15 December 2016

summer lovin' (with lamb steaks and couscous)

KB has been away for work this week, so I've been left to fend for myself gastronomically (cue the world's smallest violin, please).  My Mum is a teacher, in the last week of the schoolyear (think crazy busy, no time to stop and complete domestic tasks such as making herself a meal).  It seemed sensible to team up, to ensure we both got a few good meals under our belts.  So, Mum bought supplies and I turned chef for the week.  This was the pick o' the week - nothing complicated, but bursting with fresh flavours (fennel, citrus, mint - I LOVE summer!!) and seasonal goodies.  We used lamb, but beef or venison would also work really well.  We had rump steak, but again - whatever you have will do, so long as it's going to be tender (so, for example, I probably wouldn't use a cut that is going to need slow cooking).  This will serve 4.  Buon Natale, it's almost Christmas!! 

Warm pear salsa
1 pear, diced 1 cm
1/4 red onion, finely diced
2 x little packs raisins (about 25g)
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds + ground coriander mix
1 1/2 tsp vinegar (I used cider)
2 tbsp water

300 g steaks (or however much will be sufficient for 4 people)
2 tbsp fennel seeds + ground coriander mix
salt and ground pepper
drizzle olive oil 

Couscous salad
1 cup chicken stock 
3/4 cup couscous (the little stuff, not Israeli) 
1/2 capsicum, diced
1/2 Lebanese cucumber (or third telegraph), diced
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp mint leaves, roughly chopped
zest and juice of 1 lemon
  1. Rub seasoning into steaks with a little oil, set aside to marinate - if you can do this several hours earlier, even better!  
  2. Combine salsa ingredients in a small pot.  Bring to simmer then turn down to low heat and cook for 10 minutes or so, until pears are soft.  
  3. Prepare all veges for couscous.  
  4. Bring chicken stock to the boil in medium pot.  Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat.  Leave for 5 minutes.
  5. While couscous is being left heat butter in fry pan (or on BBQ hotplate) and, when hot, add steaks.  Cook for a couple of minutes on each side (for rare), or a little longer, depending on how you like your meat cooked.  Remove from heat and set aside to rest for a few minutes.  
  6. Fluff couscous with a form and add veges.  Combine and spoon onto plates.  Cut steaks into thick slices and place on top, topping the whole lot off with a couple of spoons of salsa.  
NB: If you wanted a little more, I'd recommend frying up some in-season asparagus with this! 

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