As the warmer weather approaches, many of us are taking advantage and eating outside a little more. And, there is nothing better to consume than a perfect steak. We all know how to cook the steak to our liking, but what should you serve with them? Let’s take a closer look at some of your options to give you inspiration.
Peppercorn and Bearnaise sauces are always popular with a good steak, of course. But, to add a little class to the evening, I recommend a shallot and red wine reduction. Just saute some finely chopped shallots in oil over high heat. Throw in some seasoning – rosemary and pepper, for instance – and garlic. Add some balsamic vinegar to the pan, and reduce down until it becomes a syrup. Then pour in your red wine and reduce by around two thirds. Then it’s a case of pouring in some beef stock, simmering for a while, and then removing all the garlic and rosemary. You now have a fantastic reduction to compliment the perfect steak.
Fries, onion rings, glazed carrots – we all have a favorite side with our beef steaks. But, be wary of serving the wrong side with the wrong type of cut. A fillet steak, for example, is a more deserving piece of meat that needs a little flamboyance with your presentation. So, try and create a side that is more worthwhile. A nice potato, squash and goat cheese gratin might be just the thing for a delicious outdoor summer meal.
With all that carbohydrates and proteins in front of you, it’s time to choose a salad to give you all your other essential nutrients. Classic watercress or flat-leaf parsley salads are perfect for evening meals outdoors. And, a healthy portion of buffalo tomatoes – maybe drizzled with olive oil and basil – are always guaranteed hits. Mushrooms are also a winner with steak – and there are some adventurous recipes out there for the perfect summer side.
Red wine is the perfect partner for a good steak – and the more full-bodied, the better. A good craft beer is also excellent – who doesn’t like washing down a large sirloin with a light glug of ale or lager? It’s also a little less formal than drinking a juicy red wine – perhaps even better for the garden. For teetotallers, there are plenty of other options. The sassafras infusion of an ice cold root beer can make your steak sing with sweetness.
Let’s not beat around the bush – steak makes a substantial meal, even if you are only combining it with a nice salad. So, for afters, try to avoid anything too thick and stodgy for your dessert. Go for warm desserts, which are sweet and light – a creme brulee is just the job in our house.