Treat your loved one to a delicious steak dinner without breaking the bank this Valentine’s Day with this recipe brought to you from our Budget Bites column.
The recipe calls for sirloin, which is a great wallet-friendly option that’s still chock-full of flavour. The Bordelaise sauce is a classic French accompaniment to steak made with red wine from Bordeaux, the perfect excuse to crack open a bottle to toast with your significant other.
The romance doesn’t end there… you can use the leftovers to make two or more delicious meals during the week (OK, more mindful than romantic).
Serve up a speedy bowl of creamy leek and pancetta pasta or try the red wine roast shallots with pancetta polenta. Plus, each dish uses just eight ingredients and the easy-to-follow instructions will guarantee night after night of tasty dinners.
As part of our Budget Bites column – where we’ve teamed up with Sorted Food to bring you easy, affordable, quick and (most importantly) tasty recipes once a month – the below dishes are perfect for time poor cooks on a budget.
We’ve also provided a handy shopping list for the ingredients, which are used across all recipes to ensure minimal food waste. You just need to decide where to shop, whether it’s locally or online.
- 2 large parsnips (approx 150g each)
- 200g loose white potatoes
- 400g echalion shallot
- 3 small leeks (approx 110g each)
- 30g fresh parsley
- 2 sirloin steaks
- 140g diced pancetta
- 165g cream cheese
- 50g unsalted butter
- 60g hard Italian cheese
- 375ml milk
- Vegetable oil
- 1 beef stock cube
- 200g dried pasta
- 75g coarse dried polenta/coarse cornmeal
- Dijon mustard
- 187ml red wine
Steak, parsnip mash and Bordelaise shallots
Bordelaise sauce is a classic french accompaniment to steak made with red wine from Bordeaux – but a small bottle of something cheap will do here!
Tips: Take your steak out the fridge at least an hour before you want to cook it.
Unwrap and blot the surface of the steak with a sheet of kitchen roll to get rid of extra moisture before cooking.
Try and use a stainless steel or cast iron pan that you can get hotter than a non-stick.
2 large parsnips (approx 150g each)
200g loose white potatoes
2 sirloin steaks
4 tbsp vegetable oil
100g echalion shallot
100ml red wine
1 beef stock cube
65g cream cheese
1. Prep the veg: peel 2 large parsnips and 200g of potatoes. Cut them both into bite-sized chunks and tip them into a medium saucepan.
2. Get it on: cover the veg with water by 2-3cm and season with a very generous pinch of salt. Place the pan over a high heat.
3. Simmer: bring everything to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the veg is soft throughout. Once cooked, drain through a colander over the sink and return to the pan. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.
4. Preheat the pan: tip 2 tbsp of vegetable oil into a large frying pan and place it over a high heat.
5. Get the steak in: season two steaks generously with salt. Once the pan starts to smoke, lay them in.
6. Fry the steaks: fry the steaks on each side for 1-2 minutes, depending on their thickness. Keep an eye on them – once cooked, the flesh should bounce back slightly when pressed and will have a slight firmness. We like ours cooked medium rare – when cut into they should be somewhere between light and dark pink. (They should bounce back slightly when pressed and have a slight firmness. When cut into they should be somewhere between light and dark pink.)
7. Rest the steaks: once the steaks have cooked, transfer them to a plate and cover with tin foil to rest. Don’t wash up the pan, we will need it to make the sauce.
8. Chop the shallots: Halve, peel and thinly slice 100g of shallots.
9. Fry the shallots: Place the pan the steak was cooked in back over a medium heat and add 2 tbsp of oil. Tip in the shallots and season with salt and pepper. Fry for 3-4 minutes, until softened slightly.
10. Deglaze: Tip 100ml of wine into the pan with the shallots and bring it up to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up any bits of steaky flavour!
11. Reduce: reduce the heat to medium, crumble in 1 stock cube and add 50ml of water. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by T and become syrupy. Get on with the rest of the dish while you wait.
12. Mash it up: once the veg has been cooked and drained, add 65g of cream cheese and mash until smooth with a potato masher. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
13. Slice the steaks: Slice the steaks crossways on your board from earlier.
14. Serve: Divide the mash between plates and lower on the steak. Top with the sticky shallots and serve.
Creamy leek and pancetta pasta
We use diced pancetta in this recipe, but if you can’t find any, feel free to use the same amount of chopped-up, smoked bacon.
3 small leeks (approx 110g each)
200g dried pasta
50g unsalted butter
100g diced pancetta
100g cream cheese
1 tbsp dijon mustard
30g fresh parsley
20g hard Italian cheese
1. Get the kettle on: fill a kettle with water and put it on to boil, this will be for the pasta later.
2. Prep the leeks: remove the green tops and roots from 3 leeks, then cut them lengthways and give them a wash under running water. Slice them thinly crossways.
3. Get the pasta on: add 200g of pasta and a generous pinch of salt to a medium saucepan – cover with boiling water from the kettle. Place the pan over a high heat.
4. Cook the pasta: cook the pasta for 10-12 minutes, until soft but with a slight bite. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.
5. Preheat the pan: tip 50g of butter into a large frying pan and place it over a high heat.
6. Fry the leeks and pancetta: once the butter begins to melt and foam, tip in the leeks and 100g of pancetta. Fry for 6-7 minutes, until the leeks soften. Get on with some washing up while you wait.
7. Add the cream cheese and mustard: once the leeks are soft, add 100g of cream cheese and 1 tbsp of mustard to the pan. Give everything a good mix and take it off the heat.
8. Mix it up: once the pasta has cooked, transfer it to the pan with the leeks using a slotted spoon or tongs. Toss everything together and loosen with pasta water if the mix looks a little claggy.
9. Chop the parsley: finely chop 30g of parsley and finely grate 20g of hard cheese.
10. Add the parsley: toss ¾ of the cheese and parsley through the pasta mix. Loosen again with a little more pasta water if necessary – we are looking for a creamy sauce that clings to the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
11. Serve: divide the pasta between plates and finish with the reserved hard cheese and parsley. Tuck in!
Red wine roast shallots with pancetta polenta
If you can’t track polenta down for this dish, use cheesy mashed potato instead.
300g echalion shallots
3 tbsp vegetable oil
40g diced pancetta
87ml red wine
1 tbsp honey
75g coarse dried polenta/coarse cornmeal
40g hard Italian cheese
1. Preheat: preheat the oven to 200C – this will be for the shallots later.
2. Prep the shallots: Halve and peel 300g of shallots.
3. Preheat the pan: tip 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil into a medium, oven-proof frying pan and place it over a medium heat.
4. Fry: fry the shallots in the oil cut-side down for 4-5 minutes, until deep golden brown. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.
5. Get the pancetta on: tip 40g of pancetta and 1 tbsp of vegetable oil into a medium saucepan and place it over a medium heat.
6. Render and fry: slowly heat the pancetta up, allow the fat to render from the meat, then fry it for 4-5 minutes, until golden. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.
7. Glaze the shallots: once the shallots are golden on one side, flip them over. Add 87ml of wine and 1 tbsp of honey – shake the pan to coat the shallots fully.
8. Roast: roast the shallots in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until dark, sticky and soft throughout. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.
9. Save the pancetta: transfer ¾ of the golden pancetta to a small bowl – we will use this for garnish later.
10. Add the milk: add 375ml of milk to the remaining pancetta in the pan, whack the heat up to high and bring the milk to a boil.
11. Add the polenta: once the milk on the stove has come to a boil, lower the heat to medium. Slowly stream in 75g of polenta, beating all the while with a whisk.
12. Cook the polenta: turn the heat down to very low and continue to cook the grains for 5-8 minutes. Stir every few minutes, until the mix slightly dries and has the consistency of loose mashed potato. Add a splash of milk if it starts to get too thick. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.
13. Grate the cheese: finely grate 40g of cheese, then crack on with a bit of washing up while you wait for the polenta to cook.
14. Finish the polenta: once the polenta is ready, take the pan off the heat and beat in ¾ of the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper- loosen with a splash of milk if necessary.
15. Serve: divide the polenta between bowls. Lower on the shallots and spoon over any residual glaze. Scatter over the remaining pancetta and cheese, then serve.
In response to the rising cost of living, we have teamed up with Sorted Food to bring you easy, affordable, quick and (most importantly) tasty recipes once a month. Find out more about Sorted and their nifty meal-planning app Sidekick at sortedfood.com/sidekick.