Karen Wright: Steak with whisky cream sauce and a side of neeps and tatties
Recently I travelled all the way from Brighton in Sussex to Oban in Scotland. I had been visiting family in Brighton and then I had a reunion with work friends from our camping days planned for the Scottish trip.
I had been thinking about Scotland and the trip for a while and wanted to cook something with a Scots theme to get me in the mood. I decided on a steak with whisky cream sauce and a side of neeps and tatties.
I went to my local farm shop for the steak. It was quite expensive, but I have to say it was the most delicious and tender steak I have ever eaten. I followed tips shared by one of the chefs I have worked with over the summer and I am positive these tips made all the difference.
The first tip – when you bring the steak home remove all the packaging, dry the meat with kitchen paper and leave it to come to room temperature for a few hours before cooking. It’s true that chilled meat needs to relax to get the best out of it.
The next tip – oil the steak not the pan and then make sure your pan or griddle is very hot. For medium rare a few minutes cooking on each side is enough and then rest the steak for ten minutes to allow the juices to settle.
I made the whisky cream sauce while the steak was resting. Firstly, I softened a diced shallot in a knob of butter and a splash of oil. I also cooked off a few mushrooms with the shallot. Then I added a good glug of whisky and about 150ml beef stock. I bubbled this down to reduce the volume and then in went about 150ml double cream. I seasoned it well with salt and pepper and then just to be sure I sloshed in a bit of extra whisky.
I served it with mashed potatoes mixed with mashed swede, which in Scotland is called neeps and tatties. It was just gorgeous!
I have not visited Scotland much before, I remember a very wet camping holiday when I was a child and a day trip on the train to Edinburgh. What a treat it was to drive up to Scotch Corner and then up to Glasgow and across to Oban.
I had not seen some of our friends for a few years but when we got together it was like it was only yesterday. We pledged to meet up again soon.
We then headed south again to a hotel I had booked for myself and John.
For tips and recipes visit my http://www.karenwrightbakes.co.uk website.