© David Loftus
1 steak 2 sauces
As a lover of good steak, I had quite a few conversations with people in LA about how they liked to eat theirs. This dish is a result of me soaking up all those vibes. Im pairing a cooked sauce, made with peanuts and spices, with a fresh green salsa that is going to send your taste buds into orbit. If you notice that your peanut sauce is lighter than mine, dont worry. The peanuts I used in LA were just darker. It will still taste delicious.
Take your steaks out of the refrigerator and let them get up to room temperature while you make your peanut sauce. Put a dry frying pan on a medium heat and toast the nuts and sesame seeds for a few minutes, until lightly browned. Add the oregano, cumin seeds, thyme, chipotle chile, and garlic and cook for another minute or so. Tip into a liquidizer with the extra virgin olive oil, rum, lime juice, fresh chiles, salt and pepper, and just over Ύ cup of water. Whiz until shiny and smooth, then have a taste and adjust with a bit more salt, chile, or lime juice if needed. Put to one side.
To make your salsa, get yourself a good knife and a big cutting board. Set aside a few of the cilantro leaves, then chop the top of the bunch, stalks and all, with the mint leaves, garlic, chiles, scallions, and tomatoes until its all very fine watch your fingers here! Sprinkle over a generous pinch of salt and pepper, then add most of the lime juice and a good lug of extra virgin olive oil. Mix together on the board, taste it, season with more salt, pepper, lime juice, or chile, and put it into a bowl ready to go.
Get a frying pan, grill pan, or grill screaming hot and season both sides of your steaks with salt, pepper, and a good drizzle of olive oil. Add the steaks to the pan or grill. Turn every minute and cook to your liking. Im going to give you some rough timings, but use
your intuition: a ½lb steak about 1 inch-thick wants about 2 minutes each side for medium rare and 3 minutes each side for medium. As it cooks, whip the meat with the sprig of rosemary and rub it with the cut side of the garlic clove for some extra flavor.
When the steaks are perfectly cooked to your liking, move them to a plate to rest for a few minutes. Cut them into ½inch-thick slices, spread the peanut sauce all over a large serving platter or divide between your plates, and gently put the slices of steak on top. Finish
with a few dollops of salsa, and scatter over your remaining cilantro leaves. Drizzle over any resting juices and let everyone tuck in. This goes beautifully with the Mexican street salad.
For the steak:
4 x ½lb toploin (strip) or rib-eye
steaks (approx 1 inch thick)
a sprig of fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, halved
For the peanut sauce:
Όlb roasted peanuts in the shell,
shelled, skins removed
Ό cup sesame seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
1 smoked chipotle chile, crumbled
(or 1 teaspoon smoked paprika)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
scant ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
a slug of rum
juice of 1 lime
12 fresh green chiles, stalks
removed, seeds left in
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Mexican salsa verde:
a small bunch of fresh cilantro
a small bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked
1 clove garlic, peeled
12 fresh red or green chiles, seeded
4 large scallions, trimmed
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
juice of 12 limes