Easy but still delicious steak and chips

When I was a kid steak and chips was a really big deal. We didn't have it every night of the week but when we did there was a sense of anticipation as I was summoned to the kitchen to collect my tray of TV dinner fodder. The steak was always fried and it was always well done (or 'cremated' as my Dad would say), the chips were proper home made ones. The potatoes were peeled, cut into chip shapes, washed in water, dried in a tea towel and fried in a deep fat fryer. Delicious, but oh so much trouble. We sometimes had peas, sometimes beans and often mushrooms. A great TV dinner finally dressed in salt and vinegar and tomato sauce.

As much as I love a home fried chip I just don't have the time or the inclination to go through the many necessary steps to produce crisp chips with soft fluffy insides. If I'm honest I'm nervous of deep fat fryers too. They always seem dangerous to me. I guess I don't trust myself not to fry part of myself along with the root vegetables. Here's my version of steak and chips which is admittedly a cheats version. It still tastes pretty good if you ask me.


- Steak (I use rump in pieces about the size of a fist, at the mo Tesco are doing a great offer when you get three types of meat for £10, including rump steaks)
- Baking potatoes (though could use any you have in the kitchen really)
- Black pepper
- Oil (I like Crisp n' Dry for making chips)
- Small knob of butter (salted, unsalted, who cares)
- Mushrooms cut into halves (regular ones are fine)

First thing's first I take the steak out of the fridge about an hour before grilling. Place each steak on a chopping board and pound with something hard to flatten the steak out and tenderise it until it's about 1 - 1.5cm thick. Do it gently as you don't want to go all the way through the meat to the board. I have a mallet type affair for this I found in Ikea but it's fine to use a rolling pin, a saucepan or even a full jam/chutney jar. Just be careful not to hit the meat too hard in case it shatters. Then I rub some ground black pepper into the steak on both sides and leave on the side. You could also rub a peeled clove of garlic across it or chilli or dried herbs. Whatever you prefer. Just don't put salt on it as it tends to make it dry after grilling.

Pop the oven onto Gas 7. Take your baking potatoes (about 1 - 1.5 per person) and cut into wedges. The thicker they are the longer they take to cook, so your call. Then take the oil and pour about 2 tablespoons onto a baking tray, put all wedges onto the tray and using your hands make sure they're all coated in oil. Put onto the top shelf of the oven and turn using a plastic spatula after about 15 mins. Then check every 10 mins until they're cooked through. Use a sharp knife to see if they're cooked all the way through. Should be done within 45 mins max.

When the wedges look almost done you need to put your grill on full heat with the tray you're using for grilling underneath it. At the same time pop a small frying pan on the hob with a knob of butter in. After about 5 mins turn the grill heat down to medium and place the steaks underneath. Put the mushrooms into the frying pan too.

How long you leave your steak under the grill depends on how well you like it done. I prefer mine rare but am preggers so as you can see from the pic it's more like medium moving onto well. Watch the steak as it's thin enough to cook in minutes so you need to keep an eye on it. When it looks suitably done to your liking on one side turn it over for another blast. Bear in mind that the second side will already be warm so needs less cooking.

All that's left to do is serve the steak up (do this first as it needs a few mins to rest on the plate anyway), the fried mushrooms and the 'chips' (or wedges if we're being utterly correct.) I tend to drench in vinegar and salt and maybe eat with some mustard and TV.
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