Flash-Fried Steak with White Bean Mash
When I was a child, steak houses always had something called minute steak, as in minnit, on the menu, economically attractive portions that needed a mere 60 seconds to cook through. In our house they were pronounced mynewt steaks, as if in baffled disappointment at the meagerness of the meat provided. It’s hard to throw off the idea that a steak should be something chunky and big enough to get your teeth into and I certainly like my meat rare. When I’m asked at a restaurant how I want my steak cooked, I tell them just to hit it on the head and walk it straight through. So I can do a proper, fleshly steak supper pretty damn fast, but when you’re really up against it, this is the perfect almost-instant dinner. Under five minutes is what I’m talking about from start to finish — and that isn’t bad. I could hone it down by sticking to the minute steak idea, and it’s fine, only there’s something a little school dinners about those sad little straggly rags of steam. This is my compromise: slender but still substantial steak that cooks for 90 seconds a side. And in that time, I’ve produced a garlicky, lemony, ultrafabulous, utterly addictive bean mash. Below makes enough for four, more if there are children eating too, but I have to come clean and say that I don’t quite halve the amounts for the mash when there are just two of us eating. This is just too good, and I simply go down to two cans and a little less of everything else. I’m afraid I don’t really want to reduce anything at all.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
Recipe Coursemain course
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturemeaty, savory
- ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- most of 1 clove garlic, crushed
- grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 3 14-oz cans white beans
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 thin-cut sirloin or entrecote steaks, about 5 oz each
First get on with the beans: Put the ¼ cup of olive oil in a saucepan, mince in the garlic, add the lemon zest, and warm through.
Drain the beans and rinse under a tap to get rid of the gloop, then add to the pan and warm through, stirring and squishing with a wide, flat spoon so that the beans go into a nubbly mush. Add the rosemary sprig, if using, and season to taste; some beans come saltier than others.
Meanwhile, heat a teaspoon of oil in a large skillet and cook the steaks on high for 1½ minutes a side. Remove to warmed plates, sprinkling some salt and pepper, to taste, over them as you do so.
Squeeze the lemon juice into the hot pan and let it bubble up with the meaty oil, then pour over the steaks. Serve immediately with the mash.
2007 Nigella Lawson