Recipes, Steak Recipes

Outside skirt steak w/ shallot purée & onion rings

This undervalued and underused steak gets the warm and familiar embrace of onions — two ways, no less. And I dare say, it is rather delicious.

“Steak and onions, you say?” “Sounds a little risky, that.” “Are you sure those flavours go together?” Well, buckle up people, your minds are about to be blown!

I am being facetious, of course. This is an alliance as old as time, two things that sing together. And that is especially true when the shallots are done in this way. Ignore the fact that making a puree at home is a bit ‘chef-y’ ⁠— get your blender out and give it a go.

Serves 2


For the purée

For the onion rings


For the shallot purée:

  1. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat, and then add the shallots and 3 sprigs of thyme. Season with salt and turn the heat down to low.
  2. Cook with a lid on, stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes.
  3. At this point, the shallots should be completely softened and sweet and swimming in their own liquid. Turn the heat back up to medium and cook with the lid off, stirring more regularly. You want the liquid to evaporate and the shallots to begin to caramelise on the base of the pan. Be as brave as possible here ⁠— the darker the caramelisation, the better, as it gives the puree a slight bitterness which is nice. Do be careful not to burn the shallots though, as that bitterness could turn ugly.
  4. Once some of the shallots have caramelised and taken on a bit of colour, add the cream and stir through.
  5. Continue to cook out the cream for another 5 minutes or so. Then add a splash of sherry vinegar and remove from the heat.
  6. Allow to cool slightly and then pick out the sprigs of thyme. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blitz until completely smooth.
  7. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.

For the onion rings:

  1. Take the shallot and cut slices across, about the thickness of a 20p piece, forming little rings.
  2. Season them lightly with sea salt and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Pour in the sparkling water, whisking as you go. Add enough water to create a batter that is about the consistency of double cream. As soon as you have reached the correct consistency, stop whisking ⁠— you do not want to overwork the batter. If there are some lumps in the batter, this is not a problem.
  4. Preheat your deep fryer, or a pan with vegetable oil in it, to 180°C.
  5. Place the shallot rings into the batter, making sure they are completely submerged and then lift them out, allowing a little of the excess batter to run off them.
  6. Transfer them carefully and in batches to the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy.
  7. Lift them out of the fryer with a slotted spoon and lay them on a napkin or some kitchen towel. Season with sea salt whilst they are hot.

For the steak:

  1. Remove the steaks from the fridge and their packaging about an hour before you want to cook them.
  2. Season the steaks well with sea salt.
  3. Place a pan or cast-iron skillet over a high heat with a tablespoon of oil.
  4. As soon as the oil begins to smoke, add the steaks to the pan. Cook on one side for 90 seconds, moving around the pan as you go.
  5. After 90 seconds, flip the steaks and cook on the other side.
  6. After another 90 seconds, add a knob of butter and a couple of sprigs of thyme.
  7. Keep flipping the steaks every 30 seconds in the nice foaming butter for 2-3 minutes. Regulate the heat so as not to burn the butter ⁠— foaming and brown is what we want.
  8. Remove the steaks from the pan and lay them on a plate and pour the foaming butter over them. Leave them to rest for 10 minutes.

To serve:

  1. Purée on the bottom, perfectly cooked steak sliced over the top, and then crispy onion rings. A little side salad will also be a nice touch.

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