Don’t make a song and dance of it… just cook steak!
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Take That Look Off Your Face is a song from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s musical, Tell Me On A Sunday, a one-woman, one-act show about an English girl moving to New York and her various relationships, first staged in 1980 following a successful concept album starring Marti Webb. The show was later combined with Lloyd Webber’s Variations ballet and renamed Song And Dance, a Broadway version of which earned Bernadette Peters a Tony Award.
In 2003, Tell Me On A Sunday was once more adapted as a very successful stand-alone show starring Denise Van Outen. The stand-out hit of the show, Take That Look Off Your Face (which may be unique in the musical theatre repertoire as being the only song to mention corduroy trousers) is “the girl’s” reaction to being told by a girlfriend the news of her boyfriend’s infidelity, ranging from disbelief to anger at her friend’s apparent glee.
“What does that have to do with steaks?”I hear you cry.Ermm… look what’s that behind you? (runs away…)
This post is really the result of me staring, uninspired, at supermarket shelves and dithering… and when you reach that point, steak is the only solution – you can make it as fancy as you like, or pretty basic as it is here… but it’s always a winner – so take that look off your face, slip on your corduroy trousers and get going!
A garlic and herb butter is a classic garnish for a steak and it’s so easy to make. Chop the herbs (parsley is the usual suspect here, but feel free to mix it up), crush the garlic and mix into the soften butter. Tip the whole thing onto a piece of foil and, using the foil, roll it into a sausage shape. Seal the foil and refrigerate – you can freeze any leftovers, making it handy for any quick midweek steak dinner fixes like this one!
You probably have your own reliable way of cooking steaks, so do that – but here’s how I cook them, bearing in mind that I like rare steaks. I used a stainless steel pan, so it will need a little oil, but, if you’re using non-stick, you can leave this out (and will get a better colour without).
First, heat a frying pan with a little oil and season both sides of the steaks. Sear the fatty side of your steaks – not only will this crisp up the fat nicely, but the rendered fat in the pan will give your meal a better flavour. After a couple of minutes, lay the steaks flat. I find it best to flip steaks regularly, keeping the pan hot. I normally flip after 30 seconds but, as these were pretty thick, I started with a minute each side and then 30 seconds each side, until the steak had been cooking for 4 minutes. If you want to check, make a small incision into the steak but also give them a good prod with your finger (you’ll soon get used to how your perfect steak feels). Let the steaks rest somewhere warm for five minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the mushrooms and onions in the same pan. Serve the steaks with any juices, the mushrooms, onions, a slice of the butter and a side salad (dressed with Je Vinaigrette Rien of course) for a speedy light evening meal.