Steak night by Dan Doherty

Pan-fried steak

SERVES 8

Preparation time none

Cooking time see method, plus 10–30 minutes resting

1kg (2lb 4oz) bone-in rib eye steak

1kg (2lb 4oz) bone-in sirloin steak

vegetable oil

knob of butter

sprig of rosemary

handful of garlic cloves, bashed

sea salt flakes and freshly ground

black pepper

Allow the steaks to come up to room temperature 30 minutes–1 hour before cooking. Season all over with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 180БЛC fan (400БЛF), Gas Mark 6.

Heat a large skillet or ovenproof frying pan over a high heat and add a splash of vegetable oil. Sear the steaks on both sides, then transfer the pan to the oven. For larger cuts like these, I use a meat thermometer to check if the steaks are cooked: rare 40БЛC (104БЛF); medium-rare 55ºC (131ºF); medium 60ºC (140ºF); medium-well 65БЛC (149ºF), well-done 70ºC (158ºF). Smaller cuts (less than 1 inch thick), won’t need cooking in the oven and I use my fingers to feel how the firmness changes through the cooking to tell when they are ready – the firmer it feels, the more it’s cooked – this takes a lot of practice.

Once the steaks are a few degrees below the target temperature orwhen the smaller cuts are sealed, add the butter to the pan along with the rosemary and garlic. Once the butter starts foaming, baste the steak continually for 4–5 minutes or until cooked, moving on to the heat if the butter gets too cold or off the heat if it gets too hot.

Transfer the steaks to a wire rack to rest for at least 30 minutes (or 10–15 minutes for smaller cuts) – this is to allow the meat to relax and to stop the juices leaking out when you cut into it. When ready to serve, always carve against the grain.

Chipped potatoes with rosemary & garlic

SERVES 8

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 1 hour

100ml (3.fl oz) olive oil

1 large sprig of rosemary, leaves picked

5 garlic cloves, unpeeled

2kg (4lb 8oz) fluffy-textured potatoes, such as Maris Piper

sea salt flakes and freshly ground

black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan (400ºF), Gas Mark 6.

Put the olive oil, rosemary and garlic in a large roasting tray and season with salt and pepper.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 2–3cm (3/4 – 1 1/4-inch) chunks – they can be a bit random-shaped. Add to the roasting tray and toss all together with your hands.

Roast for 50 minutes–1 hour until they are lovely and golden, crisp on the outside and cooked in the centre. You want to turn them in the tray every 10 minutes or so. If they break down a little when you turn them, that’s OK – the broken pieces will be the parts that get really crisp and taste wonderful.

Béarnaise sauce

SERVES 8

Preparation time 5 minutes

Cooking time 10 minutes

250g (9oz) salted butter

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons water

1/2 packet (about 15g/ 1/2oz) tarragon, leaves finely chopped

sea salt flakes and freshly ground

black pepper

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, skimming off the milky parts. You only want the fat.

Heat another pan of water, over which a heatproof mixing bowl can be set without the base touching the water, until simmering.

Put the egg yolks, vinegar and measured water in your heatproof bowl, then whisk together over the pan of water until light and fluffy. If the egg yolks start to cook too quickly, reduce the heat or remove the bowl from the heat.

Once the mixture is fluffy, remove the bowl from the heat and start to whisk in the butter gradually. If the mixture becomes too thick, add 1 teaspoon of warm water, then go back to adding the butter as you were.

When all the butter has been incorporated, season with salt and pepper and stir in the chopped tarragon when ready to serve.

Bone marrow gravy

SERVES 8

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 9 1/2 hours

2kg (4lb 8oz) beef bones

1kg (2lb 4oz) marrowbones – ask your butcher to split them in half

1 onion, halved

2 carrots, peeled and halved lengthways

vegetable oil, for cooking

1 sprig of rosemary

1 bay leaf

375ml (13fl oz) red wine

 TO FINISH

5 shallots, finely chopped

a few sprigs of thyme

a few sprigs of rosemary

2 bay leaves

100ml (3 1/2fl oz) port

finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan (400ºF), Gas Mark 6.

In 2 separate roasting trays, roast both the beef bones and marrowbones for about 40 minutes (or longer if they’re large), until the marrow is cooked and the beef bones are dark brown.

Remove the trays from the oven and transfer the beef bones to a large stock pot. Fill with cold water to just cover and bring to a simmer.

Skim off any fat that comes off and discard.

While the stock is simmering, scoop out the marrowbone flesh and set aside in the refrigerator. Put the bones in the pot with the others.

Meanwhile, add the onion and carrots to another roasting tray and toss in a little vegetable oil. Roast for 30–40 minutes, until browned.

Remove the tray from the oven and add the roasted veg to the bones in the pot, along with the rosemary and bay leaf. Pour in the red wine and continue simmering, uncovered, for 8 hours, occasionally skimming off any fat.

Once the cooking time is up, strain the stock through a fine sieve.

Place another saucepan over a medium heat and pour in a drizzle of vegetable oil. Add the shallots with the thyme, rosemary and bay leaves, then reduce the heat and sweat for 15–20 minutes, until the shallots are translucent.

Pour in the port, increase the heat and reduce by three-quarters. Add the beef stock and reduce until you have a gravy-like consistency.

Pick out the herb sprigs, leaving the shallots in. Chop the roasted marrow flesh and stir it in. Finish by stirring in the chopped parsley at the last moment.

Blue cheese creamed spinach

SERVES 8

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 15 minutes

knob of butter

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

200ml (7fl oz) double cream

500g (1lb 2oz) spinach, washed

80g (2 3/4oz) blue cheese (I use Stilton)

sea salt flakes and freshly ground

black pepper

Put the butter in a saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Then add the onion and garlic and sweat for 6–8 minutes without colouring.

Pour in the cream, bring to the boil and reduce by half, then turn off the heat and set aside. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the spinach for 30 seconds. Drain and refresh in iced water, then drain again, squeezing out as much of the water as possible.

Add the spinach to the cream mixture and stir until evenly coated.

Transfer from the pan to an ovenproof dish and crumble the blue cheese over. When ready to serve, reheat under a grill preheated to medium for 3 minutes, increasing the heat to high for the last 1–2 minutes to colour.

Extract from Cooking At Home by Dan Doherty

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