Braai Week Part 4, Steak

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Steak

I’ll come right out and say it. I don’t like Steak. Yes, once again, I expect to be thrown with rotten tomatoes. I seriously would rather eat a juicy lamb chop or a nice fatty pork chop than eat steak. The only steak I don’t mind, is fillet. So for me, the most important part of steak is the sauce. I usually top a palm-sized steak with about 2 ladles of sauce. But then again, I am a bit of a sauce slut. If I could have creamy mushroom or pepper sauce with vegetables I would..actually, I think I have!

So for me, it’s less about the marinade but more about the sauce. Our butcher is really excellent and they have fabulous marinated steaks which I buy sometimes, but other times a drizzle of olive oil and soy with some cracked black pepper is more than enough. I like using Soy sauce with steaks because it just enhances the meatiness of the beef so well. It’s almost the same as when you use Bovril in a beef stew,  it just works!

I’m also a bit of a Steakhouse person when it comes to steak. I don’t like fancy schmancy sauces over my steak. I like creamy mushroom and pepper. That’s it. But when I make it myself it’s never as gloopy and floury as at a steakhouse. It’s light, flavourful and delicious. When we were in Malaysia I had a great Bearnaise sauce with my steak and it was nice, but not as nice as my pepper sauce.

And you won’t find a simpler sauce recipe than these two. One day I might venture further into red wine sauces etc. but for now, I’m very happy with my ‘bad taste in sauces’ as I’ve been told!

Steak

Creamy mushroom sauce:

250ml cream
150g sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1tbsn cornflour mixed with 2tbsn milk
drizzle of lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste

  • In a small saucepan, fry the garlic and mushrooms in a tiny bit of butter or oil for about a minute. Add the cream and turn down the heat. Allow to simmer for 7-10 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked then add the cornflour mix and allow to thicken. It mustn’t be incredibly thick. Just thick enough to coat your mouth pleasantly.
  • Add some lemon juice and seasoning and serve.

Creamy mushroom sauce on steak

Creamy Pepper sauce

1 tin Evaporated milk
2tbsn cornflour mixed with 100ml milk
2-3tbsn freshly cracked pepper / 2tbsn green peppercorns
Salt to taste

  • Combine the evaporated milk and cornflour mix in a small saucepan. Allow to come to a simmer and wait for it to thicken. Add the pepper and salt and serve.

Creamy pepper sauce on steak

I hope everyone has a fabulous braai day filled with smokey flavours and lots of raucous laughter. Be safe and DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!!

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Alida Ryder
Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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  • Kiki

    I also only eat fillet… the mushroom sauce sounds sooo yummy. My husband will adore it so will have to make it for him soon

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Let me know if you liked it!

  • http://tandysinclair.com Tandy

    love the new site! Have a super braai weekend :)

  • Lou

    Also consider using dried porcini mushrooms in addition to the fresh mushrooms; they bring a lot of mushroomy flavour to the sauce. Use the water from rehydrating the mushrooms as stock in soups, stews or even your mushroom sauce.

    The cream sauce can be used as a base for various other sauce options, even the black pepper one. Add smoked paprika to take the flavour into a different direction. Add a knob of butter for extra smoothness (you’ve already used cream so stop complaining about your weight/heart/colesterol). A handfull of grated cheese makes it cheese sauce but don’t always be stuck with plain old cheddar, unless it is a properly matured one. Think Parmesan, Brie, Blue, etc. You can even try a Mustard version. I usually fry up half an onion as part of any sauce recipe and liquidise it with the sauce. If you want a few chunky bits of mushroom, simply keep a few mushrooms aside for that purpose.

    Here is another trick: use Hoisin sauce (you can funk it up a bit with various additions like some chopped garlic, Teriyaki or Soy sauce, even Worcestershire sauce or HP Sauce) as marinade, preferably overnight. By the time you are done no one will ever know what you had used but you’ll get compliments aplenty.

    Roll the steak (works particulalry well with a whole fillet of game) in a mix of ground corriander (liberal quantities), ground cumin, black pepper, ground sea salt and chopped herbs (I go for sage, rosemary, mint, organo or a mix of these).

    Make sure the coals are scorchingly hot. Even better: take the cast iron grid from your gas grill and put it on top of the charcoal grill over the fire and heat the cast iron grill up. Best of both worlds. Now throw the steak on there, cook to your desired state; anything more than medium and your red meat privileges are revoked. Use any of the cream based sauces to serve. For game, which is particularly low in fat, you can add olive oil in the marinade.

    You do not need the spice/herb mix to make an excellent steak, or even the marinade for that matter. Mature, good quality steak on very hot coals plus salt are the minimum requirement.

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Thanks for the tip Lou.

  • Bigfoot

    By the way both sauces are delicious. So many unfortunate people say that they only eat fillet. Don’t get me wrong fillet is a great piece of meat and definitely has its place, but as far as I am concerned its nowhere near the braai. While fillet is extremely tender it is also seriously lacking in flavor. Perhaps this is why so many people prefer to have sauce with their braai meat. While sirloin/porterhouse or rump are well known for their flavor especially on a braai, why not try a ribeye? This can be prepared by your butcher, either with bone or without, or even with a bit of fat or without. This cut is extremely tender, like fillet, but also has a good flavor like sirloin or rump. An extremely underrated cut of steak. It is also still priced fairly well. But watch this cut eventually take the same route as chicken wings and ox tail, once considered offal now considered almost a delicacy.

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      I have actually eaten Ribeye before, although only once. It was really, really delicious so I’ll keep that in mind.

      My dad’s favourite is Rump and I also quite like it, I think I just prefer Fillet because I love the sauce the most. I’m not a big beef eater so I guess that’s why. :)

  • Jake

    For the mushroom sauce replace the cornflour mix with a packet cream of mushroom soup. This just heightens the mushroom flavour and quite delicious

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      HI Jake. I actually use soup powder all the time for my sauces, I just happened to use cornflour the day I was making this sauce. I love soup powder! I always have brown onion, mushroom and chicken in my pantry.

  • Tess

    Have you tried the Italian salad, bed of rocket with slices of med cooked steak (any cut will do)
    drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, topped with parmesan shavings? Oh, now I’m drooling!!

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Oh wow that sounds DELICIOUS!!!! :)

  • Yoliswa

    I tried the sauce with red wine on the steak it was divine. I love my steak but i still need to find the best way to make it. I know you say your not a fan but for some of us who use your blog to become kitchen goddesses ( I wish) please make an effort on how to grill or fry the perfect steak. I get it wrong.

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Yoliswa : I’ll work on a feature like that soon! :) Glad you enjoyed the recipe.

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