Catalan Steak

For as long as I can remember, I've always been partial to a good steak. My dad used to cook me almost inedible ones when I was very young, so I soon learnt how to do it properly. After I taught him the importance of searing the meat at the right temperature and the even greater importance of leaving it to rest properly, the quality of his own steak dinners improved dramatically. What makes this recipe specifically Catalan is simply that I cooked it here in Barcelona, using entirely Catalan produce.


200g rump steak
150g rovellones de país (Catalan mushrooms)
2 cloves garlic
150ml Rioja wine
20g brown sugar
20g butter
small bunch flat-leaf parsley
black pepper
olive oil


The most important thing is to start with the best quality produce. Use rump or sirloin rather than fillet because the rump has far better flavour and if sourced from a reliable butcher can be perfectly tender. Note the fat marbling in my steak - this is what you are looking for. And use local, fresh, seasonal wild mushrooms if at all possible. Failing that, use whatever open cap mushrooms are available and make sure they are fresh.

Finely slice the garlic, cut the mushrooms into big chunky pieces and roughly shred the parsley.

Pour the red wine into a pan, add the sugar and bring to the boil. Now turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and allow to reduce slowly, for a rich sauce. Put the rovellones into a frying pan with some bubbling butter, the sliced garlic, a pinch of salt and a generous grinding of freshly cracked black pepper. Let the mushrooms tenderise for a while before adding the parsley for the last minute of cooking. Meanwhile, slowly heat a second pan with a good splash of olive oil for the steak.

Make sure the oil is really hot - on the verge of smoking - and place the steak into the hot oil. Always lay anything going into a hot pan like this away from you, to avoid splash burns. Cook the steak for a minute and a half on each side, resisting the temptation to touch the meat while cooking except to turn it once. Remove the steak and allow a four minute resting time to relax the fibres. Wipe clean any juices before plating up. Add the mushrooms, garlic and parsely and spoon the reduced sauce over the plate.