A thick-cut steak from the sirloin, with a solid covering of fat, is a perfect sharer. Here offered up with a sumptuous combination of creamy beans and tangy radicchio. One for those with a sophisticated palate.
Cooking beans is a voyage of discovery, full of trials and tribulations as you work your way through all manner of different recipes and techniques. There is no right way, although there are plenty of wrong ways to the perfect bean, and different dishes will require a different bean.
This method here is my go-to when cooking a white bean. The key, of course, like with many other aspects of cooking, is a good stock. There is a whole book to be written about stocks and their place within our kitchens and hearts, but all I have to say on the matter here is: please use fresh chicken stock — it’s the only way.
Radicchio could also warrant several chapters, a vegetable of incredible versatility. Here it makes for a perfect counterpoint to everything else going on, all depth and vigour.
Sirloin for 2, white beans & marinated radicchio
1 head of radicchio, washed
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tsp capers
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- For the beans
100g dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water
1 shallot, peeled
2 fresh bay leaves
½ glass of white wine
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
450ml fresh chicken stock
1 tsp moscatel vinegar
- For the beans:
- Preheat the oven to 150°C.
- Drain the beans and tip them into a casserole pan, along with all the other ingredients.
- Bring the pan to the boil and then reduce to a very gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and place in the oven to cook for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Remove from the oven and check that the beans are tender. If they are, remove them from the oven. If they are still a little crunchy, then return them to the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Season with sea salt and Moscatel vinegar and stir well. Leave to sit for 15 minutes. Then return to the beans and taste them again, adjusting the seasoning as necessary.
- Remove the pieces of shallot and the bay leaves.
- To cook the sirloin:
- Remove the sirloin from the fridge and its packaging at least an hour before you want to cook it.
- Season the sirloin well with sea salt.
- Set a frying pan or cast-iron skillet over a medium heat with a tablespoon of oil.
- Stand the sirloin up in the pan, with the fat side facing down. Let the fat render for 2 minutes.
- Then lay the sirloin on its side and cook for 90 seconds. Then flip and repeat on the other side.
- Add a knob of butter to the pan. Rotate the sirloin so that it is standing up again, this time on the opposite side to the fat. As the butter begins to brown, baste the sirloin.
- Flip the steak onto its side again, continuing to baste with the butter, and cook for 30 seconds. Then repeat on the other side.
- Transfer the steak to a plate to rest, pouring the hot butter from the pan over it. Leave for 10 minutes.
- Halve the radicchio and then cut each half into 4 wedges. Cut the root out of each wedge.
- Return the pan to a medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Pull the leaves from the stalks of the rosemary and add them to the oil, along with the garlic. Fry quickly, without burning, before adding the radicchio and a good pinch of sea salt. Cook until all the leaves are wilted.
- Add the capers and a good splash of Moscatel vinegar. Toss together and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary – my preference is for plenty of Moscatel vinegar.