When I asked my husband what he wanted for his Father’s Day dinner, I wasn’t surprised when he said ‘steak’. It is the quintessential manly meal and it has always been a favourite of his whenever we go out for dinner. Until today, I had never cooked him steak at home. When I met my husband, I was a vegetarian, so he probably never imagined the day when I would be grilling him a steak, but today I did. After spending Father’s Day with our son at the Dublin Zoo, I treated my husband to a manly dinner of Peppercorn Filet Steak in a Port Sauce, Cheesy Garlic & Chive Potato Gratin and Steamed Asparagus accompanied by a glass of Spanish Rioja. He said it was one of the most memorable dinners he has had …. I guess that means I will be cooking steak a few more times.
Cheesy Garlic & Chive Potato Gratin
1 kg of potatoes peeled and sliced with a mandolin
150g Gruyere cheese grated
300ml double cream
6 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
A bunch of chopped fresh chives
Black Pepper to taste
This dish takes some time to prepare but it is well worth it. Using a mandolin to slice the potatoes will cut your prep time in half. My recipe is based on one from Rachel Allen’s ‘Home Cooking’. I use more cheese and garlic and less cream than her recipe, plus I’ve added chives. It’s the kind of dish that can be tweaked to your liking with regards to garlic and cheese. Rachel uses Cheddar cheese but I used Gruyere instead.
1. Turn your oven on to 180 degrees and butter a gratin dish (I used a round 23cm dish).
2. Put the sliced potatoes in a pot of boiling water and parboil them for 5 to 7 minutes then drain.
3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer 1/3 of the potatoes to the gratin dish. Cover the potatoes with 1/3 of the grated cheese, 2 cloves of crushed garlic and 1/3 of the chopped chives. Season with pepper.
4. Repeat step 3.
4. Finish by placing the remaining potatoes on top followed by the cream then the remaining grated cheese, crushed garlic and chives. Season with black pepper.
5. Place the gratin dish in the oven on a baking sheet and bake for 55-60 minutes until the top is golden and the potatoes are cooked through.
Peppercorn Filet Steak in a Port Sauce
2 x 7 ounce filet steaks
2 tablespoons of peppercorns
1/4 cup of beef stock
1/4 cup of port
olive or vegetable oil for frying
1. Bash the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar then rub all over the filet steaks.
2. Rub oil over a grill pan then place it on a medium-high heat. Grill the steaks on both sides as per your preference (rare, medium, well done). Take the steaks off the grill and cover them to keep them warm.
3. Add the beef stock and port to the grill pan and cook to reduce the sauce by 1/3 (approximately 3 minutes).
4. Serve the steaks with the port sauce drizzled over top and a glass of red wine (I recommend Spanish Rioja)