Sometimes all you need is a little something extra to shift a very simple meal up to the next level. And it’s worth making just a bit of effort to spice things up – otherwise the next thing you know, you’ll be eating set meals on certain days of the week, never trying anything unusual or testing anything new. Life is just too short to eat boring food. ‘Steak and chips’ is pretty commonplace, but add some pesto butter and make spiced potato or sweet potato wedges yourself and suddenly it’s fast and gourmet. Much better. Garnish with some torn fresh basil leaves for extra basil goodness.
Seared Fillet with Pesto Butter and Spicy Wedges
300g ostrich or beef fillet
2 tblsp basil pesto
4 tblsp butter
1 tblsp olive oil
salt and pepper
400g potato/sweet potato
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tblsp olive oil
1 tsp coarsely ground sea salt
Turn the oven on to 220°C for the wedges. Then while it’s heating, do the basil butter. The amount of basil butter made here will do about 4-6 steaks, depending how much you love it. A good option is to double this quantity, and make a good-sized compound butter log that you can leave in the freezer for many future uses. But that’s up to you. Measure the butter into a bowl, and leave on the counter to soften. OR nuke it in the microwave for 5 seconds (literally), but don’t blame me if you leave it too long and it all melts completely. Once it’s soft-ish, mix in the basil pesto vigorously until it’s nicely combined. Blob the basil butter onto a sheet of clingwrap, and wrap it up like a sweet, by shaping it into a log and twisting the ends. Pop it in the freezer.
Rinse and dry the potato or sweet potato, and remove any weird growing bits. Slice the potato into finger-width slices, and then slice the slices into slices. Toss the slices with the paprika, chilli flakes, olive oil and salt, and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a roasting tin. You need the salt (and maybe even a little more) to make the outsides crispy, so don’t skimp on it. Put them in to the oven to roast for about 25 min, but check on them and give them a stir once or twice during this time. Potato wedges will take slightly longer than sweet potato wedges.
About halfway through, rinse and dry the steaks, rub them with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook in a very hot pan (almost smoking) for 2-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak. If you look at the steak and think “that’s quite a thin steak”, go with 2 minutes. If you think “wow, that’s a pretty fat steak”, go with 4 minutes. When the steaks are done, leave them to rest on a board for 10 minutes. Cover them with foil if you’re worried about them getting cold. When everything is ready, cut slices of basil butter from the log, and place on top of the steak. Serve with the spicy wedges.