RECIPE – Heston Blumenthal’s perfect steak & salad

I’m slowly working my way around recipes from Heston Blumenthal’s tv series ‘In Search of Perfection’ and today, it’s Heston’s perfect steak and salad.

You can check out my other Heston recipe attempts here.

This is actually the easiest Heston recipe I’ve attempted so far. I’ve only put off trying this for so long because of the extremely long cooking time (24 hours in the oven).

P1010419My attempt at Heston’s perfect steak & salad

Firstly, I had to get organised, I wanted to make sure I got everything going at the right time so that dinner would be on time.

How better than a timetable of sorts (yes, I’m a nerd).

scheduleI actually bought a very cheap lump of beef – next time I’ll pony up for something a little better. However, I decided to do a week of aging in the fridge to get a better flavour a la Heston’s Slow roasted rib of beef.

Aging your meat is, of course, optional.

Ingredients:

Beef

  • Rib of beef – mine was 1.5kg
  • Salt & pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • Smoked salt to sprinkle (My comment: I used volcanic salt)

Pickled mushrooms

  • 300ml red wine vinegar
  • 100g sugar
  • 200g button mushrooms – quartered

Mushroom ketchup

  • 1.5kg button mushrooms – roughly chopped
  • 75g salt
  • 120ml red wine
  • 60ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot – finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground mace (My comment: I substituted it with grated nutmeg)
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp cornflour

Blue cheese infused butter

  • Half a stick of butter
  • about 40g blue cheese

Salad

  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Dressing (My comment: it’s up to you but I did – 3 parts oil, 1 part red wine vinegar, a small dollop of dijon mustard & seasoning – mix well)

Method:

  1. Age your beef in the fridge for a week (check out this recipe for further details on aging)P1010387
  2. Take out the steak & let it come to room temperature
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 50°C (Use an oven thermometer) & blow torch the outside of your beef – work quickly & constant move around the flame. You’re just wanting to quickly brown the outside, not cook the insideP1010399
  4. Stick the beef in the oven for 24 hours (I had to keep the oven open by wedging door with tongs to get to such a low temperature)
  5. Pickled mushrooms – bring red wine & sugar to the boil & pour it over the chopped mushrooms, then fridge overnightP1010390
  6. Mushroom ketchup – sprinkle the chopped shrooms with salt & tie it up in muslin cloth. Hang the cloth over a bowl in your fridge as you’re trying to catch the juices. Leave overnight.P1010393(My comment: I tied twine around several parts of my hanging shrooms as they shrink & the bag sags overnight)
  7. Blue cheese butter – cut butter into slices, add blue cheese between the slices & wrap up in foilP1010396
  8. After 24 hours, take your beef out & let it coolP1010408
  9. Mushroom ketchup – Bring red wine, red wine vinegar, shallot, mace & cloves to the boilP1010405
  10. Add the salted mushroom juice & reduce by 2/3P1010406
  11. Mix the cornflour with a bit of cold water to make a slurry – you want to make sure there are no lumps, then add to mushroom ketchup. Bring to the boil & stir until thickened. Take off the heat & spoon in the pickled mushrooms.
  12. Heat a heavy based pan for 20 minutes
  13. Cut your iceberg lettuce & let it refresh in 20 minutes of ice water & make your vinaigrette.P1010407
  14. Cut the beef off the bone & into thick steaksP1010411
  15. Add a film of oil to the pan, let heat, then fry to your preference & let restP1010412
  16. Remove any blue cheese from your butter & melt the butter
  17. Slice your steaks, sprinkle on some smoked (or volcanic) salt then paint with the butter
  18. Mix your vinaigrette just before serving & add to your salad

P1010418I was lazy, I didn’t chop my cherry tomatoes – I like it that way.

So, how was the steak?
Good? yes
Great? yes
Perfect? no

It was tasty, and succulent, you definitely don’t need a steak knife to eat this, but was it perfect? No.

In terms of Heston’s perfection recipes, this was actually the most disappointing that I’ve tried. There was no wow factor. In fact, I preferred Heston’s slow roasted rib of beef recipe.

The mushroom ketchup had too much vinegar when tasted on it’s own. However, when eaten with the steak, it had a massive umami hit & matched it amazingly well.

The ice bath for the lettuce resulted in the iceberg lettuce being amazingly crunchy & I’ll definitely use the ice bath anytime I need to use iceberg lettuce.

Would I try this again? No, as I’ve gotten a better result with 5-6 hours than I did with 24 hours.

It just didn’t blow me away.

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3 Responses to “RECIPE – Heston Blumenthal’s perfect steak & salad”

  1. Another excellent report.

    I have to ask, did you not find the mushroom ketchup aggressively salty? Maybe it’s the way I do this but with the pizza sauce AND the mushroom ketchup I’ve found the salt used to remove moisture ends up spoiling the taste of the finished dish.

    Also, did you find the steak was almost a little bit *too* soft? Totally agree icing salad is the way forward.

    • Actually, after attempting the perfect chicken recipe, I tend to cut down on the salt suggested in Heston’s recipes. I’m very salt tolerant, but that chicken took me to the edge.

      I’d much rather season at the end if needed.

      I found the ketchup more agressively vinegar-y than salty and the texture of the steak was a bit different – I put that down to getting a cheaper than usual rib roast

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