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Perfect steak! The Olive Branch’s co-owner and head chef Sean Hope reveals how to cook the perfect steak, served with his own mustard béarnaise


VERY carnivorous chef needs to know how to make the perfect steak. It’s not rocket science, but we’ve all eaten steaks – whether sirloin, rump, bavette or whatever – that don’t quite cut the mustard. The first thing to say is that you need a good supplier. Look for cuts of beef that have a rich, deep-red colour with even marbling. Stay away from bright red cuts and buy local where possible. At The Olive Branch we love to use English Longhorn beef. Once you’ve got your steak, remove it from the fridge around 20 minutes before cooking and pat it dry with kitchen paper. Allow it to come to room temperature. Next, get your griddle or frying pan to a really high temperature – hot enough to hear the sizzle when you place the meat into the pan. A pan that’s too cool can result in toughness. Add a knob of butter to the pan and sprinkle the steak with black pepper and sea salt flakes. Then gently place the steak in the pan. To take a 170g (6oz) steak to medium rare, cook for 2–3 minutes each side. Turn your steak gently and just once to avoid losing precious juices and drying out the meat. Be careful not to overcook it. Then remove the steak and let it rest for the same amount of time each side. The resting is crucial because it allows the juices to move evenly throughout the whole steak. This develops its flavour and tenderness. Enjoy your steak! And why not serve it with this mustard béarnaise?

SEAN HOPE’S ENGLISH MUSTARD BÉARNAISE Serves 4–6 • 2 egg yolks • 1 shallot, finely diced • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped • 200g fresh, unsalted, melted butter • 1 level tsp English mustard 1 Combine the egg yolks, shallot, vinegar and tarragon in a round-bottom bowl. 2 Whisk over a bain-marie (hot-water bath), so that the heat from the steam causes the egg yolk to go fluffy. 3 Very gradually pour the melted butter into the bowl, whisking the ingredients all the time until the mixture starts to thicken up. If it gets too thick, dilute it with hot water. 4 At the last minute, add the mustard and season to taste. Serve with your steak. A FASCINATING ADVENTURE INTO THE UNKNOWN On 11 October at The Olive Branch we’re really looking forward to being joined for dinner by a chap The Telegraph describes as “the man with the amazing palate”. Wine expert Steve Daniel has a knack for discovering amazing, often radical hidden gems and he’ll be in Clipsham on 11 October to host a seven-course wine dinner. Steve is credited as the person who first brought Chilean wines to the UK and as the pioneer who showed us that Greek wines could be amazing. We’re in for a real treat and it’s going to be a fascinating adventure into the unknown! If you’re interested, please visit our website – – or call 01780 410355.


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Rutland Living Sept 2017  
Rutland Living Sept 2017