Ultimate steak and chips with a rich mushroom sauce
- April 2012
- Serves 2
- Takes 30 mins to make, 60 mins to cook
Cooking the perfect steak couldn’t be simpler – it comes down to a few key factors. Follow Donal Skehan’s recipe, classic steak and chips, for a supper that’s second to none.
For the steak and chips: 722kcals, 39.9g fat (10.5g saturated), 54.1g protein, 36.6g carbs (1.3g sugars), 0.5g salt, 3.9g fibre
For the rich mushroom sauce: 287kcals, 24.6g fat (12.4g saturated), 6.5g protein, 3.5g carbs (2.4g sugars), 0.3g salt, 3g fibre
- 3 medium rooster potatoes
- (150g each) or similar, sliced
- into thin chips
- 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves
- of 1 finely chopped
- 2 rib-eye steaks (about 250g each)
- 20g butter
For the rich mushroom sauce
- 20g dried mixed mushrooms (or 75g other fresh strong-flavoured mushrooms, such as shiitake, sliced)
- 125ml beef stock, hot
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- ½ small onion, thinly sliced
- 75g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 75ml white wine
- 3 tbsp double cream
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Tumble the chips into a large roasting tin. Allow the chips a bit of space, otherwise they won’t get properly crispy or brown. Drizzle with half the rapeseed oil and toss well to coat.
- Add the 2 rosemary sprigs to the tin, season with sea salt and ground black pepper and pop in the oven for approximately 45 minutes until crisp. Turn the chips halfway through cooking. If you have used 2 roasting tins, swap them halfway through for even results.
- Meanwhile, prepare the steaks by putting them on a plate and drizzling with the remaining oil. Sprinkle with the chopped rosemary and season with sea salt and ground black pepper on both sides. Set aside until you’re ready to cook them.
- When the chips are close to done, heat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When the pan is very hot, cook the steaks for 2 minutes each side for medium-rare, depending on thickness.
- When you turn the steaks, add the butter in little pieces all around the steaks. Baste the meat using a spoon when the butter has melted.
- Remove the steaks from the pan and allow to rest on a warm plate under foil for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the chips from the oven and serve with the steaks and the mushroom sauce.
For the mushroom sauce
- Rinse the dried mushrooms (if using), then put in a bowl, add the hot beef stock and leave to soak for 20 minutes. If not using dried mushrooms, start at step 3.
- When the dried mushrooms have finished soaking and are tender, put a large pan over a medium-high heat and add the butter and olive oil.
- Fry the garlic and onion for 6 minutes until the onion is tender, then add the button mushrooms and other fresh mushrooms (if using). Cook the mushrooms for 5 minutes or until they become soft.
- Add the white wine and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the beef stock and soaked mushrooms (if using), and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes or until the liquid has reduced slightly. Remove from the heat and stir through the cream until combined. Season to taste, then serve with the steak, chips and a green salad, if you like.
It’s essential to cook the steaks in a searing-hot pan so there’s a constant sizzle and no chance of steaming.
Everyone has their own preference as to how they like their steak cooked. Here’s a simple guide: press your index finger to your thumb, then press the muscle at the base of your thumb and compare the feel of that to the touch of the steak in the pan. If it’s as soft as the flesh below your thumb, it’s cooked about rare. Press the tip of your middle finger to the tip of your thumb for medium-rare, ring finger for medium, and little finger for well done.
There are lots of cuts of steak to choose from – fillet is one of the most tender but also one of the most expensive. For cost-conscious cooks, sirloin, rib-eye or rump are ideal – and usually have more flavour.
A good marbling of fat through the meat, which will melt away during cooking, giving flavour and keeping the steak moist. Try to choose meat with a deep, dark red colour. Bright, shiny red, wet-looking meat generally hasn’t been hung for long enough and is likely to be chewier and less flavourful.
Oil the meat, rather than the pan, before cooking – it will spatter less, so there will be less to clean up. Make sure your steaks are at room temperature before cooking so the meat will be more evenly cooked throughout.
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