Mid-week treat meal – steak with ratatouille and mustard potatoes

steak with ratatouille

To celebrate payday and the beginning of June’s budget, I wanted to make a couple of ‘treaty’ meals this week.  After flipping through my copy of Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals (a lovely Christmas present from my grandparents) I was inspired by his grilled steak, ratatouille and saffron rice recipe.

It’s very difficult for me to make a recipe without tweaking and changing it, and this was no exception.  I skipped the aubergine, parley, yoghurt (actually I just forgot this) and anchovies, used white instead of red onion, wholegrain instead of french mustard and vegetable instead of olive oil for the cooking.  Most notably, Dave isn’t mad keen on rice, and I try to only serve it once a week or so, so I replaced the saffron rice with boiled potatoes dressed in a little of the mustardy steak dressing. The recipe called for sirloin steak, which I duly ordered, but Tesco substituted it for a more expensive fillet steak (only charging me the original price) and it was lovely too.  In the recipe, I’ve indicated that you can use either.

It was the first time I’d made this and I’d definitely make it again.  It took me more than 15 minutes due to all the changes I made, but it was still quick and really, really good.  The mustardy potatoes were especially good and we both thought they were nicer with the meal than rice would have been.

steak and ratatouille

Steak with quick ratatouille and mustardy potatoes (serves 2 at £2.92 per portion)

  • 1 250g sirloin or fillet steak £4.50 (Tesco)
  • 1 tsp paprika 3p (58p / 46g, Asda)
  • 3 small potatoes, cut in half 24p (£2 / 2.5kg, Morrisons)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 6p (£1.99 / 500ml, Morrisons)
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard 3p (65p / jar, Asda)
  • juice of 1/2 small lemon or 1/4 a large one 5p (49p / 5, Tesco)

For the ratatouille:-

  • 1 courgette, cut in half lengthways 40p (£1.60 / 4, Tesco)
  • 1 pepper, cut into chunks 23p (£1.35 / 6, Tesco)
  • 1 small onion, chopped roughly 3p (49p / 1kg, Morrisons)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed 4p (49p / 3 bulbs, Tesco)
  • 1/3 tin chopped tomatoes 11p (Tesco)
  • 1 tsp harissa paste 8p (£1.37 / 90g, Asda)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil 1p (£1.45 / litre, Tesco)
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar 3p (£1 / 250ml, Asda)
  • handful fresh basil leaves (free from windowsill)

steak with ratatouille 2

Put the potatoes on to boil in a saucepan full of salted water.

Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan over a high heat, and when hot, arrange the courgette halves and chunks of pepper on the pan.  Turn once charred and when cooked on both sides, remove the vegetables.  Slice the courgette halves into half-rounds.

Heat the vegetable oil over a medium heat and add the onions.  Cook for a few minutes until starting to turn translucent, and add the peppers and courgettes, garlic and harissa paste to the pan.  Stir for a minute, then add the chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and a splash of water.  I tasted at this point and added a big pinch of sugar as well as a little salt and pepper.  Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally and adding a further splash of water if it dries out too much.

Rub the paprika into the steak, along with salt and pepper.  Bring the griddle pan back up to a high heat, and once it’s started to turn white, brush with a little bit of vegetable oil and add the steak to the pan.  Cook to desired rareness level – ours was a thick fillet steak, and I ended up cooking it for about 5 minutes on each side to get it on the rare side of medium (I like it rarer but Dave doesn’t).

Meanwhile, mix the lemon juice, mustard and olive oil to make the mustardy dressing, and season.  When the potatoes are done, drain them and toss in half the dressing.  When the steak is done, slice thinly, put half on each plate, and drizzle with the remaining dressing.  Serve with the ratatouille and scattered with basil leaves, if you have any growing.

At £2.92 per portion, this not cheap, maybe the most expensive meal I’ve blogged.  BUT it is miles cheaper and healthier than going out for dinner would have been.  By slicing the steak and splitting between the two of us (which Jamie seems to do in most of the 15 minute recipes), it also makes the meal much cheaper than having the usual steak each with salad and chips.

steak with ratatouille 3

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