and a tea towel leaving to rest for at least four mins.
In the meantime, place the pan back on the heat, add the halved mushrooms and cook on high for a few minutes until they begin to colour. Set aside. Now add the wine, allowing it to bubble down for a minute, then add the stock and cook out. Once reduced to almost a syrup, add a dash of balsamic to taste, season, add a few lumps of butter (glossy as flip now, eh) and strain into a warm jug.
Now plate it up. How you do this is up to you, just make sure you eat it while it’s hot and make those “mmm” noises.
Also, a good dark ale would work well instead of wine, as would some wilted cavolo nero. But I didn’t have any to hand.
Would have been nice though.
Let me know how it works for you and you know where I am if you want anyone to taste test yours… just saying.