“Secret Steak & Chips with Garlicky Green Beans” from “Save With Jamie”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is called “Secret Steak” because Jamie is encouraging us to go beyond the usual cuts– fillet, sirloin, rib-eye and rump– and try skirt steaks instead, which are much cheaper but taste good. I’ve got news for you Jamie: Been there and done that.

We discovered “Secret Steaks” for ourselves back in June when we had “Bavette a l”Echalotte” from the Skinny French Kitchen. We liked it then, and we like it now.

It’s still a top tip from Jamie. However, in this particular instance, our butchers were out of skirt steaks that night, so we went with rump instead. It’s not as expensive as going for a sirloin or a fillet, but it cost more than the humble skirt steak. The dinner was delicious, but I’m not sure this counts as a faithful test of the recipe since I didn’t use the skirt steak.

The other thing I didn’t do– and will never do, to be honest– was use the frozen green beans called for in the recipe. There are several reasons for this. First, it is difficult, if not impossible, to find frozen green beans at the local shops. I tried a Sainsbury’s, a Co-op, a Waitrose and another Sainsbury’s, and couldn’t find them anywhere. Second, when fresh beans are plentiful and not that expensive, why in the world would you use frozen? So I used fresh, but consequently couldn’t follow the recipe as written.

The mushroom sauce was nice, but frankly not that different from any number of other mushroom sauce recipes I’ve used over the years. Fry onion and mushrooms, add cream, mustard and a splash of water. Hardly rocket science.

Finally, the other thing I didn’t do was follow the quantites for the amount of steak. Nicholas, 10, watched the program where Jamie made this (I missed it) and reported the next day, “He didn’t use much steak. That’s not how I would do it.” I can see what Jamie is trying to do– stretch the meal for as much as possible, which means cutting back on the steak to bring down the cost– but it’s not how I would do it. If we’re going to have steak for dinner, we’re going to have STEAK FOR DINNER, which means everyone gets his or her own steak. People (read: my family) wouldn’t be happy if they just got a few small slices of beef.

So would I make this again? As I haven’t even properly followed the instructions the first time, I’m not sure I can answer this question. Would I have steak for dinner again? You bet. But I don’t think I’ll be doing it the Save With Jamie way.

Here’s the recipe from Jamie Oliver’s website. But since I didn’t follow it, I”m not sure you should either. Click through this link to see for yourself. Share any thoughts you have about it in the comments.

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“Secret Steak & Chips with Garlicky Green Beans” from “Save With Jamie”

“Bavette a l’Echalotte” and “Pommes de Terre Sautees” from “The Skinny French Kitchen”

Maureen: I could tell you the French name for this dish, but I won’t. Let’s just say we’re having steak and potatoes.

Nicholas (10): Yeah! I love steak. When can we go to Hawksmoor next? 

Andrew: I love Hawksmoor. That’s why I picked it for my celebratory dinner.

Maureen: True. It’s not every day that you go out to dinner to celebrate that you’re now taller than your mother. But we digress. What do you think?

Nicholas: Nothing but yum.

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Andrew: Thumbs up, for sure.

Maureen: She recommended getting skirt steak from the butchers. I really wasn’t sure about it, but I followed the directions just the same. Thanks Drings for the awesome skirt steak. Not only is it an inexpensive cut, but it’s also delicious.

Andrew: I love these potatoes.

Maureen: Me too. They were a total faff to make and the pan is going to take a whole day of soaking to make it clean. But she did this really clever thing where you add just a bit of butter at the end so it tastes of butter but there’s hardly any in it. I will make these potatoes again.

Nicholas: Make the steak again too!

Maureen: I will. I promise. This was easy, quick and delicious. Win. Win. Win.

“Bavette a l’Echalotte” and “Pommes de Terre Sautees” from “The Skinny French Kitchen”