Steak and potatoes…..mmmm, just the sound of it makes you salivate doesn’t it. Ever heard the expression ‘meat and potatoes kinda girl’? I have been ‘treating’ myself to this steak meal every once in awhile when I’m in the mood. I had a pretty bad steak experience when I went to a chain restaurant that I’m almost tempted to name but I won’t anyway….just know I’ll never go back there again, I ordered an eye of fillet steak to be done medium rare and when my dish came, the steak was cold and it was raw. I think there is a fine line between raw and rare. Raw is when the eating experience just becomes unpleasant; hard to chew and hard to swallow. Needless to say, I never felt like ordering steak from then onwards because I had built up this longing and craving and so much hype for a steak meal that when you finally have one and it was a complete fail, you feel 10x more disappointed than usual. Not to mention it was my birthday. I had a really good steak meal before and it was in Singapore. When I came back to Malaysia I guess I wanted to experience that feeling again.
So, I decided from then, if you want to eat a delicious steak, make it yourself. Let me just be clear that I’m not saying steaks done outside are inferior. I’m sure there are places where they do wonderful steak dishes and they do it right. If you have had an awesome steak experience or have a favorite steak place to go to, I welcome your feedback. But I have two small kids, if I do visit such places, I want to have an absolute uninterrupted meal so I can savor and appreciate the dish. Sometimes, that is close to, if not just plain impossible.
It took a few tries to get it right but I finally found the way I like my steaks best. No fuss, no herbs, no swimming in gravy. Just salt, pepper and butter. OMG butter makes all the difference….when it’s cooked correctly, from the grill marks to the preferred doneness, I tell you, that first bite will just transport you to steak heaven and back. I know I have posted a steak recipe before but that steak was what they call a minute steak, this one is a proper striploin with considerable marbling. And in case you’re wondering, there is a difference between a striploin and a sirloin from what I’ve read. The outcome of these two meats, although bearing a resemblance, comes from different cuts of beef. And I have found that the striploin has better marbling of fat. Sirloin can sometimes be too lean. But most grocers will just label them sirloin without caring for the details. The meat I bought says striploin on the label. I have bought sirloin and striploin so I can say there is a bit of difference.
Also, if there are a few things that I learnt about cooking steaks, are these tips;
1. Pat your steaks dry with kitchen paper. It needs to be dry.
2. This tip I learn from Heston Blumenthal; you know those really good steaks that have been aged for awhile and this method really brings out the taste of the beef? He recommended that when you buy your steaks from the supermarket, take it out, pat it dry, put it on a plate and leave it in the fridge for a few hours or maybe overnight. The meat will be dry and rather hard but trust me, when you cook it, the taste is certainly amplified.
3. Season and season well.
4. Grill pan, fry pan or skillet pan has to be screaming hot.
What do I like my steaks with? Simple, roast crispy potatoes with roasted garlic bulbs. Oooh, when you take the roasted garlic out from the skin and you swirl it in the jus and eat it with the steak….heaven, just heaven. While I did do a similar roasted potatoes recipe before, I have altered the method a little bit so my kids will eat it. And they can’t stop eating either. Crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.
STEAK AND POTATOES RECIPE
250 gms beef striploin (about an inch thick)
Coarse sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
A big knob of butter
5 russet potatoes
6 fat cloves of garlic (optional)
Water for boiling potatoes
For the steak;
1. Before anything, I suggest you do the roast potatoes first because the steak only takes a couple of minutes. Take the steak out from the fridge 30 mins before cooking. Season it with sea salt, ground black pepper and drizzle of olive oil on both sides.
2. I used a grill pan to cook my steak. I heat it up till it’s smoking hot. Place the steak down and press it gently with your fingers. Let it sear for 15 seconds. No more than that for that thickness. I’m looking for medium rare to medium.
3. Use tongs and flip the steak over and let it sear for 7 seconds.
4. While it’s searing, take the big knob of butter and put it into the pan to melt. Lift the pan off the heat, tip the pan to collect the melted butter and baste the steak with the melted butter using a spoon.
5. Place the steak on a plate to rest for a minute. Pour on the rest of the jus from the grill pan onto the steak.
For the roast potatoes;
1. Preheat oven to 190C. Peel and chop the potatoes in chunks. The potatoes in the picture is not equivalent to 5 russets, I just make more usually so my kids will get to eat.
2. Put it in a pot, fill it with water and let it come to a boil. Let it boil for 2 mins.
3. Strain it and let it dry on the strainer.
4. Heat a frying pan with a little olive oil. Put a big knob of butter to melt in the olive oil.
5. Place the dry potatoes into the pan along with the garlic cloves. Season with the salt, pepper and some garlic powder.
6. Toss everything to coat. You can either transfer the potatoes to a separate baking dish or if your frying pan is oven proof, just put in the oven to roast.
7. Flip the potatoes on all sides occasionally to get even cooking and crispness. This depends on your oven, some ovens can roast potatoes nicely without having to manually flip them, mine only crisps at the bottom so I have to flip the potatoes half way. With my oven it took about 45 mins to an hour to roast.
8. When it’s done, take it out and let it cool. Eat with the steak.