Beef rib tacos with charred pepper & corn salad
- 280g Genuine Rib-Eye Steak
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch flaked sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- FOR THE RUB
- 1/4 tbsp Chinese five spice
- 1 tbsp hot smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- FOR THE SALAD
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 x pointed red pepper, de-seeded and cut into 1cm wide strips
- 200g baby corns, chopped into 1 inch lengths
- 400g tin Borlotti beans
- 6 x spring onions, white only, chopped
- 1x lemon, juice only
- Flaked sea salt
- 1/4 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 x ripe avocado, chopped into large chunks (Hass are best; the rough skinned ones)
- FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 tbsp crème fraiche
- 1 tbsp water
- Green parts of the spring onions, finely chopped
- 4 x soft corn tortillas
Somewhere in between a soft taco and a tostada, depending on how you far you take the tortilla, but that's where the Mexican connection ends. The obvious suspects here would be lime, coriander and possibly a bit of fajita seasoning. But that would taste like every other pseudo Mexican dish on the planet and this is West Coast Foods where we like to shake it up a bit. Flavour has to work and every single ingredient must play its part. Scotch rib steak gives a one-two punch with some surprising spices and is served alongside a vibrant salad of beans with charred pepper and crunchy baby corns. No lime juice, no coriander, just some soft avocado for a wonderfully creamy sexy edge. We promise you; it's an absolute belter of a dish.
1. First, you must bring your steak to room temperature. Why? Because when a cold steak hits a hot pan it will lower the temperature of the pan and you will end up with tough steak. Also, with a cold steak the heat will take longer to penetrate and therefore cook less evenly. Thirdly, too cold to too hot will cause the muscle fibres to bunch up in shock and be far less tender on the palate. Steak cookery 101; it's all in the detail.
2. Whilst your steak relaxes out of the cold, you can do the salad and the sauce. Heat a heavy frying pan over a medium heat, and when it is hot add a tsp of oil. If you add the oil before the pan is hot, it will take an age to heat. Hot pan; then oil.
3. To the hot oil, add the pepper and the corn plus a pinch of salt. You can shake it, stir it or toss it, whichever you feel more comfortable with. Just keep it moving now and again, and get it charred all over. This will take around ten minutes. Once done, set aside to cool slightly.
4. In a large bowl, add the drained beans with a good pinch of salt, the chopped spring onion (remembering to save the green part for the sauce), the lemon juice and the merest hint of crushed garlic. Tip in the charred veg too. The avocado can go in at the last minute. Here at West Coast Foods we like to use a lot of fresh herbs but in this recipe we have deliberately left them out. Why? Because it is actually more interesting without; you don't have to throw everything at a dish for great results. Less is always more.
5. That steak should be nicely relaxed by now, and we are almost ready to go. Mix the crème fraiche with the water and spring onion; set aside in a little dish.
6. You need to mix the spices together for the rub. A word about this. Firstly, it is an unusual mix. Star anise (the dominating flavour in Chinese five spice), is known to bring out the really savoury elements of beef. Not many of us have ground star anise kicking about so Chinese Five Spice is the obvious choice; used sparingly it is an excellent flavour enhancer that doesn't taste remotely Eastern. Cocoa; great for beef, again accentuates all that flavour and brings an essential bitter edge into play. Paprika; many types of paprika are readily available now and the hot stuff packs a punch far more elegantly than chilli ever could. Go smoky if you can get it. Virtually the same as chilli, paprika makes the mouth water and increases the sensation of flavour on the palate. Paprika burns really easily so we are going to add the spice at the end not the beginning.
7. Steak time. Always cook steak whole and then slice it; you get far better flavour and texture that way. Rub the teaspoon of oil into the steak, on both sides. Heat a heavy, preferably cast iron, pan over a high heat. We are going for medium, to medium rare; juicy, with a slight bit of pink. It's going to soak up those spices and stay moist on the palate. 2 minutes on the first side; 1.5 on the other.
8. When the pan is hot (use a flat hand hovering above to judge) add a good pinch of salt to the centre and add the steak. Don't move it, push it, or prod it. Just leave it there to do its thing. When 2 minutes are up, turn it over. Give it another 1.5 minutes and remove the pan from the heat.
9. Working quickly, shake the spices over the steak (a tea strainer is handy here). Give it a few seconds for the cocoa to melt, then turn it over. 10 seconds later remove from the pan and place on a board.
10. Set the table, add the avocado to the salad, and place a non-stick frying pan over a high heat for the tortilla. Cook each tortilla in the dry hot pan, for anything between 30 seconds to several minutes on each side; less time gives you soft taco, more and you have crisp tostada.
11. After the steak has sat for a few minutes, slice it as thinly as you can.
12. Serve all together, casual style, and let people get what they want.
Nutrition (per serving): 895 calories, 423 calories from fat, 48.2g total fat, 75.9mg cholesterol, 665.9mg sodium, 1498.8mg potassium, 84.8g carbohydrates, 21g fibre, 11.9g sugar, 43.5g protein.PRINT RECIPE