Seared Fillet with Harissa Yoghurt on Toasted Ciabatta

I love a good steak – I think I have mentioned my red-meat love in a previous post – so it’s hard to do anything wrong with a good fillet. I tend to only buy it every now and again though – mostly when it’s on special, or I am having a serious craving. And I like it rare. It never fails to surprise waiters (waitstaff, sorry): after I announce how I would like my steak done, the response is usually “Rare? Are you sure?” (“Yes, thank you”) and then “Rare is when it’s raw on the inside”. Again, Yes. Thank you. And then it’s a tense 15min while I wait to see whether they have actually followed my instructions, or have decided that they know better than I do as to my preferences, and have decided to bring me a medium-rare steak instead. Rare = rapturous joy. Medium-rare = disappointed, but okay. Medium = extreme despondency/depression. What an emotional rollercoaster. This recipe is a bit of a cheat… It isn’t really a recipe, as such, but more of an idea of an easy dinner to put together. And it looks so pretty. So. Pretty. Like a girly, gourmet steak sandwich.

Seared Fillet with Harissa Yoghurt on Toasted Ciabatta

– adapted from the Woolworths TASTE Magazine
200g fillet (beef/ostrich/venison)
1 ciabatta loaf, halved lengthways
250ml plain yoghurt
1 tblsp harissa paste
Pickled beetroot
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and Pepper
Fresh coriander, de-stalked
Serves 2
Toast the ciabatta halves. Either under the grill in the oven, turning once (but watch out – they burn quickly once they get going! A mistake I have made all too often), or in the toasted, rotating and flipping as required to toast both sides and ends. You’ll probably need a fat toaster capable of taking a bagel to do this.
Destalk the coriander, but leave the leaves whole – they look best that way. Mix the harissa paste, lemon juice and a bit of salt and pepper into the yoghurt, and spread generously onto the toasted ciabattas.
Rub the fillet with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper and sear in a hot (almost smoking) pan, for 2-5 minutes each side, depending how you like your steak. Let it rest on a chopping board for 5min, and then slice thinly using a large, sharp knife. If you are adding the pickled beetroot, place the beetroot slices on top of the yoghurt, and then top with the fillet slices. Garnish generously with coriander leaves and serve with potato wedges/oven-baked chips if you are feeding hungry men.

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