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Steak with Roquefort Sauce

Steak, cooked

Steak: ingredients

Here is a meal you can make yourself from all natural ingredients in minimal time with little to clean up afterward. It never fails and requires very little of your time. I use one low-tech gizmo to save time and ensure success, but you can use alternative means at the cost of a bit more fussiness and time.

Start with:

We're going to cook the steak in a Tefal Actifry. This device is colloquially called an “air fryer”, but that is misleading: it actually cooks by blowing very hot air onto the food. This creates much the same effect as deep frying, but without a bath of hot oil or tendency to make the food greasy. What I discovered when developing this recipe is that, delightfully, when used on meat, the process triggers the Maillard reaction which makes flame-seared steaks so attractive in appearance and delicious.

Ingredients Start by drizzling a little oil (about a teaspoon or two, 5–10 ml) in the back part of the Actifry pan, below the hot air input. Now drag the steak through the oil, coating both sides and the edges with a thin film of oil. Ideally, when you're done, there will be hardly any oil left over in the pan. The Actifry stirrer should be removed; the steak will be stationary beneath the air vent (visible at the top of the picture). Close the lid, set the timer for 8 minutes, and press the start button. (There is no temperature setting on the Actifry.)

Roquefort sauce While the steak is cooking, place the Roquefort cheese, sliced mushrooms (drained), and a squirt of garlic purée in a small saucepan and put on very low heat. You can break the cheese up into chunks with a stirring spoon if you like, but if you don't it will still work fine. As the cheese melts, stir all the ingredients together. Once the cheese is melted and everything is mixed, turn the heat down to the lowest level or off and cover. You don't want to overheat the cheese, which will denature it and make a mess.

Steak: done When the Actifry beeps at the end of the 8 minutes, open it and turn over the steak, keeping it at the back under the air input. Set the timer for 7 minutes and restart. When it beeps again, the steak is ready. Take it out of the Actifry pan and put it in a bowl. Pour the juice from the pan into the sauce pan and stir it into the sauce, then pour the sauce on top of the steak. You're ready to eat! Steak: serving

Chips: ready to cook While you're enjoying the steak, let's get the Actifry busy making a companion: chips or French fries. Install the stirrer in the pan, and add your desired quantity of store-bought frozen chips. Try to get the kind intended to be prepared by deep-frying, not those made to be cooked in the oven. The latter will work, but may come out oily and less than ideal. Drizzle a very small amount of oil on top of the frozen chips, close the lid, set the timer for 15 minutes and press start. Don't bother cleaning the pan; the remaining juices from the steak will add flavour to the chips.

Chips: done When next you hear the beep, dump the chips into a bowl, give them a few sprays of Balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and bring to the table. Catsup? Catsup! What do you take me for, an American?

After dinner, cleaning up amounts to loading the Actifry pan, stirrer, and filter, the saucepan, and the bowls and silverware into the dishwasher. There's no grill to scrub, charcoal to extinguish and dispose of, frying oil to filter and eventually recycle, or other detritus.

The cooking times given result in a medium rare (à point) steak. If you prefer a different degree of doneness, adjust the time accordingly. This recipe and the Roquefort sauce also work well with boneless chicken breasts. When cooking chicken, you may have to increase the cooking time slightly so the cooked meat isn't pink in the centre—chicken should always be cooked well done to eliminate the risk of Salmonella. The core temperature of cooked chicken should always be at least 75° C.

This recipe is sized for one person. For two, simply double the quantities. Place the two steaks side by side in the back of the Actifry. The cooking times do not change. I have not tried cooking more than two steaks at once in the Actifry; since additional steaks would be farther from the air input, they may not cook as well—you'll have to experiment if you want to do this.

If you consider the sauce a Continental desecration of red meat, don't make it! The steak will be just fine by itself. If you prefer to use fresh mushrooms rather than store-bought prepared ones, start with around 250 g of brown or white mushrooms, cut off and discard the bottoms of the stalks, cut into slices and place in the Actifry pan with the stirrer installed. Drizzle a teaspoon or two of oil on the top and cook for 10 minutes. You can cook the mushrooms first and set aside to add to the sauce while the steak is cooking.

Bon appetit!

by John Walker
July, 2018