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Hints and tips

My Perfect Steak – Method

Rib Eye - Before cooking
Rib Eye – Before cooking

My favourite cut for a steak is the Rib eye, cut from the rib section the muscle gets a good working during the animals life so along with a good marbling of fat it has a good flavour.

Serve with Lyonnaise Potatoes, or chips and with some Bearnaise Sauce drizzled over.

Step 1: Getting ready
Allow you steaks to get to room temperature before cooking, so remove from the refrigerator at least an hour before you need them.

Step 2: Preheat the pan
Begin by placing the griddle or heavy based frying pan over a high heat and allow it to become very hot.

Step 3: Oil and season
Now brush both sides of the steak with a light coating of oil and season both sides with salt and pepper to taste. It’s always a good idea to season your steak just before cooking it. Otherwise, the salt with draw the all moisture out of the meat and will affect the taste.

Step 4: Fry the steak
Now that the griddle pan is really hot, place the rib eye onto it. If you are using a regular frying pan, pour a little oil on it before adding the steak. Then cook the meat until the bottom is crispy and brown.
Don’t crowd your pan, don’t cook more that 2 steaks at a time otherwise the temperature of the pan will drop and the streaks will stew rather than fry
You can check to see how it’s cooking, by turning one end up, to see how the crust is building up. Brush once more with oil, season and turn it over to the other side. Don’t ever turn the meat more than once. It makes it very tough. Now reduce the heat to medium.

Timings for a 2 cm thick steak at room temperature before cooking

      • Blue: 1 minute each side
      • Rare: 1½ minutes each side
      • Medium rare: 2 minutes each side
      • Medium: 2¼ minutes each side
      • Medium-well done: 2½ – 3 minutes each side.

Step 6: Remove and rest
When ready, remove the rib eye from the pan with your tongs and place it immediately onto a wooden board or a rack. It is important to let the steak rest 2 or 3 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to disperse throughout the steak, enhancing its flavour and allowing the steak to relax, ensuring it’s not tough.

Rib Eye after cooking

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Greek Lamb with Orzo

Greek Lamb with Orzo
Greek Lamb with Orzo

This recipe originally by Mary Cadogan, is based on a Greek classic. It’s made using Orzo, a widely available small rice sized pasta, which is used in place or the original Greek ingredient; Manestra.
It’s an easy recipe but takes a while to cook, however the flavoursome and tender lamb makes it all worthwhile

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1kg shoulder of lamb
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried if you don’t have fresh)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1.2l chicken or vegetable stock, hot.
  • 400g orzo 
  • freshly grated parmesan , to serve

 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. 
  2. Cut the lamb into 4cm chunks and spread over the base of a large, wide casserole dish. 
  3. Add the onions, oregano, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon and olive oil, then stir well. 
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 45 mins, stirring halfway.
  5. Pour over the chopped tomatoes and stock, cover tightly, then return to the oven for 1½ hrs, until the lamb is very tender.
  6. Remove the cinnamon sticks, then stir in the orzo. 
  7. Cover again, then return to the oven and bake for a further 20 mins, stirring halfway through. 
  8. The orzo should be cooked and the sauce thickened.

Serve, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve with fresh crusty bread (like Soda Bread).

Top Tip:
This recipe can be frozen, just cool and freeze after step 4 and defrost and return to a casserole dish, gently bring to a boil (adding some water if it looks a little dry) and restart at step 5.

Oil Infusions

During a quiet moment, which a few and far between during the holiday break, I had a chance to look for new foodie ideas and recipes. This one reminded me that I should get as batch of flavoured oils on the go again, The Rosemary and Garlic infused oil is a brilliant variation that I haven’t thought of, along with the Thai infusion!
Not That Mr T

Homemade With Mess

Flavoured oils are one of my kitchen essentials. If you go to any farmers market there is almost always a flavoured olive oil stand, and they are usually crazily expensive! What is great though is these are so cheap and easy to do yourself. Simply get yourself some oil bottles, fill them with whatever takes your fancy and then top up with oil. These can also be re used again and again, just make sure you sterilise them between each use otherwise the insides will not stay so pretty. Leave them to fuse for a week or so and they are ready to go. Below are just a few suggestions of flavour combinations.

y 007

Hot and Spicy

Simply fill with chilli’s and some dried chilli flakes and then top up with olive oil. If the chilli’s are quite fat then just chop them in half.

This is great to add to…

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