Treat yourself and your partner to this recipe for Steak, served with Blue Cheese and Spinach Risotto
50g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
20g +20g butter
200g of risotto rice
100ml medim sherry
600ml vegetable stock
100g fresh baby spinach leaves, washed
50g blue cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE MEAT (can be omitted for a vegetarian risotto):
2 steaks (rump or sirloin)
a little olive oil for brushing
Place the crushed buts in a non-stick pan over medium heat and toast until beginning to turn golden and fragrant – keep an eye on them as they burn easily. Set aside.
then melt 20g of the butter together with the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent and soft but do not let it brown. Add the rice and cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly stir so that each grain is well-coated with oil/butter. Add the sherry and keep stirring until the liquid has been absorbed almost completely.
Add the hot stock a ladleful at a time (probably about 150-200 ml per ladle). Keep stirring until each ladleful has been completely absorbed, but do not let the rice dry out and stick to the pot. Once each ladleful is absorbed, add the next until the stock has all been added. The rice should be soft but each grain should retain some bite in the centre, perfectly al dente, which should take about 20 minutes.
If you can multi task, do the steak yourself while manning the risotto. Alternatively, ask your dinner companion to tend the risotto while you do the steak! When you have used up about half the stock, heat a ridged griddle pan over high heat until it sizzles when you sprinkle a drop of water into it. Brush the steaks with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and lay flat in the pan. Cook until moisture droplets start to appear on the upper surface, then brush with oil, salt it and turn over. After 3-5 minutes (depending on the thickness of the steak) test for doneness by pressing on the meat with a close pair of tongs. For rare, the resistance should feel like pushing on the fleshy part of the base of your thumb; for medium, like pressing in the centre of your palm. Remove from the heat and allow to rest, keeping warm.
Once all the stock has been added to the risotto, stir in the spinach and crumbled blue cheese. Once the spinach is wilted, stir in the pecan nuts and remaining 20g of butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Divide the risotto between two plates, top each plate with a steak and garnish with toasted pecan nuts.
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