This is a diary of what I cook and what I eat.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Plank steak

Its been absolutely ages since I blogged and there have been a number of things going on.  Mainly me going away on my holidays to Turkey.  I've had a fantastic, if extremely hot, holiday and believe me I've eaten plenty.  In fact its my weight watchers weigh in tonight so we'll see the true damage of wine and food in excess later on.

One of my favourite things to eat on holiday has been fillet steak.  Probably because meat is so much cheaper in Turkey, certainly in comparison to prices here.  In actual fact a fillet steak need not set you back more than 15 pounds.  Combine this with a cracking view of the harbour by moonlight and I was pretty chuffed. 

This is called the plank steak and is a fillet steak served with piped mashed potato and a few basic vegetables.  The sauce is a bearnaise sauce and the whole plank is put back into the oven. 
Now its a little 80s British classic with the piped mash potato and everything but it was actually delicious.  I'd eat it everyday if I could get away with it.  My adapted recipe is as follows:

Serves 2

2 fillet steaks
350g unsalted butter
2 shallot, very finely chopped
8 peppercorns crushed
1 tarragon sprig
1 small tarragon sprig
1 tbsp dry white wine
3 egg yolks
chives to finish

red skinned potatoes, 3 large
100ml double cream
knob of unsalted butter
pinch of salt and cracked black pepper

serve with green beans on the side

1. For the sauce, prepare some clarified butter by melting the butter in a small, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. When the butter starts to foam, take it off the heat and leave it to stand for a few minutes so that the milk solids sink to the bottom of the pan. Line a sieve with a muslin cloth and pour the butter through it into a bowl. You should have 200ml/7fl oz for the béarnaise sauce. Keep it warm in a saucepan.

2. In a separate small saucepan, combine the shallots, peppercorns, tarragon sprig, bay leaf, thyme, tarragon vinegar and white wine. Bring to the boil and allow the liquid to reduce to a third of its original volume, being careful not to let it boil dry.
Strain the vinegar mixture into a heatproof bowl, discarding the flavourings.

3.Place the bowl over a pan of steaming water (don't allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl.) Add the egg yolks and whisk over a gentle heat until the mixture is thick and creamy.
Take the bowl off the heat, and slowly whisk in the warm clarified butter, adding a splash of water if the sauce gets too thick. Season the béarnaise with a little salt, stir in the chopped chives and set aside.

4. To make the mash, peel the potatoes and boil with plenty of salt until very soft.  Drain the potatoes through a colander and then pour them back into the pan and place over the heat again to dry them out. Then mash the potatoes through a potato ricer and then stir in the double cream, pepper and salt to taste.

5.  Sear the steaks on the outside and place into the oven for the time required for your desired colour.  I serve mine medium rare and they usually require a further 5 mins in a 180C oven, depending on thickness. 

6. To serve the plank steak you need to present it on a wooden board for the effect and place the mashed potato underneath your fillet steak and pour over the reheated bearnaise.  Sprinkle with more chives and serve with green beans, eaither steamed or roasted with garlic. 


  1. Hope all went well at WW!!!!

    This is a lovely blog, and I'm delighted to be your newest follower :-}

  2. Ha ha- well a 2lb gain isn't bad for the amount I eat!