|grilled steak with sweet chilli |
dipping sauce and Chinese greens
I was seduced by a local supermarket into buying a pack of steaks, because they were on special offer and frankly they looked good. Now, I don't often eat beef, not because I don't like beef. I do, but I have to save myself from myself. I like beef too much, in the same way I like cheese, something I would happily eat my own body weight in. So everything in moderation.
However, a few weeks ago, I had gone out for dinner with my father, Henry, to a pub in Yorkshire - one of those places that is out in the countryside, that people are prepared to travel miles too because they have good food and great beer. I ordered a steak, rare. It was Yorkshire beef and I can only assume that it had danced in the moonlight, while serenaded by naiads and dryads. What I got was a beautiful steak, perfectly cooked, with a light nutty, almost buttery crust and a melting interior. It was sublime.
Well, my supermarket steak was unsurprisingly a massive disappointment; it was in a completely different league. Having cooked a couple of the steaks bistro-style (even trying the Heston Blumenthal trick of flipping them ever 20 seconds; - which was fun but did nothing to improve the texture or flavour), I still had two steaks left that needed using up.
This is where Nigel saved the day. Nigel who? Nigel Slater of course. His recipe grilled sirloin with sweet chilli dipping sauce and Chinese greens was my inspiration. I had a couple of steaks that had been sitting in the fridge for over week. They weren't so much aged as just elderly and they needed some serious resuscitation and a healthy injection of flavour.
While Nigel Slater makes a dipping sauce for this steak, I made up double the amount and use half to marinate my sad steaks, overnight in the fridge. I found the dipping sauce a bit sweet for my taste, so added a little more lime juice and a generous slug of soya sauce. This sharpened up the sauce and counterbalanced the sweetness.
My tired, flavourless steaks were transformed into something with a spicy, lively flavour that worked perfectly with the beef. It was delicious and yet again, Nigel saved the day!