They may have become completely passé in a world that embraces fascinating new words like apols, derp, jorts and phablet (I kid you not, Google it), but I’m just nuts about charming old idioms.
Take my tendency of not wanting to deal with a roasting tray after a huge lunch or dinner. I stick it in the oven with the intention of getting to it later, only for it to become a science experiment. Out of sight, out of mind. Or my obsessive storing of leftovers, no matter how little it may be. Waste not, want not.
But the idiom that probably describes my kitchen adventures best, is the one about necessity being the mother of invention. I love the challenge of a bare fridge and cupboard. Just what can I do with a floppy carrot, a tin of tuna and a banana that’s starting to look a little suspect?
It’s how I’ve come up with some of my best recipes. And so it was last Sunday. I had leftover rare rump steak that I’d made for dinner the previous evening. I had tender-stem broccoli I’d bought the week before and forgotten in the veggie tray – two days past its ‘use by’ date, but I thought it was holding up rather nicely.
So I made this: Seared Beef Salad with Broccoli and a Yoghurt Horseradish Dressing. (Makes it sound much more impressive when one uses caps, don’t you think?) I may have made this to use up leftovers, but I’ll be making it again. It ticks all the boxes for a perfect, meal-in-one salad.
All you need is…
400g thick-cut, aged rump or sirloin steak
mixed leaves (I used lamb’s lettuce, baby butter lettuce, wild rocket and watercress)
half a cup of double cream Greek yoghurt
1 tbs wholegrain mustard
1 tbs creamed horseradish (I like a bit of bite)
half a garlic clove, crushed
olive oil, for frying and dressing
half a lemon
block of parmesan or pecorino
sea salt flakes (I prefer Maldon)
Mix the yoghurt with the mustard, horseradish and garlic. Add a grinding of black pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Salt and fry your steak on a high heat until rare or, if that’s a bridge too far, medium rare. (If you’re cooking it well done, I’m not gonna judge, I just don’t want to know.) Remove from the pan and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes.
Boil the broccoli for just a few minutes (you want it crunchy) drain and refresh it by immediately plunging it into ice-cold water. Scatter the salad leaves and broccoli on a lovely large plate. Drizzle it with the juice of half a lemon and some fruity extra virgin olive oil.
Slice and arrange the steak on the platter. Add a generous amount of pecorino or parmesan shavings and caper berries and dot with the horseradish dressing (especially on the beefy bits). A last grinding of black pepper and some sea salt flakes and it’s done. Serve any leftover dressing on the side. Piece of cake.