Steak is always a real treat in our house. It’s also probably my ultimate food of choice, be it at home or in a restaurant. I pretty much like it any way that it can be served…as long as it comes medium rare. I’m on a bit of a protein trip at the moment (and sounding scarily carnivorous), so I was certainly ready to tuck into a nice piece of Ribeye this weekend.

Dan was searching for something a little bit different to do with these quality cuts of meat, and after hunting through our extensive library, he came up with a recipe that can be found in Norman Van Aken’s ‘New World Kitchen’. The book focuses on Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, with this particular meal originating from El Salvador. ‘Bistro Con Huevos’ is essentially steak and eggs…with a generous helping of mozzarella cheese, ‘Pico de Gallo’ (tomato salsa) and a little red bean purée. Even with my bean phobia, I found it delicious. All of the full ingredients lists and cooking methods can be found in Norman’s book.

To make this dish (serves two) you will need:
– Two Ribeye steaks (180g)
– Two teaspoons of EV olive oil
– One portion of ‘Pico de Gallo’ (see below)
– 90g of mozzarella cheese (grated)
– Sunflower oil (for egg frying)
– Two large eggs
– One avocado (pitted/peeled/sliced with a squeeze of lime)
– One portion of red bean purée (see below)
– Salt and black pepper

– Prepare a griddle to a very hot heat.
– Rub each steak with a teaspoon of olive oil on each side plus some seasoning.
– Place on the griddle and cook until medium rare (turning once). Remove the griddle from the heat and cover each one with Pico de Gallo.
– Top the steaks with half of the mozzarella each and place the griddle pan under a grill for two minutes to melt the cheese.
– Transfer the steaks to a warm plate and leave to rest for five minutes. Meanwhile, fry the eggs in a little sunflower oil (sunny side up).
– Reheat the bean purée if necessary.
– Top each steak with an egg and serve with a side of more Pico de Gallo, sliced avocado and the red bean purée (all seasoned to taste).

To make the Pico de Gallo (serves two) you will need:
– Two medium ripe tomatoes (peeled/seeded/diced)
– A third of a small onion (diced)
– One jalapeño (stemmed/seeded/finely chopped – we used jarred)
– One teaspoon of garlic (finely chopped)
– Two tablespoon of coriander (finely chopped)
– One tablespoon of sherry vinegar
– One teaspoon of lime juice
– Half a teaspoon of salt
– Half a teaspoon of black pepper

– Mix all of the above ingredients together in a bowl and leave to stand for thirty minutes before serving.

To make our version of the red bean purée (serves two) you will need:
– Two cloves of garlic (sliced)
– One small onion (diced)
– One tablespoon of EV olive oil
– One teaspoon of cumin powder
– One bay leaf (broken in half)
– One tin of kidney beans (drained/rinsed)
– One cup of chicken stock
– One tablespoon of brewed espresso
– Salt and black pepper

– Sauté the garlic and onion in a saucepan over a medium heat for two to three minutes.
– Stir in the bay leaf and cumin powder. – Add the beans and stock, then bring to a simmer and cook until soft.
– Remove from the heat.
– Blitz the beans in a food processor until puréed, then add the espresso and seasoning to taste.

The flavours within this meal are incredibly well balanced. There is a complete contrast of tastes and textures, but they all somehow marry together in perfect harmony. Interestingly, the meat also seemed to take on the sharpness of the sherry vinegar and lime juice from the salsa. Biting into a succulent, well seasoned steak covered in a stringy cheese, accompanied by a runny (yet crispy bottomed) egg, a piece of creamy avocado, plus a helping of even creamier bean puree…is really rather decadent.

We served ours with a couple of corn tortillas, which worked very well. I loved the fact that I was experiencing maximum eating pleasure without a carbohydrate in sight! I challenge anyone who says that steak can’t be enjoyed without a side of chips…