Balsamic Steak with Red Cabbage and Potato Wedges

Perfectly cooked steak (in my case slightly underdone, it was a funny shaped steak) crispy potatoes wedges with Rosemary and a naturally sweet cabbage with onion and mustard seeds.

The steak we had was flank steak which comes from the under belly of the cow by the hind quarters. It is usually long and thin and does well to be cooked quickly on high heat to stay tender or cooked longer on low heat to help tenderise it. If you are not keen on rare to medium steak then you should look at a different cut when eating it as a steak. The flank however is often used it stir fries where thin strips are flash fried. The steak should be cut against the grain when serving as this will make the meat more tender. Personally I like my steak medium rare, maybe nearer the rarer side. This however was what I would call blue rare. The meat was still in a raw state in the middle and if cut any thicker would have been tough to chew. The plus side to this though is that it kept all its flavour.

It is a misconception that the resting juices from steak or red meat in general is blood. It is actually a substance called myoglobin that it is present in the meat, in fact it is what makes the meat red in the first place. The more myoglobin, the redder the meat. As there is a lot of water in the meat it gets pigmented by the myoglobin and when the meat is rested the pigmented water is released from the relaxed tissue and looks like it is still bleeding.

The cabbage is just onion, mustard seeds, white wine vinegar and red cabbage. You could add a little sugar if you wanted but I decided not to. It was a lovely accompaniment to both the steak and the wedges. The wedges were simply tossed in olive oil and chopped rosemary then roasted in the oven till crispy.  Simply by adding the rosemary it enhances the potato to something more than just your common wedge.

This meal is from our HelloFresh box www.hellofresh.com

Seared Steak With Crispy Potato Salad (FAIL)

Smooth as butter rare steak, with crispy potatoes, garden fresh tomatoes, crisp green beans, the zing of fresh garlic and the punch of black olives. Sounds amazing doesn’t it.

Well unfortunately that’s not what I got. Instead what I got was steak like old boots and potatoes so soft I could have eaten them with a straw served with garden fresh tomatoes, crisp green beans, the zing of fresh garlic and the punch of black olives.

I took my eye off the ball on this one, I think its because I decided to watch The Big Bang Theory on my iPad while I was cooking. Not a great idea. So.. instead of a nice photo of the finished article (believe me it was not good) here are some photo’s of the good bits.

The flavours were great and it is in no part down to the recipe, it is completely my fault. I guess this is how you learn. I’m sure there is a quote about learning more from your mistakes but eh… Lucky I like the taste of old boots.

Steak Salad with Chimichurri sauce

This is not my recipe, it is from our hello fresh box. www.hellofresh.co.uk

This one for me was a no brainier, I knew I was going to love it. My wife on the other hand wasn’t so keen and luckily for me she had been out with friends and had a big lunch so… Yes that’s right I ate both portions all to myself and I’m sot even sorry. If there had been 3 portions I would have had the third as well.

This is simple food; meat, potatoes, spinach. What brings it altogether is the Chimichurri dressing. It’s fresh and fragrant with the parsley and oregano, it’s punchy with the raw garlic and it’s nice and hot with the chilli flakes. I used a lot of olive oil in mine as I love the stuff. I decided to just eat it on my chopping board as to save the washing up. I also decided to put my salt and pepper on the side and instead of sprinkling it over, I just dipped the steak in them like a sauce. I’m sure I had too much oil, salt and red meat but you know what every now and then it’s OK. I sat there with a smile on my face from chopping herbs to mopping up the last of the juices with my finger.


 

Sumac and Sesame Crusted Steak with Tomato Chickpea Mash and Green Beans

This is not my recipe. This recipe came with our Hello Fresh box. www.hellofresh.com

We have a split decision on this one. My wife wasn’t that impressed. She said the chickpea mash looked like it was going to have more flavour than it actually did. I do agree with that to a degree but I still really liked it and thought the flavours worked really well together. I loved the green beans that had been cooked in the pan with some of the sumac and sesame seeds.

I have never had sumac before and found it gave the steak a great flavour. It wasn’t overpowering at all. I would (try to) describe the flavour as fragrant and punchy. I thought it was a kind of Morrocon or North African flavour. Reading up though it is more a Middle Eastern spice used in hummus, salads, kebabs and much more. There are probably a few hundred types of sumac tree and shrub but most produce dense clusters of reddish fruits.


(Picture courtesy of Wikipedia)

These red fruits are dried and ground to make the spice.