15 August 2012

Sirloin Steak & Broad Bean Salad - just jaw-droppingly good

I have to own up and say that this meal is seriously jumping the queue where blogging about various dinners is concerned.

The reason for this is the fact that these two steaks - both Westin Gourmet, one Hereford Sirloin steak and one Aberdeen Angus Sirloin steak - were just divine and went so well with the salad I had devised for them.  When a meal is so good that you're day dreaming about it for days afterwards, it demands to be shared.

The two steaks were part of the One Time Offer pack that I had received from Westin Gourmet to trial for them.  They were both just 5-6oz each, but their steak sizes include an 8-9 oz if you're after one a little bigger.

The steaks arrived vacuum packed, which always presents them in a not terribly flattering light as they tend to look a bit pulverised and grey.  They are obviously gasping for breath, as within fifteen minutes of being let out of their bag, they are re-inflating and looking a lot healthier as a rosy blush spreads across the meat.  By the time they were ready to be cooked, they looked as mouthwatering as any steak could.

Hubby isn't terribly keen on steak, so he opted for some peppered mackerel with an identical salad to the one accompanying the beef, which worked perfectly.

In the interests of taste testing, son and heir and I had half a steak each - which was quite convenient. It meant I could cut the fatty end off for me and leave the leaner end for son & heir, who has followed his father in not liking fat on his meat.  We were both bowled over by these steaks - and the look on son & heir's face when he heard it was steak for tea, was a picture.  He even ate every little bit of his salad!

The base salad, prior to including steak
The salad I devised comprised a nest of lamb's lettuce, liberally sprinkled with hulled broad beans (partly cooked, then cooled and taken from their leathery jackets), quickly cooked and chilled peas, chargrilled baby sweetcorn, chargrilled asparagus, baby Sweetfire chilli infused beetroot and some of those completely gorgeously adorable little Tomberry tomatoes.

With the addition of the Mary Berry (yes, THAT Mary Berry) and Daughter's Caesar Salad Dressing - which is our current favourite, the salad was perfect in substance and flavour to accompany something as strong as steak.

I do try to put some carbohydrate or another on the plate, as I find that unless I have some kind of carbs, I'm looking for something else to eat within an hour of dinner.  In this instance, I had found some baby Apache potatoes which I cooked in their jackets then tossed in butter and a small teaspoonful of mint sauce.  This is my method of choice for small potatoes (new potatoes included) when I don't have fresh mint to hand.  Apache potatoes are very jolly in their look, as they are a kind of skewbald colour (red and white) on the outside (well, dark red and light brown, in truth!) and the pinkness travels through to the inside of the potato.  The only negative I could find with these little lovelies was that the pinkness inside tends to translate to grey once cooked, but their flavour is very mild and goes well with more highly flavoured accompaniments.

The Aberdeen Angus side of the salad

So - getting back to the steak, both these steaks were utterly gorgeous in flavour and texture.  I cooked them both on a blisteringly hot griddle pan, having sprinkled one side with a little seasoning and a few drips of rapeseed oil.  They had probably around 3-4 minutes on one side, then 2-3 minutes on the other, which rendered them a perfect medium rare.

I rested them both for some 5-10 minutes while I assembled the salad, then sliced them and served.

The Hereford Steak side of the salad
There was a time that I could no more have eaten a medium rare steak than fly to the moon.  In those days, unless the steak was utterly ruined (also known as cooked all the way through - "well done" and then some) it wasn't going anywhere my mouth.  These days, I have learnt to appreciate both the flavour and the tenderness of a steak which has been treated a little better.  As time goes on and the ole teeth aren't what they used to be (and probably the jaw muscles, too!), a tender steak is a must.  These weren't quite butter-soft, but they weren't far away from that.

I began my taste test with the Hereford, which had the kind of beefy flavour that you have come to expect from a steak and that - for those meat eaters amongst us - renders you with half closed eyes and a beatific smile on your face while you chew appreciatively.  I really didn't think that the Aberdeen Angus could trump that - but it did.  My first taste was very definitely an "ohmagawd!" moment, with accompanying wide eyes of surprise.  I just wanted that steak to last for ever, it was THAT good.

Currently, the price on the Westin Gourmet website for the 5-6oz Aberdeen Angus steaks - two to a pack, is £13.17 for the two.  Not the cheapest of prices, but then not the most expensive I've seen, either.  As a treat - and boy, are they a treat - I'd say they were worth it - and don't forget, if you've someone in the family who isn't keen on steak, just serve them something else like the peppered mackerel, or maybe some sausages.  It all depends what you'd prefer.


Ingredients :

2 x 5-6oz Sirloin steaks
a drizzle of rapeseed or olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
a bag of Lamb's Lettuce leaves or salad leaves of choice
a small cupful of frozen or fresh broad beans
a smaller cupful of frozen or fresh peas
9 or so baby sweetcorn (fresh)
6 asparagus spears (fresh)
a pack of Sweetfire beetroot, or baby beetroot of your choice
a pack of Tomberry tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes.

Method :

1.  Boil some salted water in a medium sized pan and add the broad beans.  Cook for some 3-4 minutes, then remove from the water with a slotted spoon into a colander and run under the cold tap to stop the cooking process.  Set aside.

2.  Add the peas to the water and cook them for 3 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon, run under cold water in the same way as the broad beans, and reserve in a separate bowl to the broad beans.

3.  Add the baby corn to the water and cook for some 3-4 minutes.  Drain, discarding the water, and set the corn aside to cool.

4.  Take the broad beans and, pinching out an end of each bean's jacket, pinch the inner green bean from the jacket.  Keep the inner green bean and discard the leathery jacket.  This process does take time and will make your arms ache - but it's worth it!

5.  Heat a griddle pan on a high heat and, while it is heating, cut the baby sweetcorn into two longways.  Drizzle a little rapeseed oil over them and season lightly.

6.  Place the sweetcorn pieces onto the griddle pan once up to temperature and char-grill until well marked.  Reserve onto a plate to cool.

7.  Take the asparagus spears and place them onto the griddle pan.  Cook until well marked on all sides and soft in the middle, then remove to a plate and leave to cool.

7.  Take your steaks (which should be at room temperature) and, using some kitchen paper pat them dry.  Season with a little salt and pepper on one side, then drizzle with a little rapeseed oil on both sides.

8.  Place the steaks onto the griddle pan and leave them where they fall for around 4-5 minutes.  They should be fairly easy to remove from the griddle pan (without sticking) if they are done sufficiently, in which case turn them and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes for a medium rare steak.  Don't be turning them this way and that - just place them and leave them to cook.  Obviously, if you prefer your steak more cooked, them leave them for longer on each turn - and less for a more rare steak.

9.  When the steaks are done to your satisfaction, put them onto a warmed plate and reserve somewhere warm (under the grill or a warm oven) to rest until ready to serve.

10.  Assemble your salad on the plate however you prefer, then take the steaks and slice into attractive looking slices and lay on top of the salad.

Serve with minted new potatoes.

Printable version

.Westin Gourmet


  1. Jenny,you are so clever with your photos. Wonderful post. Have great week.

    1. Only rarely can I claim any credit for the photographs. In this instance, they were 100% taken by my lovely hubby, whose task it is not to eat his dinner - but to photograph it first! I'll pass your praise on to him. :) He says "much appreciated!". :)

  2. I love the sound of the salad - and I have lambs lettuce growing in my garden :)

    1. Really? Oooh, you lucky thing! :) I love Lamb's Lettuce, it's by far and away my favourite of all the salad leaves.


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