Rump steak with Madeira sauce

I like rump steak a lot. It has great flavour and texture and is generally cheaper than sirloin. It needs careful cooking though, I think and it also needs to be trimmed of the less attractive bits of fat, membrane and gristle before cooking.

You can cook it on a griddle but I think it is better cooked in a pan with oil and butter. You really need the butter to get a nice Maillard reaction effect, which means that the outer layer of the meat browns and caramelises. For this to happen, you need to get the pan very hot then you add a drizzle of oil and a nice knob of butter and once the butter is bubbling you add the seasoned meat and sear it on both sides, spooning the butter over it to ensure it cooks evenly. I like my meat to be on the rare side, so I don’t cook my steak for more than two minutes on each side and then I rest it for at least two or three minutes longer.

For this dish, I sautéed some thinly sliced mushrooms in the same pan, deglazing it with a large glass of Madeira (Marsala or Amontillado sherry works equally well) and then added some more butter to the pan as the wine reduced. I also added the juices from the meat that had leached out while it was resting.

The accompaniments were simple enough, new potatoes, carrots and green beans, but you can serve whatever you like, I think. Chips would be good, maybe some steamed spinach or, in season, some asparagus.

You just need to keep the vegetables simple, the sauce is rich and you don’t want to have too many strong flavours on the plate.

A red Bordeaux wine would be the ideal thing to drink here, I think, but any full-bodied wine works.

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