Peppered steak in a rich shallot sauce.
Right, shall we begin? This recipe serves 4 or 2 if you like big portions. You will need 4 large rump or sirloin steaks from the butchers. Be awkward and ask them what breed the animal is/was, if you get me? I adore the Aberdeen Angus, which we sometimes treat ourselves to when go for some retail therapy and a change of scenery in Killarney. You will also need a bottle of Cognac and a bottle of red wine. Don't worry the little miniature bottles will do, sadly! I was expecting somebody to bring me a twenty eight euros bottle of Hennessssy (very special) Cognac, yesterday. That somebody produced a miniature Cognac and a miniature red wine. We really are in a recession, aren't we?
You will also need some shallots or onions, preferably one's that you have grown yourself. Melt 25 grammes of butter in a big frying pan over a medium heat. Then add 4 sliced shallots and let them cook for a couple of minutes until they feel soft. Now is the time to pour in 4 tablespoons of your Cognac and boil it for 1 minute. Then add 200ml of red wine. If there's any left have a drink of wine or Cognac, or both if you're like me? Let the mixture boil and reduce it by half.
You should be also making your veg around now. The menu says to serve it with chips and tomatoes. However we thinking we are starting to look like chips and prefer to 'steam' our home grown veg; carrots, potatoes and broccoli
Meanwhile (back at the ranch) get yourself 200ml of hot (put kettle on) half a beef (OXO) stock and pour it in the pan. Let it to boil until it's reduced by half again. Stir in 25g of butter and add some seasoning, taste it, and leave it to cook slowly. Brush your griddle (frying pan will do) with a little oil and place it under a very high heat. Get your steaks and press 2 tablespoons of black peppercorns over them and cook the steaks for a few minutes on each side. I like mine 'well done' and hate it when you get meat served with the blood still running out of it. No thank-you.
Now is the time to plate up and pour the sauce over your steak. I would also pour yourself some home-brew or some more brandy or wine, that's if you remember to buy a 'big' bottle and not a miniature Moral of story. Always get your own drink.
You have to wash up also. It's worse for me because I use nearly every cooking utensil and pan in the kitchen.