Recipe: Rum Steaks

Lets face it, sometimes you just need to combine alcohol and meat in one wonderful dish, and this is such a dish.

Safety Warning: Cooking with spirits at high temperatures does mean you run the risk of alcohol spontaneously combusting as it boils off from the sauce. This is perfectly safe and will only last a few seconds, but if you don’t feel confident dealing with this, then this dish possibly isn’t for you. If you do want to attempt this, then keep a lid for your frying pan on hand, and read up on your fire safety.

Suitable number of beef steaks, about 175g (6oz) each (tenderise as preferred)
Ground Black Pepper (from a pepper-mill, not the pre-ground powder)
Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons of oil
50g (2oz) Butter
50ml (2fl oz) Dark Rum
1 Beef Stock-cube (dissolved in 4 tablespoons of hot water)
4 tablespoons double cream (or cream substitute)

1. Grind enough pepper to cover a steak on to a plate. Coat the first steak in mustard and then dip in the pepper so it’s covered. Repeat this with each steak.

2. Heat a frying pan on a medium-high temperature, add a dash of oil to prevent the steaks sticking, then add the steaks.

3. Cook the steaks for a few minutes on each side, or longer if you prefer medium or well done steaks. Try not to move the steaks too much when they are in the pan, because otherwise the pepper coating will start to fall off.

4. Add the butter to the pan. It should melt and start to turn brown (and smell amazing). Splash some of the butter over the steaks, then transfer them to a tray or oven-proof dish.

5. Put the steaks into an oven at a low temperature. About 100C/212F or so should do it, maybe a bit lower. You want to keep them warm, not keep them cooking.

6. Add the rum to the pan carefully and allow it to boil over a high heat for a minute or so. This is when you risk having the alcohol combust, so be careful and if it starts to flame, whack a lid on the pan to extinguish the flames.

7. Add the stock to the rum mixture, let the sauce boil again and then add the cream. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the beef juice and so on from the bottom of the pan – this is important, those bits have the most concentrated flavour and they are wasted if they are left in the pan.

8. After boiling the sauce one last time, it should be ready. Place the steaks on a plate, add your side dishes and then the sauce.

Serving Suggestions:
Classic steak trimmings go well with this: thick cut chips (fries), mashed potatoes, broccoli, carrots, peas, fried mushrooms and so on. The only thing that doesn’t go too well with this is fried onions – they are excellent with most steaks, but the sweetness of them doesn’t sit well with the bitter rum flavours of the sauce.
If you want to waste a perfectly good steak, then I suppose you could eat it in a sandwich.

For drinks, I’d stay away from wine. Like the onions, it doesn’t really go with this. Try a decent dark German or Belgian beer or a high quality lager, or of course, straight dark rum.

Final Thoughts:
Don’t be put off by the flaming rum, this really is an excellent dish. It doesn’t take too long to cook and is quite straight forward given how amazing the reward is at the end of the cooking process.

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