Entrecote Hongroise

As I've said before, I prefer to cook steak in a frying pan because, as some of the precious juices are bound to escape, they can be incorporated into the sauce to give extra body and flavour.

Serves 2

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two

Entrecote Hongroise
 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
 3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
 1 small red pepper, deseeded and finely diced
 6 fl oz (175 ml) red wine
 1 level tablespoon half-fat crème fraîche
 ¼ level teaspoon paprika
 a few sprigs fresh watercress, to garnish
 salt and 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 shallots and pepper until they're softened and tinged dark brown at the edges – about 6 minutes – and remove them 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 yet, 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 shallots and peppers to the pan, pour the wine around the steaks and, still keeping the heat high, boil until reduced and syrupy. Then add the crème fraîche and stir it into the sauce, then season with salt and sprinkle in the paprika.

Serve the steaks on hot plates with the sauce spooned over and garnish with watercress. They're lovely served with jacket potatoes and a salad.

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