Handsome is home sick with tonsillitis. This morning we stayed in bed a little longer than otherwise considered respectful on a Wednesday morning and played. We hid from monsters, fished for scary dolphins from the side of the bed (he is two, we work with what we get), played giant-giant, pirate-pirate and crashed fighter jets into the sea on dad’s tablet. Simple, wonderful fun with a small boy.
As much as I can appreciate an elaborate meal all fanfare and fuss with lashings of skill and expertise, there are days where I just need gorgeous, simple food. Gorgeously simple is even better. For this recipe there are no quantities, you know how much you like to eat – use that much, it’s that simple.
What you need
Best quality lazy aged rump steak
Flaked salt and pepper
Pine nuts, toasted
Parmesan cheese (or even pecorino)
Wash the rocket well and dry. Use a towel if you don’t have a lettuce spinner. Toss the rocket in a bowl with some globs of olive oil, salt and pepper. Season the steak well and grill it in a hot skillet (heavy pan) until done to your liking. Carve the meat into slices and arrange on the plate. Onto that, spoon a teaspoon (or two) of onion marmalade and pile on some of the seasoned rocket. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and finish with some shavings of parmesan cheese and serve.
There is no real formula for grilling as all steaks differ in terms of thickness. But a few tips to help:
· Great grill skills will not perfect bad quality meat. Find a good butcher and buy well. I used about 600g for four people.
· Make sure your skillet is hot as you want to seal the juices in as quickly as possible to retain the flavor of the meat. You also want to caramelize the meat on the outside, so get a good colour on it.
· Do not keep turning the meat in the pan – all that agitation will make sure you pound all the juices (flavour) right out.
· Put your oil onto the meat and not into the pan. If you put oil in the pan it will burn by the time the pan is at heat, and you may be tempted to put the meat in too early.
· Once in the pan, time how long it takes for blood to come to the surface of the steak, turn it over once and cook for half that time on the other side and your meat should be medium. If you prefer to have more control, or if you meat is really thick, another option is to have your oven at heat, seal the meat on both sides well and then finish it off in the oven till done to your liking.
· Once your meat is cooked, let it stand for a few minutes before you slice it. Allow the protein to relax and retain the juices. If you carve too early, the flavor of the meat will run out all over your chopping board.
For my kiddos, I serve some skinny French fries with their salad as they are not too partial to the rocket. I have also served this salad in freshly sliced baguette as then it turns into a clever meal stretcher for a feed all your friends kind of a lunch.
That being done, Handsome wants to go and feed the ducks.
Don’t you just love simple.