Last night I had a request for steak and I found an interesting recipe in Cooking with Boutique Winemakers. This book showcases a number of Australian boutique winemakers, each of which have contributed a recipe. This recipe was essentially steak with a blue cheese polenta, red onions and a suggestion of parsnips on the side. I went with Roast Parsnips from Tender, Volume 1 by Nigel Slater.
For the onion, cook 2 sliced red onions slowly in 20g butter and 1 tbsp olive oil for 30 mins. Then add 4 tsp brown sugar and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (I added 2), stir well and set aside. For the polenta, cook as per instructions using 1 cup of polenta cooked in 1 cup vegetable stock and 3 cups of water. Add 50g crumbled blue cheese when cooked and set aside. Cook steaks (scotch fillet or rib eye) to you liking. Remove and set aside and make jus in pan juices with shiraz and salt and pepper to taste.
Tender, Volume 1 is one of my favourite books. It’s sort of Nigel Slater’s version of Stephanie’s Kitchen Garden Companion though his book is based on the conversion of his London back yard to a fruit and vegetable garden in a move towards some sort of self-sufficiency. Volume 1 covers vegetables and Volume 2 fruit. Like all of Nigel Slater’s work it is a beautifully written book and the recipes are homely not complicated. Two pages are devoted to roast parsnips and variants and I went with simplicity, just chunks of parsnip, steamed for 10 minutes then roasted in a little duck fat.
While this meal tasted OK, it’s fair to say I butchered it a little. I overcooked to some degree everything except the onions and while writing this realised I forgot to serve the jus. Yes, there it is, congealed in the frying pan. Flavours were good though, so the issues certainly weren’t with the recipe.
A bottle of 2008 Turkey Flat Shiraz accompanied this meal and it was very good.