Unless you’ve had your head buried very deep in sand for the past few weeks, you’ll know it’s Valentine’s Day! Perhaps you’re feeling a little anxious. What to buy? What to do? What to cook to spoil the one you love?
Fret no more.
We have the answer in the form of a most luxurious, yet easy to assemble steak salad. No previous culinary experience necessary.
If you’re in Cape Town, head to Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants for meat that has been properly brought up, or find the best quality meat in your hood from a source you can trust. All that’s left to do is to put away your phone and get out your steak pan.
Go on. Treat someone like royalty this Valentine’s Day.
You will need
1 medium shallot*
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Handful baby button mushrooms, cleaned and kept whole
1 can lentils, rinsed and drained
500 g yellow and red vine tomatoes
250 ml mushroom or chicken stock
2 Tbsp olive oil
600-800 g steak – we used delicious ribeye from Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants
Watercress or rocket
1 jar of Pesto Princess Coriander & Chilli Pesto
*Shallots are sometimes like hen’s teeth. Use a medium onion if you need to.
1. Finely chop the shallot and fry on medium to high heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook until soft.
2. Add the baby mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until tender. Then add the lentils, vine tomatoes, stock and cook until the lentils are warm and soft, and the stock is reduced.
3. Rub the steak with oil and season. Heat a griddle pan to a medium to high heat, and cook for 3 minutes per side for a rare steak. Leave a little longer if you prefer your steak medium or well done.
4. Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest it for 5 minutes while you plate the rest of the salad ingredients. Layer the mushroom and lentil ragout and top with steak slices, scattered leaves and lashings of Pesto Princess Coriander and Chilli Pesto.
Serves 4 generous portions or 6 light meals.
Recipe and food styling by Michelle Parkin.
Michael Olivier’s Choice
DeWaal Young Vines Merlot 2014
The De Waals have been in the Cape for over 300 years. Like his ancestors, Pieter de Waal continues to produce sublime wines. Chill this bottle of Merlot for about 30 minutes before serving, it will be a perfect partner to the Steak Salad.
It looks like Packed in a Bordeaux shape bottle under screw cap, elegant livery. In the glass, a rich plum red that pales to crimson at the edge.
It smells like Classical Merlot aromas, roadside brambles and ripe Satsuma plums.
It tastes like Reflected in the mouth are the berries, plums, oak and its concomitant spices. It is a gentle wine, creamy, with tannins beautifully interwoven with the clean crisp fruit. Good length of flavour. Chill for about 30 minutes before service for maximum enjoyment.