Steak and Black Pudding

The other week I was lucky enough to have dinner at the Mustard Seed Restaurant in Inverness. For my starter I had had the crayfish and salmon salad. For my main course I had the pan fried rump steak served with roasted fine diced black pudding and potatoes with parsley and garlic crème fraîche.

This was really really nice.

The steak was a rump steak, and I have found at many restaurants that rump steak can be quite tough, this one though was cooked to perfection and was very tender. I did ask for it to be cooked medium rare and I think that helped. The black pudding and potatoes were done well and really enhanced the steak. It was all complemented with the parsley and garlic crème fraîche, which had a subtle garlic flavour and the freshness worked well in opposition to the strong spiced flavour of the black pudding. Across those flavours you could still certainly taste the flavour of the beef.

Overall a really nice combination of ingredients, that was cooked well and was as a result delicious.

Roasting Vegetables

One of the things I like to have with a roast are roasted vegetables. I also add cubes of bread towards the end of cooking, these go all tasty and crunchy.

There are different vegetables you can use, this time I was using squash, pepper, mushrooms and onions.

Steak with Peppercorn and Mushroom Sauce

A simple but delicious recipe for steak. In this case I used rump steak, but generally I now prefer ribeye.

I seasoned the steak with crushed peppercorns.

I took a heavy based frying pan and placed it on the heat. I put in a splash of olive oil and once this was hot placed the steak in the pan.

Cook the steak to your liking, I cooked mine to medium.

Once the steak is cooked, remove to a warm plate and let it rest.

Add the mushrooms to the frying pan and cook on a high heat. After cooking the mushrooms, remove and then remove the pan from the heat and then add some creme frache or cream.

I sliced (carved) my steak and then added the sauce and mushrooms.

Chicken with Lentils

This is my simple and quick way of cooking a wonderful French peasant style dish of chicken, pork, sausage and lentils.

Place some chicken thighs and drumsticks in a roasting pan, add some chunks of pork belly. You could use a jointed chicken if you wanted. Drizzle with olive oil and place in a hot oven and roast for about 25-30 minutes.

Cook some large pork sausages in the oven, as these take less time, put them in a little later.

In a large pan, soften some pancetta, diced onions and peppers. Once soft, add a knob of butter and some flour, stir well. Now add herbs, wine and stock. Cook for about ten minutes.

In a hot frying pan, cook some chopped mushrooms.

Prepare the dish.

Take the cooked liquid, add the roast chicken and pork. Slice the sauages and add them and the mushrooms to the pan. I used tinned Puy Lentils, but you could use cooked lentils or a tin of another kind. Mix well and heat through.

Serve with crusty bread.

Grilled chicken on green lentils

 Grilled chicken on green lentils

For the grilled chicken, take a chicken breast, I used a free range corn fed chicken breast which I flattened with my hand (though you could take a rolling pin to it). I seasoned the chicken with seasoning and olive oil before placing under a hot grill for 15-20 minutes.

For the lentils eat a frying pan and add some chopped pancetta. There is no need to add any extra oil as there is usually sufficient fat in the pancetta.

Pancetta

Finely chop an onion. Add the onion to the frying pan with the pancetta.

I softened in a frying pan, the finely chopped onion with the pancetta. When the onion was nicely soft I then added some red wine and beef stock before simmering it down.

I use beef stock over chicken stock just because of the colour rather than flavour. I then reduced and reduced this.

Then add some sliced mushrooms.

I then added the green lentils, I used a tin, for convenience and speed. Once the lentils had heated through I then plated up.

On go the lentils and then slice the grilled chicken and place on top.

Serve with steamed vegetables.