Once in a while we decide that we’d like to go to a restaurant for a decent meal. Doing so however means finding a night that we’re both around and not exhausted, finding (and paying) a babysitter, and then parting with a reasonably large amount of cash for an evening out. An excellent alternative is to get a decent piece of meat or fish, make the meal at home at a fraction of the cost and not having to worry about the babysitter, parking and designated driver (so the money saved can be used for an excellent bottle of red!)
My father in law shows his love by stocking our freezer with meat from his favourite store – Meatland in Ra’anana which, despite it’s name does a lot more than meat – well worth a look if you need your overseas brands or South African specialties like biltong or Boerwors.
Taking advantage of his largesse, I opened a package of Entrecote steaks which I did on a grill pan due to the inclement weather (in summer they’d be outside on the grill for even less washing up). In general you’ll find Entrecote and Sirloin (Sinta) on the menu in Israeli steak restaurants – I tend to prefer Entrecote as I find that the extra fat adds flavour. Sirloin does however have attached to it the great story that King Charles II supposedly knighted a superlative loin of beef to make it a “Sirloin”. In the interest of clarity – here’s a great guide (on a wonderful website) to the names of different cuts of meat in Israel and overseas.
Steaks should be brought to room temperature before cooking. If your beef is good then there is no need to start playing around with seasonings – naked or some freshly cracked pepper is more than enough – due to the nature of the koshering process, salt should not be necessary.
I like my steaks cooked medium rare, my wife likes her’s rare. For an inch thick steak that means cooking for 4 minutes on one side and after flipping them (note the grill marks!) a further 2 – 3 for her and 3 – 4 for me. For thicker steaks or different levels of doneness you’ll need to adjust the cooking time. Don’t overcook your meat – if you like your steak well done then you are either a caveman or very misguided – you pay a lot per kilo – treat it with respect!
I served with colourful seasonal vegetables, deciding to forego a carb out of kindness to my waistline. In this case simply blanched green beans and a cherry tomato salad. Delicious!
Steaks – 1 250 – 300 gram Entrecote or Sirloin per person – at room temperature
Cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper
Heat a lightly oiled grill pan, grill or frying pan to a high temperature
Season steaks with a little black pepper and lay into the pan
Boil a pan of water
Season tomatoes with salt and pepper, a good lug of olive oil, finely chopped garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar
after 4 minutes turn your steaks
add green beans to the boiling water
After a further 3 minutes remove rare steak from the pan
Drain your green beans
After a further minute remove second steak from the pan
That’s it – 10 minutes from start to finish (a few more if you include the time taken to clean the beans)