Having been set the challenge by the Irish Food Blogger's Association and Bord Bia to come up with an Irish dish using Irish beef in order to have a chance at this amazing prize to represent Ireland, it was straight on with the thinking cap.
I decided that I wanted to put together a dish that only showed Irish beef at its finest but other Irish produce too. Once I had that thought in my head the obvious choice was surf and turf, because what's a nicer combination that shellfish and steak? I know that this dish probably originated in Miami but it's often found on many Irish menus and this version is definitely Irish!
To me surf and turf is the stuff of dreams and the unltimate decadance. It was always the most expensive item on the menus I read as a child and therefore always unattainable. My take on the dish as a simple spring or summer salad however, is easily accessible and provides a light supper for one on those evenings where you don't really feel like cooking.
This is so incredibly easy to throw together that I can predict that I will be eating it every time my Beau is out for the evening from now till September! All the produce I used in the main part of the salad; the steak, the Dublin Bay prawns and the lettuce are Irish, sourced from my local butcher, fishmonger and greengrocer.
The first thing to do in this recipe is prepare the steak. Cover it in a little olive oil and salt and rub in, then leave it to one side while you prepare the dressing.
Measure the olive oil and balsamic vinegar into a small bowl.
Add the mustard, honey and chilli flakes.
Beat the ingrediants together using a little whisk or, if you have one, a milk frother is the perfect tool for mixing dressings. Once the dressing is well blended, add the capers and stir through.
Leave the dressing to one side and prepare your plate of leaves so that it's ready to go once the beef and prawns have been cooked.
Take a handful of the lamb's leaf and place on the plate.
Roughly chop up the half head of baby gem and add it to the plate too.
Finally chop your small handul of pea greens in half and throw them onto the plate with the rest of the lettuce.
Toss the leaves together with your hands and put the plate one side in an easily grabbable location.
Now for the exciting part - time to put the steak on. Make sure you add the steak to a very hot pan so that the meat is nicely seared. While the steak is cooking on one side, turn on the grill (I used my mum's George Forman) and add the prawns to it.
Make sure that your prawns are unshelled and have the vein removed, I'm lazy and got this done at the fishmongers. For the non-lazy amoungst you here is a helpful video on deshelling and deveining.
It's up to you how you would like to cook your steak but I did mine the rarer side of medium, which was 2 minutes a side for the piece of fillet that I had. Once the steak is cooked to your liking, move it to a board or plate and allow to rest.
The shrimp should only take about 3 - 5 minutes to cook on the grill. Once done, move to plate next to your steak and plate of salad leaves
Add the prawns to the salad plate. Thinly slice the steak with a very sharp knife.
Add the steak slices to the salad and drizzle with the dressing.
Serve while the steak and prawns are still hot, perhaps with a little crusty bread on the side and a glass of wine.