The peculiarity of this steak is that it is marinated after being cooked, not the other way round. As a result, the flavours of the marinade stay very fresh. The vegetables that accompany it are cooked in a pastella, which is an Italian light beer batter which can be loosely translated a 'tempura' (although this recipe is not the same as for the Thai dish). They are extremely addictive and an original alternative to the usual chips.
INGREDIENTS (for two people)
- 2 sirloin steaks
- A handful of freshly chopped parsley
- A fat clove of garlic
- The juice of half a lemon
- Three tbs of extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Half an aubergine
- One courgette
- One small red onion
- 4 small new potatoes
- 5 chestnut mushrooms
- 4 courgette flowers (if you can find them)
- Self raising flour
- A can of lager
- Sunflower oil for deep fat frying
Note: the vegetables listed above are those I have used this time, however you can of course choose whatever takes your fancy. If using vegetables with a tough stalk such as cauliflower, broccoli etc. I suggest you parboil them for a few minutes first.
The timings are essential for putting this recipe together, as you need to allow time for the steak to rest and soak up the marinade after cooking; on the other hand, the vegetables will have to be served as soon as they are ready, otherwise they will go soggy. Therefore, I recommend you stick to following the steps below.
Prep your vegetables by washing, drying and slicing them up in bite-sized pieces. If using them, keep the courgette flowers whole. Try to cut each vegetable in pieces all of a similar size to each other, so that their cooking time will be the same.
Next, move on to the marinade. Finely chop the garlic clove and mix it to the olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Stir in the chopped parsley and reserve for later.
Prepare the pastella (tempura-like batter). I did not write down exact quantities for it, as this is what I normally do: I pour about a half a can of beer in a bowl, then add half a tablespoon of flour, and stir. I then keep on stirring and adding a little bit of flour at the time; when the batter acquires the consistency of double cream, it is ready. This is why it will need to coat the vegetables and cling to them, and if it is too watery it simply will not do that.
Now you are ready to start the cooking. Heat a griddle pan until nice and hot. Brush your steak with a little olive oil, so that it does not stick to the pan, and cook it to your liking (rare, medium rare or well done. I cooked mine medium rare). As soon as they are cooked, transfer them on a plate, brush them all up with the marinade, and cover with kitchen foil in order to keep them warm. They will need to rest for 6-7 minutes, which is enough time to allow you to fry your vegetables.
While the steak was cooking, you would have heated up a pan suitable for deep fat frying with abundant sunflower oil. By the time the steak is put on the side to rest, the oil should be hot enough (you can check this by dropping a small piece of potato in the pan; if it comes floating to the surface, then you are ready to go). One by one, coat the vegetable morsels in the pastella and transfer them to the pan; let them cook until golden, lift them out of the oil with a slotted spoon and put them on a plate.
As soon as all the vegetables are done, sprinkle them with salt and serve alongside the juicy steak. Buon appetito!