- 50g blanched hazelnuts
Grown in Europe and the US, hazelnuts are encased in a smooth, hard brown shell but are most…
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly sliced
- 85g watercress
With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…
- 1½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra for griddling
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, plus 2 tsp
True Balsamic vinegar is an artisan product from Modena, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, and is made…
- 2 rump steaks, about 140g each
Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Place the hazelnuts in a baking tray, then toast in the oven for 5-10 mins until golden (you can roast the garlic for the mash at the same time). Leave the nuts to cool a little. Put the cooled nuts, chilli, 50g of the watercress, 1½ tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic and some seasoning in a food processor, then blitz until finely chopped. The mixture shouldn’t be too smooth – there should still be some texture to the nuts. Set aside.
Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Rub the steaks with a little oil, then season both sides with salt. Cook the steaks on the griddle for 2 mins on each side – this will give you medium rare (cook for 3 mins for medium or 4 mins for well done, if you prefer). Remove from the griddle, then sit on a plate for 5 mins to rest. Stir any juices from the resting steak into the pesto – they’re delicious and shouldn’t be wasted.
To serve, divide the Roasted garlic mash (recipe, below) between 2 plates, top with a little watercress, then sit a steak across it. Top the steaks with a large tbsp of the pesto and drizzle the rest of the balsamic over.
If you buy beef that has been aged for at least 21 days, it will have greater depth of flavour and be more tender. Look for steaks with a yellow tinge to the fat. This indicates that the cattle have been grass- and not grain-fed, which gives the meat a richer taste. There should also be a good marbling of fat throughout the flesh, which will add flavour and help to keep the meat juicy during cooking.
Roasted garlic mash
Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Place 3 large, unpeeled garlic cloves in a shallow tray. Roast for 20-30 mins until skin is yellowed and cracked. (This can be done at the same time as the hazelnuts for the pesto.) Meanwhile, boil 400g potatoes, peeled and cut, for 15-20 mins until tender. Drain and mash with 85g butter and 3 tbsp milk, then season well. Squeeze garlic flesh from skin and stir through the mash.
When griddling meat and vegetables, always oil the food and not the pan. This will ensure that there is no excess oil to drip between the ridges of the griddle and burn, which will taint your food and create a lot of smoke.