Perfect Sirloin Steak; Tomatillo Succotash

Steak and Succotash I will concede that this is a personal preference, but I think filet mignon is not really worth it. Sure, it’s meltingly tender, but the price you pay for that softness (other than the price you pay) is something of a lack of flavour. I would rather something a little tougher with a meatier flavour to it. Strip Steak or Sirloin (that’s Sirloin and Rump for my U.K. readers) fit the bill. They’re about half the price of tenderloin (fillet) and twice the flavour. So do yourself a favour and treat yourself to the occasional steak Sirloin SteakCooking steak is pretty simple if you follow a few basic rules. They will help elevate your steak from something grey and middling to a celebration of bovine glory. So, here  goes:

  • Buy Grass-Fed, Organic Beef You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear and you can’t make a great steak from an unhappy cow. If you start with beef that’s been fed with grass; that’s been dry-aged and hasn’t been pumped full of hormones, then half the battle is won. 
  • Don’t cut the fat off! The simple fact is that fat=flavour. If you choose not to actually eat the fat then I’ll let that pass, but please let it work its magic in the pan. Accept the fact that red meat is not health food and move on.
  • Bring the steak out of the fridge thirty minutes ahead of time If you bring the steak straight out of the fridge and into a hot pan, the outside will be overcooked by the time the inside is cooked.
  • Season really well See that picture above? I’m not using that much salt and pepper to look pretty, I’m using that much because it’s awesome (did I mention this ain’t health food?)
  • Hot pan! You want the pan smoking hot so you sear the beef quickly as it cooks. If the temperature is too low you’ll basically boil it, and who wants boiled steak?
  • Garlic and Woody Herbs. This one isn’t strictly a rule, more an assertion. You can go down many routes for flavour and sauces, but personally I’d keep it really simple. A half-crushed clove of garlic and maybe some thyme are all I think you need.
  • Butter A couple of tablespoons of butter in the pan will keep things moist and delicious. Spoon it over the steak ask you cook. I told you this wasn’t healthy, right?
  • Render the fat Remember I asked you not to cut the fat off? To get it nice and crispy, you want to have a stint at cooking the steak fat end down for a minute or so to get that ribbon of fat nicely rendered and brown. Tongs are a great help here (see below)
  • Don’t use a meat thermometer or a fork; use your finger to test doneness If you stick a meat thermometer or a fork in your steak it will bleed out. Bad, bad idea. There’s a really easy way to work out if your steak is cooked; courtesy of your fingers and thumb. Put your thumb and index finger together. With your other index finger prod the fleshy part of your palm below the thumb. That’s what rare feels like. Put thumb and middle finger together—that’s medium rare. Thumb and ring finger—medium. Lastly thumb and pinky; that’s wasted. Well actually it’s ‘well done‘ which is the same thing to me. If you’re confused – these nice people have taken some photographs for you. And don’t be shy about touching the top of your steak with your fingers when you cook it; that’s what chefs are doing to the food you eat at restaurants.
  • Let it Bleed Well, more appropriately, let it rest. This is really a general rule for cooking almost any meat. Resting will draw some moisture back into the meat resulting in a juicier, more tender meal. A few minutes will work wonders on your sirloin.
Holding the steak fat side down to render it

Holding the steak fat side down to render it

If you follow those ten simple rules you’ll end up with a great steak every time. I know a steak cooked like this isn’t a desperately healthy meal, but that’s kind of besides the point. If you look at the meals we make here, you’ll find that there’s a lot of wholesome healthy food there. I think it’s perfectly ok to go red meat, salt and fat crazy once in a while. Succotash   To go with the steak we have a wonderful simple succotash made with corn, cranberry beans and tomatillos. I added a little smoked chilli and the meat juices from cooking the steak to give it a meaty richness that usually comes from cooking bacon into the succotash. The great thing about this succotash as a side is that it’s equally good warm from cooking or at room temperature as a salad, so it doesn’t need much attention. So I say enjoy a steak for what it is—an indulgence—and you can’t go wrong. I wouldn’t want to have it every day, but once in a while steak is a great little treat. Making Steak and Succotash

 

Cooking a Great Sirloin Steak
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Sirloin Steaks, you know what size you like...
  2. A couple of cloves of garlic, flattened a little with you palm but still in their coats
  3. A sprig or two of thyme
  4. Butter - a couple of tablespoons
Instructions
  1. Take your steak out of the fridge at least twenty or thirty minutes before you cook it. Season really well with salt and ground black pepper on each side.
  2. Now heat up a frying pan really nice and hot. When it's almost smoking add a dash of olive oil, give it 30 seconds or so to heat up and gently put your steak in the pan, laying them away from you so they don't spit back. Right about now you should hear a wonderful sizzling sound, savour it. After about a minute turn the steak over and be amazed at how nice and brown the steak has become already. Give the flip side about the same amount of time. Now add the thyme sprig and garlic to the pan, just let them move around with the steak a bit - they will share their flavour.
  3. Add the butter to the pan and let it froth and fizz. Keep turning the steak every minute or so until they have reached the level of doneness you like. Use the finger test. Spoon the butter over the steak as it cooks, and if your steak has a nice band of fat along the edge, stand it up fat side down for one turn to let the fat render out.
  4. When the steak has cooked, take it out of the pan and let it rest for a good few minutes before serving.
Barnes and Hoggetts http://barnesandhoggetts.com/
Tomatillo Succotash
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. About 8oz Cranberry Beans, shelled
  2. 1 Ear of corn, kernels sliced off
  3. 1 small red onion, finely diced
  4. 3 tomatillos, chopped into roughly half inch dice
  5. Half a purple (or green) pepper, cut into half inch pieces
  6. A little bit of smoked chilli pepper, to taste
  7. A tablespoon of Butter
  8. A clove of garlic, crushed
Instructions
  1. Cook the beans in boiling salted water for about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan melt the butter and gently cook the onion and garlic for a few minutes until they're fragrant and translucent. Add everything else except for the cooked beans and let it cook over a gentle heat until the tomatillos are just starting to soften and break down. Stir in the beans and let them heat through.
  3. Serve either hot or at room temperature.
Barnes and Hoggetts http://barnesandhoggetts.com/

Pairing with Steak and Succotash

When looking into my bible on all things wine pairing, I came across a very interesting tip which I’ll share with you now. It’s a good idea to pair wine based on how you like your steak cooked. Tannins in wine are great at going head to head with the fat in a steak, so a Cabernet Sauvignon is the de-facto choice for a nice rare or medium rare steak. But cook it medium or well-done and you’re removing fat from the meat (as well as its soul) so that Cab with start to taste rather tannic. Consider going for something fruitier, a Gamay perhaps, or even a nice brown ale

Provenance

Steak: Elk Trails Ranch Corn: Phillips Farm Tomatillos: Central Valley Farm Pepper: Stokes Farm Cranberry Beans: Norwich Meadows Farm  Onions: Paffenroth Gardens Smoked Chilli: Eckerton Hill Farm Garlic: Lani’s Farm Butter: Organic Valley Thyme: My deck

You might also like:

This entry was posted in Recipes. Ingredients: , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

2 Trackbacks

Leave a Reply