Warm Steak Salad with Crispy Garlic Croutons

This is one of those “salads” that’s not really very healthy… but that’s probably why it tastes so good. The quick steak marinade complements the flavour of the meat beautifully, balancing the richness of the Worcestershire sauce with a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar. The garlic croutons are pretty awesome too, and could easily be made on a slightly larger scale to replace shop-bought garlic bread (believe me, they’re definitely worth the tiny bit of extra effort).

1 red onion
75g sliced button mushrooms
100g rocket
Olive oil
Salt & black pepper
A couple of lean beef steaks
Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
A couple of slices of white bread (ciabatta or a farmhouse loaf would be best)
2 or 3 cloves of garlic

Serves 2.

Mix the brown sugar, some salt and black pepper, and one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce in a medium-sized bowl. If you’ve never had Worcestershire sauce before, then bear with me – it really works with the flavour of the steak, but it’s not overpowering. Cut the steak into strips and pop it into the bowl, rubbing the flavour in with your hands, then put to one side.

Next, get the “salad” part ready – slice the onion and the mushrooms thinly, and get them sizzling in a frying pan with some olive oil. You’ll need to add the rocket right at the end, so it just has time to wilt and get coated in the tasty juices, but not enough time to go limp and slimy. While the onion and mushrooms are frying, take a couple of slices of bread and cut it into pieces a couple of inches square (it doesn’t really matter how big they are, or if they’re all the same). Dice your garlic cloves finely and fry them in a griddle pan with a slug of olive oil. Once they’re starting to smell really good (but before they start to colour) spread the pieces out across the griddle pan and then gently place the bread on top, so that all of the slices are in full contact with the hot oil. Keep a close eye on the bread and turn it over once it’s golden-brown on the underside, but bear in mind that it will be very hot, even on top, so turn it with tongs or a spatula! Once both sides have been toasted (you may need to add another drizzle of olive oil once you’ve turned the slices) move the bread to a plate, turn down the heat and take the pan off the hob for a few moments, to let that cool down too. Then tip the steak into the warm pan (beware – if it’s still hot, the meat might hiss and spit) and cook for just a few minutes, until it’s browned on all sides. Right at the end, tip the rocket into the pan with the mushrooms and onions and give it a good stir.

To serve, arrange the toast slices on two plates and divide up the onion, mushroom & rocket mixture on top. Finally, pop the steak slices on top and sprinkle a few drops of Worcestershire sauce over them. Perfect.