Diary of a wannabe Chef: Day 8 of my Chef Diploma at Ceria School in Brussels
When a steak is done well, you just can’t beat it. This recipe is simple, and yet, if you get it wrong, it can go very wrong, but when you get this right, it is one of the best meals you can have!
Ingredients: for 4 people:
- 4 large potatoes (Maris Piper, or similar potatoe that is good for making chips with)
- 4 Steaks – get the best that you can afford – you really can taste the difference when simply grilling it.
- 2 onions
- 100g flour
- 50ml milk
- 5 tomatoes
- 3 shallots
- 25-50ml wine
- 3 garlic cloves
- bouquet garni
- 100g butter
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- a large handful of parsley
To prepare the chips:
The best chips are always cooked twice. You can do the first cook a couple of hours in advance, and then finish them just before you are about to serve.
- Peel the potatoes, and rinse them in water. Cut them into strips, for making chips.
- Heat a deep fat fryer (or a large pan of oil), until it is 160C.
- Add the chips, and cook them until you can easily squash the chip between your thumb and forefinger.
TOP TIP: depending on the size of your fryer, and the number of people you are cooking for, you may need to do this in batches. If you have too many chips in the fryer at any one time, they could all stick together, and end up as one gooey mess.
TOP TIP: move the chips around in the pan. This also ensures that the chips do not stick together.
- Once cooked, leave the chips to one side in a colander. Place the colander onto a plate, in order to get any of the grease that may come out.
- When you are ready to serve, heat the oil up to 180C, and place the chips into the pan, until they are a nice golden colour. Again, you may need to do this in batches.
- Scoop the chips out, and place them into a large bowl with kitchen towel. Immediately add some salt, and shake the chips to ensure they get a good covering of the salt, and that you take some of the excess fat off.
To prepare the Tomato Fondue:
- Using a small sharp knife, lightly score the top and bottom of tomatoes with a cross. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl, and cover with boiling water. Leave the tomatoes in the boiling water for about a minute or so, until the skins start to peel over. Remove the tomatoes from the water, and remove their skins. Chop the tomato into quarters, and remove the seeds. Roughly chop the tomatoes.
- Finely chop the shallots. In a large pan, sauté the onions in a little olive oil, until they are nice and soft, but not coloured.
- Add the tomatoes, a splash of white wine, salt, pepper, garlic, and Bouquet Garni. Cover with a lid and sauté for about 10-15 minutes.
- Take off the lid, and allow it to lightly boil off the liquid until you get a nice thick fondue.
To prepare the Beurre Maître d’Hôtel:
- Ensure the butter you are using, is at room temperature. Roughly chop the butter, and place in a large bowl.
- Add the juice of 1 lemon, a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and a handful of finely chopped parsley.
- Mix until everything is well mixed. Check the seasoning.
- Place the mixture onto a large sheet of greaseproof paper, and roll until it is a sausage shape.
- Keep covered, and place into the fridge until hard.
- Using a warm, sharp knife, cut the butter into large slices.
- You can do this in advance, by keeping them in some cold water, in the fridge.
To prepare the crispy onion rings:
- Peel the onions, and cut them into rounds about 0.5cm in breadth.
- Prepare a dish with some milk, and another dish with some flour that has been generously seasoned with salt and pepper. Prepare a large dish with some kitchen towel in it.
- Heat up a large pan of oil (deep fat fryer), up to 180C. Quickly dip the onions, a small batch at a time, into the milk, then into the flour, and directly into the hot oil. Once the onions are a nice golden colour, remove and place them onto the kitchen towel.
To prepare the Steak
- Heat a large grill pan until smoking hot.
- Lightly rub the Steaks with oil.
- Place on the grill pan, being careful how you place them, in order to get the grill cross pattern on them.
TOP TIP: Do not press the meat down onto the grill, as this releases some of its juices, and thus some of its flavour.
4. Depending on how you like your steak, will depend how long you cook them for. Here is a rough guide:
- Rare: cook them only on the grill a couple of minutes on each side until you have a nice colour.
- Medium: cook them on the grill until you have a nice colour, and then place them in an oven at 180C, for about 8 minutes.
- Well Cooked: cook them on the grill until you have a nice colour, and then place them in an oven at 180C, for about 20-30 minutes (depending on how ‘well cooked’ you like your steak)
On a warm plate, add a handful of chips to the top left of the plate. On the top right of the plate, add a small handful of cress, with the Maitre D’Hotel butter on top. In the centre at the bottom of the plate (the area closest to the person being served), place the steak. On top of the steak, add a tablespoon of Tomatoe Fondu, and some of the crispy onion rings.