Get ripped, with steak
The muscle-building saucy steak
You don’t need Jake La Motta to tell you steak is a classic muscle-builder. “Red meat is high in zinc which maintains testosterone levels, and testosterone supports muscle growth,” says Chris Aceto author of Understanding Body Building Nutrition and Training (Nutramedia). The trouble with the classic recipe is it’s swimming in cream, and excess dairy reduces your body’s ability to absorb that vital zinc. The MH version solves this by using just a few tablespoons of sour cream. On the side, you’ll ditch standard spuds in favour of sweet potatoes. These contain more high-quality low-glycemic carbs, which provide a steady supply of energy, allowing your body to use the steak’s protein to reconstruct muscle tissue more effectively. The only thing we couldn’t sort out is a protein-enriched glass of Malbec.
Vital Stats: Per serving 864 calories, 33g fat, 12g sat fat, 65g protein 89g carbs
½ tbsp of large flake salt (maldonsalt.co.uk)
200g sirloin steak, trimmed
½tbsp black peppercorns
1tsp olive oil spray
½tsp fresh thyme
1 sweet potato
1 clove garlic
20ml beef stock
20ml low-fat sour cream
1 tbsp fresh chives
Four simple steps for a lean cut or extra meat.
Step 1: The tender touch
Sprinkle each side of the steak with half a teaspoon of Maldon salt, which is a better tenderiser than table salt and easier to rinse off. Leave them for 15 minutes and start on the veg.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Peel the carrots, parsnips and sweet potato. Chop the carrots and parsnips into matchsticks, and the sweet potatoes into 4-cm cubes. Toss everything in a roasting tin with the unpeeled garlic, coat lightly with olive oil and bake for 45 minutes.
Step 2: The sear factor
Use the bottom of a pot to crush the peppercorns so they’re chunky, but no whole corns remain. Unless you’re planning on subduing terrorists before dinner, you want to limit the debilitating effects of the spicy pepper dust by putting the peppercorns in a sieve and giving them a shake. Look away, hold your breath, or stick on your scuba gear for the shake down.
Rinse the salt off the steaks under running water then pat them dry with kitchen towel. Now press the crushed peppercorns into both sides of your steak. Preheat a heavy-duty frying pan over high heat. Once it’s hot, add the oil and sear your meat for about 3 minutes each side. When done to your satisfaction, cover with aluminum foil and ‘rest’ for 10 minutes well away from the dog. This allows the steak to reabsorb the juices that leak out during the cooking process, keeping it moist, tender and delicious.
Step 3: The brandy devil
Try to control your Pavlovian drooling with that eau-de-boeuf pervading the kitchen and dump the grease out of the frying pan into a throw-away container. This means it can go in the rubbish when it cools down instead of clogging your drain. And you can enjoy a night’s free entertainment watching the dog desperately trying to eat your bin. Add the Cognac to the pan and boil or, if you’re feeling flamboyant, flambé (set the alcohol on fire…keep a fire extinguisher close) for a few minutes to burn off the boozy edge. Add the beef stock and boil the mixture for 10 minutes, stirring often until it reduces by half. Meanwhile chop the fresh herbs. Stir in the low-fat sour cream, add the herbs and add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 4: The plate and the good
Check that Malbec is breathing nicely. Remove the roasted veg from the oven and stick on the side of a warm plate. Dig out the garlic cloves and squeeze the puree out of the papery skin and over the veg. Lift the steak out of the foil and lay on the plate. Top with the sauce. Show any vegetarians the way out, sharpen your steak knives and tuck in