The patron saint for September is St Cornelius, who was also a pope. He is the patron saint of cattle, so needless to say I am doing my recipes this month using beef. I find it fascinating the different ways other countries cut up and name the carcass. In France, you will come across macreuse, which is rather similar to our stewing steak, and contre-filet, which incorporates sirloin and the end of a fillet. Tende de tranche is our topside. There is also a wonderfully tasty cut called onglet, which comes from the inside of the rib and makes a delicious alternative to steak as long as you cut it against the grain. It’s very tender. In the US, we have the strip steak and T-bone steak as well as the famous Kansas City Strip steak.
I am going to do two recipes this month – one using the cheapest cut, stewing steak, which you can get from any supermarket, and one with ribeye steak, which ideally needs to be grass-fed and well hung. I always get mine from Matthew, our lovely butcher in Arundel. I am serving my steaks with chimichurri, a lovely fragrant sauce that always accompanies steak in Mexico and Argentina.
For my stewing recipe, I am making goulash. It’s my version of the Hungarian dish but much quicker and easier to make. Ths I always serve with sour cream and tagliatelle. I always have a tin of Pimenton el Angel smoked paprika on the side in case anyone likes this dish with more heat.
1kg stewing steak, ready cubed
1 carton passata
2 heaped tablespoons Bisto Best
Beef Gravy powder
3 heaped dessert spoons ordinary paprika
4 heaped dessert spoons smoked paprika
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 sprig of bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Put all the meat in a casserole dish. Add the gravy powder to the passata and mix well in a jug. Add it to the meat and bring it all to the boil. This is the way I cook all my stews. I don’t do that tedious browning of the meat in batches which makes you, your hair and the house smell horrible!
Add the two paprikas, the garlic and the bay leaves and cook in a slow oven (130º in an electric oven) for about two hours until the meat is tender.
This is a perfect dish for guests who might be late as it doesn’t spoil and is almost better reheated the next day. It also freezes very well.
Ribeye steak with chimichurri
4 ribeye steaks
Dry rub of equal quantities; jerk seasoning, smoked garlic granules and sumac. I like to keep it as dry as possible.
Cook the steaks any way you like – barbecued, grilled or on a grill pan.
100 ml olive oil
50 ml red wine vinegar
1 chopped shallot
1 bunch mint and another of coriander
Dash of lime juice
Peel and chop shallot into bits and pop it into a food processor (or use a blender).
Add the coriander and mint and give it a swirl. Slowly add the olive oil, vinegar and lime juice. You should end up with a nice syrupy sauce. It keeps for ages in the fridge and is delicious with chicken or lamb too.
This article first appeared in the September 2021 issue of the Catholic Herald. Subscribe today
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