Sirloin Steak with Black Pepper Crust and Rösti Potatoes

Taken from 'Masterchef Goes Large' A great steak is something to be revered. Quality is paramount, so you should visit a good butcher’s when shopping for this recipe. Treat the steak with the respect it deserves. To prevent it being overpowered by the pepper, sift the crushed peppercorns in a fine sieve to remove any dust before using. A generous garnish of watercress is needed to freshen up the dish.

2 parsnips chopped
1 tbsp horseradish sauce
4 tbsp single cream
50gms butter
4 x 200gms thick sirloin steaks
oil for brushing
4 tbsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns
1 raw beetroot, par boiled
75gms watercress
A few drops of Balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Rösti:
550gms potatoes, preferably King Edward,
peeled and grated
1 onion, finely chopped
25g lardons, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp chopped sage
2 tsp grainy mustard
4 tbsp olive oil

Sirloin Steak with Black Pepper Crust and Rösti Potatoes

1. For the rösti, put the grated potato in a sieve over a bowl. Season with plenty of salt to extract the juice and set aside for 20 minutes. Squeeze the potato dry between layers of kitchen paper.

2. Put the potato in a bowl with the onion, lardons, egg, sage and mustard and mix well. Shape the mixture into 8 flat cakes, either by hand or by pressing it into 7 cm metal rings.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the rösti and fry until golden brown on each side. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm.

4. Cook the parsnips in boiling salted water until tender, then drain well. Mash to a soft purée with the horseradish, cream and half the butter. Season to taste, then cover and keep warm.

5. Preheat a heavy-based frying pan or ridged griddle. Brush the steaks with oil and season with salt, then roll them in the black pepper.

6. Put the steaks in the pan and brown them quickly on both sides over a high heat, then reduce the heat and cook gently for the remaining time - about 4 minutes per side for a medium-rare steak. Leave to rest in a warm place.

7. Meanwhile, peel the beetroot and slice it thickly. Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan, add the beetroot slices and cook over a medium heat until crisp on the outside but tender inside.

8. Arrange the steaks, rösti, creamed parsnip and fried beetroot on serving plates. Garnish with the watercress and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.