Rib-eye steak is the cut to choose for these recipes, the one where the fat is marbled all the way through the meat, which melts into the flesh as it cooks and gives it lots of flavour. One thick steak weighing around 300g will stretch to serve 2 and becomes even more of a bargain if you can find a butcher who does an offer, such as two for the price of one (usually on Fridays).

Once the steak is cooked, rest it for a couple of minutes to let the juices out, then drizzle these over at the end.

Both of these recipes take little more than 20 minutes to put together. The first dresses the steak in balsamic vinegar; the rich dark flavours provide a great contrast to the creamy, savoury blue cheese dressing, which is rustled up while the steak is cooking in the pan. Match with crisp chicory, cut into wedges.

The second uses vinegar and boiling water to tenderise and soften the flavour of slivered shallots first. They are then cooked in the pan juices with butter and vinegar for a toothsome sauce. It’s so moreish, expect to find yourself wanting to lick the plate clean once everything else has gone…

BALSAMIC STEAK WITH ROQUEFORT DRESSING

Serves 2

        1 tbsp olive oil

        Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

        1 rib-eye steak, around 300g

        2 tsp balsamic vinegar

For the dressing

        30g Roquefort cheese

        30g Greek yogurt

        1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

        2 tsp red wine vinegar

        1 red chicory bulb, halved

        Handful of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

1      Heat all the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Season the steak well on each side then lay it down in the pan (you should hear a really good sizzle as it goes down). Cook for 4 minutes, lowering the heat if it looks as though the fat is spitting. Turn the steak over and cook for a further 4 minutes.

2      Meanwhile, put the Roquefort, yogurt, oil and vinegar into a small blender (or use a handheld one and a bowl). Season and add 1 teaspoon of cold water and whiz until smooth. When the steak has finished cooking, spoon over the balsamic vinegar. Lift onto a plate to rest for a few minutes.

3      Slice the steak into thin strips, divide between two plates and drizzle over the rested juices. Add the halved chicory, drizzle over the Roquefort sauce and scatter over the parsley.

RIB-EYE STEAK WITH BALSAMIC SHALLOTS

Serves 2

        2 banana shallots, sliced lengthways into thin slivers

        1 tbsp red wine vinegar

        1 tsp olive oil

        1 rib-eye steak (around 300g)

        10g butter

        1 tsp balsamic vinegar

        Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1      Put the shallots into a bowl, add the vinegar and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Set aside.

2      Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and season the steak well. As soon as the oil is hot, lay the steak in the pan (again, it should really sizzle as it goes down) and cook for 4 minutes. Turn over and cook on the other side for 4 minutes. Lift out of the pan and set aside on a plate.

3      Put the butter in the same pan and as soon as it’s melted, stir in the drained shallots. Season well and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Strain in the rested juices from the steak and stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook for 30 seconds.

4      Slice the steak and divide between two plates. Spoon over the shallots and serve with a crisp salad. Great with a cold beer.

QUICK NOTE…

This is the place to use up leftover soft herbs, as you only need a few to add a dash of colour and flavour to the shallots at the end. Parsley or chives are good, as is peppery rocket or watercress.

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