Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Steak Sandwich

Ladies and gentlemen of the interweb, yesterday we had been married for exactly one month. A whole month of married life! That that deserves a huge celebration. As you may have guessed, we chose to celebrate with food.

In the whole wedding planning process, one of the most fun jobs on the gargantuan To-Do List was choosing our menu for dinner. Clearly, both Greedy Gusto and I are very keen on food, and one of the earliest decisions we made was that we wanted to prioritise good wedding food over spending thousands of pounds on a dress (I know! Shock horror), or a string quartet, or hand-inked invitations, or whatever else the wedding industry tries to make you buy. We chose our venue not just because it was beautiful, meaningful and had history for us (which it is, is and does), but because we have never had a bad meal there and we knew they would provide something incredible for our guests. Which I'm proud to say that they did.

So they invited us to suggest what we'd like, and we named our ideal menu, and they cooked it, and we tried it, and it was delicious. I'm serious, our afternoon testing out our menu (full-size portions of all three starters, mains and puddings complete with multiple choices of wine for each course) was described by my now-husband as "the best afternoon of my life". I choose not to be offended by that fact.

We eagerly anticipated that food for months and months, telling everyone how incredible it would be - and when the day came, it didn't disappoint at all. But we disappointed ourselves. We had no appetites! We couldn't finish any of our food and even though it was heart-stoppingly delicious and everything we'd hoped for and more, we just couldn't eat it. It might be the only thing I regret about the wedding. 

One month later, our appetites have definitely returned and we decided that our monthiversary dinner would be a sort of homage to our wedding meal - specifically, we'd  be having beef. On the wedding night itself, we ate very rare Beef Wellington with truffle mashed potatoes, buttered green beans and a red wine jus so delicious, even my non-beef-eating-mother chose to have it just so that she could eat the gravy. Last night, we didn't stretch to anything quite so luxurious, but we did go for beef and it was something delicious - Jamie Oliver's Steak Sarnie from 30 Minute Meals.

We've made this once before so we knew it'd be a good choice, and it didn't disappoint. Rare, tender meat, oozing with savoury juices, livened up with a peppery kick from horseradish and rocket and some tangy, sweet roasted peppers. All in a big wodge of bread. What more do you need to celebrate a very special Tuesday night?

Steak Sarnie
Serves 2 greedy people

- 1 big steak or 2 medium ones 
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme and parsley
- 1 big ciabatta loaf
- a couple of handfuls of jarred, roasted peppers in oil
- a few tablespoonfuls of horseradish sauce
- a large handful of rocket (we actually had a mix of rocket, baby spinach and watercress, which was perfect)

Get a griddle or frying pan really, really hot and turn on the oven. Scatter salt, pepper, thyme and olive oil all over the steak, and rub it in on all sides. Cook it in the hot pan for a minute or so each side - longer if you don't want it rare - then remove to a big board and let it sit and rest for a bit. Put your ciabatta in the oven to warm up.

On the edge of the same big board, chop up the peppers and the parsley with the juices from the steak so that you have a sort of salsa. Slice the steak into strips, then get out the ciabatta and slice it in half horizontally ready to be sandwiched.

Drizzle the cut edges of the ciabatta with olive oil, then smear a generous few spoonfuls of horseradish sauce over the bottom half. Top with rocket/leaves, then the strips of steak, then the peppery saucey smush, not forgetting to drizzle any juices left on the board over the top. Plonk the other half of ciabatta on top, then cut the whole thing in half vertically so that you can both dive in.

Be warned, this is messy food - the juices will run down your chin, bits of leaf will stick out of your mouth, and you may groan a bit when you've finished the whole massive portion because you are so full and yet ate the whole thing. Good thing you're married now, so you don't need to worry about looking unattractive when you eat! That's the sign of true love.

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