This Italian recipe is one of my favourite ways of cooking and eating steak – I even chose it for my birthday family dinner earlier this year when my son expertly barbecued the steak to a brilliant state of medium-rare. It’s so simple and you can serve some easy antipasti first (as I mentioned in my post yesterday, Simple Spanish Lunch), like buffalo mozzarella with Parma ham – maybe a special one like San Daniele – and figs, if the time of year is right, with some good bread. And then, keeping the Italian theme, you can have ice cream for dessert – but something really good like the ice cream from Gelateria Danieli in Richmond. The important thing with simplicity in cooking is buying the very best ingredients – and then allow them to speak for themselves.
As I’m finding more often with writing the blog, I now look out recipes before getting down to cooking, even if it’s something I cook a lot, and there was a surprisingly large variation of methods for cooking this simple dish. But, in the end, I just stuck with the simplest way – and it worked very well!
Jonathan was coming round for a post-holiday catch up so timing had to coincide with his leaving the office – but the beauty of the dish is that the important cooking is last minute and only takes a very short time. I cut up some new potatoes into quite small pieces and briefly blanched in salted water for a couple of minutes, then drained and tossed in some olive oil with seasoning and a few sprigs of thyme, ready to put into a hot oven for about 40 minutes.
I bought some Aberdeen Angus rump steak and you want to cook it in one big piece, so don’t portion up. I poured some olive oil in a shallow dish, added a good amount of freshly chopped rosemary, a crushed garlic clove and salt and freshly ground black pepper and thoroughly coated both sides of the steak and left covered till needed.
When we were ready to go, I heated a griddle till smoking hot then put the steaks on and cooked till nicely browned on the outside and still very pink in the middle. When they were done, I left them on a chopping board to rest for about five minutes. Meanwhile, I laid out some rocket on a large serving dish and made a dressing from olive oil and fresh lemon juice, with some seasoning – taste to check it’s how you like it. Then, slice the steak into thickish slices on a slant and gather up with the carving knife and lay gently on top of the rocket, separating the pieces slightly to see the nice pink interior. Pour over the dressing and then shave Parmesan over the top. I put the dish on the table and let everyone help themselves. It’s the most wonderful delicious mix of flavours. Heavenly! We drank a bottle of Dogajolo Toscano wine with it which is a lovely Italian wine with mainly Sangiovese grapes and some Cabernet.