Entrecote Marchand de Vin

This classic French recipe has the simplest possible sauce for a fried steak. The red wine bubbles down and deglazes the pan so that all the lovely flavours of the steak are incorporated into the sauce.

Serves 2:

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two.

Entrecote Marchand de Vin
 2 entrecôte or sirloin steaks weighing about 8 oz (225 g) each, removed from the fridge about 1 hour before you need them
 1 tablespoon light olive oil
 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
 6 fl oz (175 ml) red wine
 freshly milled black pepper
You will also need a solid frying pan with a diameter of 10 inches (25.5 cm).


First of all, heat half the oil in the frying pan over a high heat, then fry the chopped onion until it's softened and tinged dark brown at the edges – about 6 minutes – and remove to a plate. Now add the remaining oil to the pan and, keeping the heat high – the pan should be as hot as you dare – season the steaks with coarsely milled black pepper, but no salt, as this encourages the juices to come out.

Now add the steaks to the hot pan and press them gently with a spoon so that the underneath is seared and becomes crusty. Cook the steaks for about 3 minutes each side for medium, 2 for rare and 4 for well done. Then, about 2 minutes before the end of the cooking time, return the onion to the pan, pour the wine around the steaks and, keeping the heat high, boil until reduced and syrupy. Serve the steaks on hot plates with the sauce spooned over. Oven-roasted Chunky Chips and a green salad would be very good with this.

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