When you invest in a good quality cut of beef, I think you should respect it and keep it simple. I know some purists prefer to eat a great steak with nothing more than salt and pepper as seasoning. But I always like to have a little something on the side, whether it be some horseradish cream, a herbed butter or mustard. Something simple. For this, I’m serving Steak with Pesto and some charred capsicum on the side.
“This is one of those dinners I pulled together when my refrigerator was dismally empty.”
I’m more of a white meat girl than a steak girl. So on the rare occasions that I cook steak, I feel like I can justify investing in a good cut so I splurged on a great piece of sirloin – about 2.5 cm / 1 inch.
I hadn’t actually planned to make steak for dinner. I purchased it on impulse when I was out doing non food shopping chores, without thinking of what to have on the side. When I got home, I stood in front of my refrigerator and inspected the contents, contemplating what to serve it with.
It was sadly lacking. The way I cook, I buy what I need and I plan meals so there are common ingredients. So once I get through the meals I planned to cook, my refrigerator is usually pretty empty.
Such was the day that I came home with these precious sirloin steaks. I didn’t even have a single potato lying around. And the only bread I had was frozen sandwich bread.
What I did have though was leftover pesto from the Pea, Zucchini and Pesto Orzo (Risoni) that I made. And a red capsicum (bell pepper).
As I was feeling particularly determined to make a meal worthy of these steaks, I even made flatbreads to serve on the side. Yup, I really did! It’s actually really easy because it’s no yeast flatbread and it requires hardly any kneading. The dough literally takes 5 minutes to make, then you just let it rest, roll it out and pan fry it. The flat bread is really soft and pliable so you can even use it as a wrap. I’m obsessed with this flatbread.
And that’s the story of this steak dinner and how it came about.
Now getting back to business. Eating it.
- 2 x 10oz / 300g sirloin beef steak , 2.5 cm/ 1 inch thick (the best you can afford)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (or canola), separated
- 1 red bell pepper (capsicum), deseed, halved and sliced into strips
- Salt and pepper
- Pesto (preferably homemade - see notes for recipe)
- Flatbreads (see recipe Easy Soft Flatbread (No Yeast))
Preferably bring your steak to room temperature. This will take 30 minutes if the air temperature is warm/hot, or an hour if it's cool.
Season steaks generously with salt and pepper. Do this just before you cook it.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy based fry pan over high heat until it starts to smoke.
Place steaks in the fry pan. Cook each side for 2 minutes for medium rare. See notes for cooking times.
Remove steaks from the fry pan onto a plate and cover loosely (not tightly) with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, up to 10 minutes.
While the steak is resting, return the fry pan to the stove over medium high heat with 1 tbsp oil.
Add the bell pepper (capsicum) and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely charred. Remove from heat.
Serve the steaks topped with the bell pepper and with Pesto and Flatbread on the side.
1. Steak cooking times assumes the steak is at room temperature. If it is not at room temperature, add 15 seconds to the cooking time for each side. These cooking times are for steaks that are 10 oz / 300 g, no bone, around 2.5 cm / 1 inch thick.
Blue: About 1 min 15 seconds each side
Rare: About 1 min 30 seconds each side
Medium-rare: About 2 minutes each side
Medium: About 2 minutes 15 seconds each side
2. Homemade Basil Pesto - place the following into a small food processor and whizz until combined. You could also use a mortar and pestle.
2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup pine nuts (preferably toasted) (or cashews, Brazil nuts, walnuts or almonds),
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (or Pecorino)
1/4 tsp salt and pepper (plus more to taste)
1/2 tbsp - 1 tbsp lemon juice (to taste)
3. The nutrition analysis excludes the flatbread and assumes that the sirloin steak is a high quality well marbled cut (but not wagyu) and 1 tbsp of pesto per serving.