Thai Steak Salad with Ginger (Serves 4)

This salad has a lot of ingredients but is very simple to make and ready in 10 minutes! It is a recipe I found in the cookbook ‘Tom Aikens Cooking’, a book which I bought many years ago when he had his Michelin starred restaurant, ‘Tom Aikens’. Nick and I were lucky to eat there a few times and I must admit that the food was outstanding. The cookbook, as you can imagine from a chef of this calibre, has quite a few complicated recipes however amongst them it is possible to find a couple which are easy to cook on a midweek evening,  such as this steak salad. The flavours of this salad are great; fresh and light, with a sweet ginger taste rather than a hot fiery one! If you are gluten free use gluten free soy sauce and oyster sauce.

3 – 4 sirloin steaks (depending on how hungry you are)

Olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

1 red onion, thinly sliced

150g mixed salad leaves

For the Sauce:

2 tablespoons of bottled stem ginger in syrup, chopped

6g piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped

2  fresh red chilles, finely chopped (or less according to your taste)

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves picked

1 small bunch fresh Thai basil or regular basil, leaves picked

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

2½ tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds

1 teaspoon caster sugar

50ml sesame oil

  1. For the sauce, grind together the gingers, the chilli, the garlic and half of the mint and basil leaves. Mix in the remaining sauce ingredients including the remaining whole herb leaves.
  2. Brush the steaks with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan (or frying pan) until very hot and cook each steak for 1½-2 minutes on each side.
  3. Remove the steaks from the pan and whilst they are resting put the red onion in the pan to cook for a few minutes until caramelised.
  4. Slice the steaks into thin slices, trimming any excess fat.
  5. Finally toss the meat, onions, salad leaves and sauce together in a large bowl and serve straightaway.

Tagliata Steak with a Herb Dressing (Serves 4)

The Italian word ‘tagliata’ means sliced and this is exactly what ‘Tagliata’ is – sliced steak. Often in Italy they use the T-bone cut for this recipe, so that you get both the fillet and sirloin. However I find that it is easier and quicker to cook sirloin steaks at home, and to slice these before serving. The dressing is one which I have taken from Nina Parker’s ‘Nina’s St Tropez’ cookbook, it is quite light so does not overpower the steak. I would serve this dish with baby roast potatoes or the oven chips from my ‘staple side dishes’ and a salad of your choice dressed with a tarragon vinaigrette.

3-4 sirloin steaks (depending on how hungry you are)

Olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

Herb Dressing

1 anchovy fillet, chopped

60ml olive oil

Large bunch of tarragon, chopped

Handful parsley, chopped

Juice of ½ lemon

½ teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

20g unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Remove steaks from fridge to bring to room temperature
  2. Meanwhile make the sauce – put the chopped anchovy in a bowl with all but 1 tablespoon of the oil, add the herbs, lemon juice, sugar and vinegar. Then, in a small saucepan heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil with the butter, when hot add the garlic, cook for a moment before adding the mixture to the bowl with the herbs. Give everything a good stir and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm whilst you deal with the steaks.
  3. Lightly brush the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and a little black pepper.
  4. Heat a frying pan until very hot. Place the steaks in the pan and cook for about 1½ minutes of each side for rare or a little longer depending on your taste. I also like to turn the steaks on their ‘fat’ edge, for 30 seconds to crisp it up.
  5. Remove the steaks to a plate to rest for about 10 minutes in a warm place.
  6. Pour the juices which will have seeped from the resting steaks into the bowl with the dressing. Slice each steak.
  7. Serve the slices on a large plate with a little of the dressing sprinkled over and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to the table so that everyone can help themselves, with the remaining dressing in a bowl.

Spiced Steaks with a Whisky Sauce (Serves 4)

Whisky and spices may sound a strange combination with steak, but believe me it really works and adds an extra special dimension to a simple steak. I urge you to try it!…The quality of the whisky does make a difference, so use the best you have, the smokier the better. I would serve the steaks with homemade oven chips and a salad with a honey-mustard vinaigrette, you can find these recipes on my side dishes and salad dressings pages. Start by making the chips and the salad/vinaigrette; cook the steaks about 5 – 10 minutes before the chips have finished cooking .

2 teaspoons Schwartz Jamaican Jerk seasoning (or mix one teaspoon each of allspice and chilli powder, plus a generous pinch of sugar)

2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

2 tablespoons mixed peppercorns

4 beef fillet or sirloin steaks

4 tablespoons olive oil

10 tablespoons whisky

15g butter

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

150 ml beef stock

2 level tablespoons redcurrant jelly

6 tablespoons double cream

  1. Crush together the salt and peppercorns with a pestle and mortar (or the end of a rolling pin), mix with the jerk seasoning (or spice and sugar mixture).
  2. Use 1 tablespoon of the oil to lightly coat the steaks and press each side into the spice mix. Leave for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Heat a frying pan with the remaining olive oil and add the steaks (normally I don’t add oil to the pan when I’m frying steaks, I just oil them, but this recipe needs extra oil in the pan otherwise the spices will burn). I like my steak on the rare side, so I cook them for 1½ minutes on each side depending on the thickness. Cook for longer, depending on your taste.
  4. Remove the steaks to rest on a plate whilst you make the sauce. Add the knob of butter to the pan, along with the chopped garlic and the whisky.
  5. When the whisky has warmed through, very carefully light the sauce using a long kitchen match. When the flames have died down add the stock, redcurrant jelly and double cream.
  6. Lightly whisk, so that the redcurrant jelly melts into the sauce. Continue to heat through gently, until it is reduced and slightly thickened.
  7. Serve the sauce straightaway with the steaks and their juices, the oven chips and a salad with honey-mustard dressing.