Need a great tasting family meal that’s ready to eat within 30 minutes of you getting home from work?
Here’s my favourite Friday night family meal – Tuscan Steak served with
sautéed potatoes and a green bean and tomato mini ratatouille.
Here’s how to pull it off and have an aperitivo before the kids meltdown at 6.30pm (dining hours may vary).
What you need:
1 large porterhouse, T-bone or top sirloin steak cut between 1 and 1.5
inches (about 1.5 lbs). Any thinner and it isn’t steak in my book.
5 large potatoes
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Half a lemon
Tips before you start: You’ll need military discipline and a kid-free
kitchen. There’s nothing worse than tripping over a child and scooter
in motion when you’re transferring a sautee pan.
18:01 Step 1: Take your coat off, get to the kitchen and take the
steak out of the fridge (even better have you partner take the steak
out 10 minutes before you get home if that’s possible). Pat dry with
kitchen paper towel then salt and pepper liberally (The salt will
protect the meat when cooking and won’t be transferred to the taste).
18:03 Step 2: Slice five potatoes very thinly (they’ll cook quicker and
more evenly the thinner you get them). Rinse the potatoes, pat them dry
with kitchen paper towel and salt them.
18:08 Step 3: Heat olive oil at a medium high heat in a large non-stick
14 inch pan. Add the potatoes when oil is hot (but not smoking) and
coat thoroughly with the oil, stirring frequently until the potatoes
are all translucent. Add black pepper at this point (I like a lot).
Turn the heat down to low- medium and turn them periodically until they
are soft in the middle and a little crispy/carmelized on the edges.
[Multi-task Alert - Start the next step while stirring the potatoes]
18:10 Step 4: Heat a large skillet over a medium-high heat with a small
covering of olive oil. When the oil starts to smoke, add the steak. Let
it sit for 30 seconds so that the downside sears then move it around
the pan so that it doesn’t stick. Cook for three minutes then turn and
repeat on the top side for another three minutes. Flip the steak a
final time and cook for another three minutes.
Remove the steak from the pan and place on a serving plate to rest.
(During this 9 minute process you’ll be washing and top/tailing the
green beans, halving the cherry tomatoes, thinly slicing the garlic
and…..pouring yourself a snifter; I’m currently embracing dry
Manzanillo sherry as my pre-dinner tipple)
18:19 Step 4: Sautee the green string beans and tomatoes over a medium
heat for 10 minutes in a small amount of oil or (even better) butter.
When the beans are al dente, add the garlic for the remaining 3-4
18.30 Step 6: Drizzle the steak with olive oil and lemon juice and cut
into adult , kiddie and yes, baby bits. My son and daughter get the
medium-cooked perimeter bits, leaving the medium rare for my wife and I.
Serve with the potatoes and beans. Enjoy….and don’t worry if it takes a
five or 10 minutes longer than this. I’ve been practicising!