Friday, 20 May 2011

Filetto di manzo con cipolline all'aceto balsamico – Sirloin steak with shallots in balsamic vinegar

Deeply flavoured, almost caramelised balsamic sauce

Shallots in a sweet sour sauce made from balsamic vinegar are an ideal accompaniment to a plainly grilled steak and a favourite of many restaurants in Emilia-Romagna. All you need to add is some bread to soak up the sauce, and maybe a bed of spinach for the meat to recline on. I bought the steak from Mr Legge in Bromyard, resisting the other temptations of the finest butcher-deli for a hundred miles around. Don't worry too much about the balsamic - it doesn't need to be 10 years old for this recipe.

Enough for 4. Ready in 30 minutes. Beat that,  Jamie.


4tbl olive oil

4 x250g sirloin steaks about 2.5cms thick

400g shallots

2 cloves of garlic

75ml balsamic vinegar

50ml sweet white or red wine

2tbl brown sugar

salt and pepper


1. Peel the shallots and garlic. Chop the garlic finely.

2. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and add the shallots and garlic, letting them brown gently. Then, add the wine, balsamic vinegar and sugar and cook on a steady flame until the sauce is greatly reduced and starts to caramelise. Turn off the gas or electricity.

3. Heat a griddle and oil it using 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper.

4. When it’s really hot, plonk the steaks on it, standing them up on their fat so that it cooks crisply. Then, griddle the steaks for 4 minutes on each side.

Begin by crisping the fat

5. Remove the steaks and place them on a metal grille over a dish so that any juices can drain into it.

6. Scrape the residue from the griddle into the pan containing the shallots and add any juices from the steaks. Re-heat the shallots, reducing the sauce so that it is thick and beginning to be caramelised.

7. Place each steak on a heated plate and spoon over some of the sauce and the shallots.

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