Steak ala Swanson
Another spectacular entry in the My Movember Menu series.
"After I've had too much whisky I cook myself a large flank steak, pan fried in salted butter. I eat that. Put on a pair of wet socks and go to sleep" - Ron Swanson, 2009
A man of good moustache and excellent taste in cookery, Ron Swanson really is a man after my own heart. And so, in his honour, with my most itchy of facial accoutrements it seemed only fair to cook steak. So off I packed to the butchers for a nice filet mignon steak, and then Tescos (read as "supermarket" if you're not from the UK) for some sides and more importantly, whisky.
The whisky I chose was selected for two reasons; one, price, and two, taste. I do like Nick Offerman's favourite that is Lagavulin, it has a wonderful peaty, smokey taste that so perfectly complements a nicely done steak. But my budget as a student meant that I couldn't afford a even the smaller bottle on the shelf. But the Glenmorangie big bottle was on offer and is very nice. Slightly sweeter on the palate than Lagavulin, it makes for a nice accompanying drink or just a solid solo drink. So a bottle of Glenmorangie it was.
Whisky out of the way, time to pick some sides. Ron Swanson is quite a traditional chef, so some seasonal veg was on the cards; potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and some slightly out of season green beans. Simple, seasonal and nutritious. Now to cook it all.
- 1x Filet Mignon
- 1x Large Carrot
- 1x Large Parsnip
- 100g Green Beans
- One Medium Potato - Good for Mashing
- Salted Butter
- Salt and Pepper
- Good Whiskey - Plenty Of
- Peel and finely chop the potato. The finer chopped the quicker it is to cook, and gives a slightly smoother mash.
- Half the parsnip and carrot down their length.
- Top and tail the green beans.
- Get the steak out to sit at room temperature.
- Put the chopped potato into a pan of salted boiling water along with the halved parsnip and carrot.
- Prepare another pot for the green beans with some salt, and boil the kettle again.
- Prepare a frying pan or griddle for the steak, you want roughly half a centimetre of melted, well salted butter at low temperature.
- And finally, pop a roasting tray into a preheated oven with some butter in it for the root veg.
- As the carrot and parsnips begin to soften, pull them out of the water and pop them into the hot buttery oven tray. Apply salt and pepper, and pop in the oven to roast through. Baste melted butter over them to help golden them up.
- As the root veggies start to golden, boil the green beans. I like mine firm to the bite, with a little snap, so tend to leave mine late in the process. Roughly five minutes is good.
- As you put the beans on to boil, now is a good time to start that filet if you want a nice mid-rare finish, so pop it into the butter and turn the heat up to mid high.
- Flip it over after about 2 minutes per side.
- As the steak cooks, the potato should be done, so strain and mash with butter and a drop of milk. I left a bit of parsnip floating around when I first did this, and it works well.
- Once mashing is complete, the root veggies should be ready, these can always be plated last, same as the beans.
- Plate up the mash and steak. Followed by the beans, carrot and parsnip.
- Pop some whisky in a short, squat glass, or maybe you already have you cheeky devil? And enjoy.
Times for all this will vary depending on how you like your green beans and steak done.
Inspired by Swanson. Perfected by Billington.
So there you have it, a simple and wholesome steak dinner. If you aren't a whisky fan, a good wine for this dish is a malbec or sorts, or even a cabernet sauvignon. Beer wise? A blonde pilsner is a good choice, something along the lines of a Leffe Blonde. Not a drinker? Pomegranate or cranberry juice are good choices. They contain tannins, also found in red wine. It is these tannins that cut through the flavour of the meat and work as a nice palate cleanser. Too tart? Dilute with club soda or sparkling water.
Well, I'm back home from university for the holidays, so there'll be no more cookery shows coming out, but I do still have a project in the edit, so brace yourselves for that, sometime in the weeks to come. And hopefully there'll be some columns and "look what I'm eating" posts too.
And if you want to know why I'm doing something called My Movember Menu then click here.