Sirloin with Anchovy Butter, Asparagus & Honeyed Carrots – Fritz Brand

Fritz Brand's Sirloin with Anchovy butter Asparagus & Honeyed Carrots

Fritz Brand’s Sirloin with Anchovy butter
Asparagus & Honeyed Carrots

I love the way Fritz Brand cooks, he’s very talented, and has a charming way of teaching you step by step how to prepare his recipes.  He’s a perfectionist and very precise.  And he is a dab hand with a camera too.  I am thrilled to have his recipes on my website.  Thank you Fritz.

Fritz says, “There are a great many recipes for cooking steak out there, and rightly so, we all have different opinions on what exactly makes the perfect steak.  Personally the only rule I won’t budge on is never cooking it more than medium (that’s already pushing it, medium rare is preferred). Cooking a steak “well-done” is a sacrilegious offence and should result in your tong bearing rights being revoked indefinitely with your assignment to salad duty next time round.”

Ingredients

For the Anchovy butter
125 g salted butter
Half a pack (about 15 g) fresh flat leaf parsley
4 anchovy fillets
Zest of 1 lemon

For the Steak
2 Thick cut, matured sirloin steaks, 300-350 g each
2 Tbsp coarse sea salt
2 tsp cracked black pepper
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp smoked paprika

Enough firewood to build a respectable fire.

For the Asparagus
170 g asparagus spears
The juice of 1/2 a lemon (slice the other half in slices for garnish)
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

For the Honeyed Carrots
240 g baby carrots (or cut normal carrots into smaller chunks)
125 g butter
3 Tbsp honey
2 sprigs of thyme (optional)

Method

Rolling the Anchovy Butter

Rolling the Anchovy Butter

Let’s start with the Anchovy butter as that needs to set in the fridge a while before serving.

Divide a 250 g brick of salted butter in half, 125 g will be used  now, and the rest we’ll use for the carrots later.  Cut one of the 125 g blocks into smaller cubes, and let it come close to room temperature.  You don’t want it to go completely soft, just soft enough for you to be able to squish it with a spoon. Place the cubes in a smallish mixing bowl.

Remove and discard the large stalks from the parsley.  Chop up the leaves and add them to the bowl with the butter. Chop up the anchovy fillets just as they are, and add them to the bowl.

Zest the lemon using a Microplane, zester or a fine grater. Be careful not to remove with white part of the lemon as well, that pith stuff is bitter. Once you have all the ingredients in the bowl and the butter is soft enough, start mixing.  Don’t overwork it too much: you want to make sure everything is mixed evenly.

Spoon the mixture onto some clingfilm and shape it roughly into a log.  Fold over the cling film and form the log with your hands while pushing out any air bubbles from the cling film.  Hold the edges of the cling film tight on both sides and roll the log forward.  The log should tighten up and get nice and round. Keep rolling like that until it forms a nice even shaped log.  Fold the edges you had in your hands underneath the log and place it in the fridge to set. You should aim to have something that looks like a butter sausage, see the image below.

The Braai Fire

The Braai Fire

Next up:  build yourself a respectably sized fire. Light that sucker up and have a beer while monitoring the flames, just to be safe you know.

Right. Enough staring at the fire. Back in the kitchen with you. It’s time to tackle the carrots.  This is fairly easy to do but you have to keep an eye on these babies as they can burn easily.

Melt 125 g of butter in a small saucepan and add the carrots. Cook them on a low simmer for between 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how you like them. Be careful, the butter might bubble over in the beginning but if this happens just remove the pan from the heat and stir for a few seconds. When placing the pan back on the heat, the butter will soon start behaving when most of the water is cooked off.

After 5 minutes add the honey and stir well.  You can partially cover the pot with a lid but you really need to keep your eye on these every few minutes and stir them through properly. With the added honey they can burn very easily.  If you have a sprig or two of thyme on hand you can add them to the pot about 10 minutes into the cooking process.

You need to check when the carrots start to caramelise, mine took just under 15 minutes. Remove them from the pan as soon as they do because a minute more in there and they will start to burn. Even if you leave them in the pot and remove them from heat, the residual heat in the pot will still overcook them: so pop them in a serving dish immediately to allow them to cool down.

Honeyed baby carrots

Honeyed baby carrots

Hopefully you’ll end up with something resembling this.  I like mine well caramelised but you can remove them sooner if you prefer a little crunch.

To prepare the asparagus you need to remove the woody bits at the bottom of the stem.  To do this, simply bend the stem near the bottom,  it will snap at the right spot automatically like magic.  Dress the asparagus with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Ok cool, time to get to the star of the show: the steaks.  First off, when you remove them from the packaging, there is bound to be some blood and moisture on the surface of the steaks.  Dry that off with a clean cloth or some kitchen towel as the moisture will inhibit the browning process on the braai.  We definitely don’t want that.  Take your time and dry them properly on all sides as well as the plate they are on.

Mix all the dry ingredients for the rub together with a fork, and that’s that. Yes, this is the simplest part of this recipe.

When your coals are ready, it’s time to season the steaks with your fancy home-made dry rub.  Do this just before you put the steaks on the braai, otherwise the salt will draw moisture to the surface of the steak. As discussed above, we don’t want any of that! Make sure you season the fatty edge, as well as the other one. Leave no part of the steak unseasoned.

The exact cooking time for steak depends on too many variables to fully explain in this post. It’s something you learn with experience but here is what I did with these babies.  First, I cooked them for 2 minutes on each of the flat sides, turning every minute.  So that’s 4 minutes total for the flat sides.  The idea here is to avoid putting on too much colour too fast or you may burn the steak before it is cooked inside and that’s not ideal.

Remember to cook the edges as well, especially the fatty side as you want to get the fat crispy and rendered out a bit. Raw fat does not make for good eating.  Use the tongs to make the steaks stand up on the edges if need be. 1 minute on each of the edges should be fine.

Lastly, to get more colour on the steaks (colour = flavour) I put the steaks right over the flames for a minute on each flat side.  Remove them from the heat, and cover loosely with some tin foil, to let them rest while we braai the asparagus.

To braai the asparagus really takes just 2-3 minutes in the flames. It can be a tricky as you may lose a spear or two through the grid but you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelette, right? The trick is not to try and lift them up to turn them like you would a steak, but rather just gently roll them around on the grid with the tongs.  You’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

Remove the butter log from the cling film and cut about 1cm slices from it and pop these on the steaks. Watch them melt slowly into deliciousness.  Squeeze some lemon juice over the asparagus and you are ready to go, dig in!

I really hope you try this recipe out. It is friggen delicious.  If you think you are not a fan of anchovies, I urge you to try it hidden in the butter like this, it may just blow your mind!

Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE

Landskroon Paul de Villiers Shiraz 2012

Landskroon Paul de Villiers Shiraz 2012

Fritz Brand

Fritz Brand

Hi, my name is Fritz Brand.  I grew up in a small town called Heidelberg in the Garden Route and I now live, work and play around Durbanville in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa.

My passion for food started at an early age.  I always enjoyed helping my Mom in the kitchen as a young boy.  Looking back I think I only really helped out when there was baking to be done, as it usually resulted in me receiving a huge pot of something delicious to scrape (and sometimes literally stick my face into and lick) clean.

As soon as I was old enough my Braai training started. As many other South African boys, I basically enrolled as my Dad’s apprentice.  This process  took +- 20 years (some would argue that it never ends) and consisted primarily of fetching the wood, building and lighting the fire, making sure the grids are clean, assisting with the packing of the meat onto the grids etc.

I later got promoted to actually braaing the meat while Dad kept a watchful eye.  I did fairly well on my own, but every now and then when I lost focus and made some sort of bugger up, I got and ear full and received instruction on the steps required to sort things out. The fact that I only really lost focus in the first place when asked to run into the house to fetch Dad a beer always got overlooked somehow.

I must admit that at the time I would have probably enjoyed playing TV games much more, but looking back I was busy soaking in a wealth of knowledge that money can’t buy, so Dad, thanks being such a great Dad.

Fast forward a few years and I ended up in Durbanville studying to be an IT guy.  During this time,  social gatherings and the like represented a large chunk of my budget.

Junk food was high end food for me and my friends, but at times one had to weigh up your options.  Spend your last dime on expensive food, or make something to eat at the flat and spend your cash in a more productive manner.

I started fiddling about in the kitchen, making meals for my college friends.  It was soon discovered that I seemed to have a knack for this cooking thing and a new passion was born.

Fast forward a few more years and I got my hands on a copy of Anthony Bourdain’s book Kitchen Confidential.  I loved every single page of it and it inspired me to tackle a few more advanced recipes.  That Christmas I got a Victorinox Chef’s Knife under the tree and I’ve never looked back.

This site was started as a medium for me to document and share my findings in an accessible format, to help others on their way to becoming competent cooks. I am not a trained chef, nor do I claim to be a great cook (Ok I do, just a little).

The aim of this site is to share techniques, kitchen gear, skills and recipes using step by step instructions,  simple language and lots of photos to illustrate that cooking can be easy, enjoyable and fun!

Please feel free to comment on my posts and ask questions if something isn’t clear, I love hearing from you guys and will try my best to answer all your questions.

Cheers!

Visit Fritz’s website and get on his mailing list. CLICK HERE.

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March 27th, 2015|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , , |

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