Thought coffee could only be used in baking? Well, think again. Coffee (like chocolate) can also be used to great effect as an ingredient and flavour in savoury dishes too. This recipe was developed by Tim Anderson (of Masterchef fame no less) and it gives steak with a creamy mushroom sauce an unusual twist by using coffee and chocolate flavours. It may sound funny, but we reckon it’s worth giving it a go (and will make a nice change from fish fingers again).
For the steak
- 5 tbsp finely ground coffee (or you could use Fair Instant for convenience)
- 5 tbsp fairtrade cocoa powder
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 30g/1oz light brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 x 200g/7oz fillet steaks
- sunflower oil for frying
For the sauce
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 500g/1lb 2oz oyster mushrooms, cleaned and roughly ripped
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 200ml/7fl oz chicken stock
- 150ml/5fl oz miso stock, made up from paste
- 100ml/3½oz double cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the garnish
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced into 1cm/½in rings
- 100g/3½oz salad cress
- For the steak, preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- Mix together the coffee, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, sugar, salt and pepper on a large plate and press on the steaks so they are coated on both sides.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan until it is smoking then add the steaks, in batches if necessary, and brown them on both sides, taking care not to burn the coating.
- Place the steaks on a baking tray and cook in the oven for about eight minutes (for medium), turning once. Remove from the oven and leave in a warm place to rest till needed.
- Meanwhile, for the sauce, heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan. Add the mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes, gently turning a couple of times. Reduce the heat then add the brandy and tip the pan to ignite the alcohol.
- When the flames have died down, add the chicken stock and the miso stock. Bring to a simmer then add the cream. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then reduce until the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- For the garnish, heat the oil in a small frying pan. Add the onions and gently fry for about five minutes or until the onions are lightly browned. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- To serve, place a small amount of sauce onto each plate. Top with steak, spoon over more sauce and garnish with the fried onions and salad cress.
And for the final element, enjoy with a glass of whatever it is that most takes your fancy or even better with the person who makes takes your fancy!
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