Steak and mustard green beans

Cooking fussy dishes and fine dining is all very well, but ultimately food is something we indulge in 3 times a day. That means a repertoire of meals is important to fit around our lives, then even when food isn’t a priority for your day you can still create something tasty in a short time.

This was a last minute lunch I prepared. Start to finish will take under 20 minutes (assuming you’re handy with a knife) which is half the time a pizza delivery takes and less than most ready meals (cooked in the oven at least).

Ingredients for 2

  • 1 quality dry aged rib-eye steak, 12oz (some may prefer 16oz or more, I think this is enough for a light meal)
  • 200g runner beans
  • 4 shallots
  • Wholegrain mustard
  • White wine vinegar
  • Castor sugar

Firstly put a small frying pan on a low-medium heat with a splash of oil. Put the heaviest pan you have (ideally a nice cast iron grill pan) on a high heat. Also start the kettle boiling for the beans. Peel and finely slice the shallots and add to the small pan to gently fry.

In the meantime lightly rub the steak with a high-temp oil (e.g. groundnut / vegetable) and season generously with salt and pepper. If you have some foresight you can season the steak early, but make sure it’s at least an hour before (for the science you can read this fascinating article on salting steaks ). Place in the hot pan and turn once a minute to your taste (for a thick cut rib-eye 4-5 minutes is probably about right). To my mind medium-rare is better for fatty cuts, to allow it to start rendering some fat and crisping up a bit. Take off the heat and let it rest for at least 5 minutes in a warm place.

Top, tail and de-string the beans (I found it quickest just to “peel” the edges off) and chop fairly finely on a slant. Boil for 3-4 minutes in a pan, drain and set aside. When the shallots have softened (6-8 minutes total) take off the heat and add a tablespoon of mustard, a tablespoon of vinegar and 1/2 tsp of sugar along with the beans. Season and mix together well.

Once the meat has rested, it’s vital to cut it the right way. Find the grain of the meat (pull the top a bit and look for long strands) and then cut against the grain (i.e. slice over the long strands). This means the knife does the work your teeth would have and the steak will appear far more tender. Serve up the beans and place the steak slices on top. Enjoy!

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