Steak is a special treat. It is one of those dishes that you order when you go out to a restaurant as a special treat. I don’t cook it at home very often, saving it for special occasions like an anniversary meal or Valentines day. We will also splash out when we have a barbecue as there is something really special about the taste of steak cooked over charcoal. When Donald Russell asked me if I would like to try their pave rump steaks I couldn’t really refuse. Donald Russell are a butcher based in Aberdeen, their steak is from naturally lean, outdoor reared, UK grass-fed beef and has been matured for a minimum of 35 days.
The timing was ideal, I have been wondering about ordering from Donald Russell for a while but was unsure how well meat would travel through the post. I did not need to worry, the steak arrived on the day specified in an insulated box. The box contained dry ice packs to keep the meat cold and it worked really well. The steak arrived in the ideal condition. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide and freezes at -78C so needs to be handled carefully. I remember it being used in the theatre when I was taking part in plays as a child to produce atmospheric clouds of vapour. The dry ice packs were easy to dispose of and not dangerous.
I decided I was going to make a peppercorn sauce to go with the steaks. I love peppercorn sauce, the flavour works to bring out the flavour of the steaks perfectly. It is easy to make as well, slightly similar to making a white sauce but with a couple of extra steps. The steak would be served with mushrooms, tomatoes and a side salad. For the men in the family I also did some chips, it is almost obligatory to have chips with steak.
First I had to cook the steaks. I decided to fry them gently following the instructions on the Donald Russell website. They are very precise in their instructions, the steaks should not be overcooked. They need to rest for twenty minutes to come up to room temperature before cooking and after cooking left for ten minutes to rest. This allows the juice to move through the meat bringing out the full flavour.
It was definitely worth the effort, the steaks were delicious. Full of flavour, every mouthful was a delight. The steaks would make a perfect addition to a Summer barbecue, wowing guests with their taste.
I was also pleased with my peppercorn sauce. It had just the right amount of pepper and cream to complement the flavour of the steak. It had been worth tracking down green peppercorns in brine to make the sauce, which was not easy.
The sauce is made by simmering the peppercorns in butter then adding wine and beef stock. This is allowed to reduce and then cream is added. A little flour is used to thicken the sauce and in no time you have the perfect accompaniment to the steak.
Peppercorn sauce recipe
- 15g butter
- 230ml beef stock
- 3 tbsp green peppercorns
- 2 tsp cracked black peppercorns
- 30ml red wine
- 30ml cream
- sea salt, to taste
- 3 tsp cornflower
- 2 tsp cold water
- Melt the butter in pan over a medium heat
- Add the green and black peppercorns and stir.
- Add the wine and the stock, bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for five minutes until reduced.
- Add the cream and cook for five minutes until thickened
- Mix the cornflour with the water and add to the sauce.
- Stir for another couple of minutes until the sauce thickens
I would definitely use Donald Russell again, the steak was lovely and tasty and the delivery was straight forward. The meal was a definite treat which the whole family enjoyed.
I was sent the steak in return for an honest review.