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Stakey’s adventure

Dženita Trako from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Serves
6
Preparation
20 minutes
Cooks in
20 minutes
Country of origin
Bosnia and Herzegovina

I was really against the red meat for a such long period of time, until one night… I was in Split. Split is a beautiful city by the sea coast in Croatia. You can find great food and even better people there. I was having dinner with my boyfriend, the night before New Year’s eve in this great restaurant called “Bokeria Kitchen & Wine” and trying to make that moment even special I decided to order a steak. Why? Because I really like the proverb “When was the last time you did something for the first time” and sometimes it becomes my motto. So I ordered, a beef steak with truffles and baked potatoes. While I was eating it, for the first time I felt that my jaws were clenching without my control and I instantly remembered the quote from the book “My Name Is Red” in which author describes clenched jaws as something instinctive and as our natural behavior which help us to survive. I felt the adrenaline rush and I knew that steak is my soulmate in a world in which food and people are in a relationship. The second time I ate the beef steak was in Sarajevo, at the restaurant “4 Rooms of Mrs. Safija”, I was celebrating mum’s birthday with my family, and for me it was even more satisfying because it was served with fried arugula and cherry sauce. In my personal opinion, that was better combination than the one with truffles because meat was really tender and with strong flavor and cherry-sauce was sour and sweet at the same time, the combination was made in heaven. (Fried and crunchy arugula was the “cherry on the top”). “The third time, and every other after that, I made it by myself, and as time passed I became a “professional amateur” at making it, because I mastered the marinade, the cooking, sauce and side dishes that go perfectly with the steak. The first photo was the one from Split, the second one is from Sarajevo and the last two are my creations. Presentation IS important and you should make an artwork out of every dish, because Earth without art is just “Eh”.

Ingredients

  • 1 Beef Steak (usually there is a 1500 g in one piece)
  • Himalayan or sea salt (freshly grounded)
  • Mixed pepper (freshly grounded)
  • Garlic (12 cloves)
  • Olive oil
  • Aceto Balsamico
  • 2 large Zucchinis
  • Arugula (300 g)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano (cheese)
  • 3 table spoons of cherries (optional)
  • Fresh parsley for sprinkling (optional)

Method

  • 1. Wash the steak and slice it into 6 pieces, it will be approximately 250 g in each piece, then cover them with foil or cooking paper and “beat the meat a little bit”.
  • 2. Put the meat in a bowl and then put some freshly grounded salt and pepper on each piece, on every side. After that, pour olive oil and Aceto balsamico over it and sprinkle with chopped garlic. Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge.
  • 3. Let it get some rest. It can be used after a half an hour, or it can be used even a week later. It even gets better with time.
  • 4. Heat the grill or regular pan really well and then put the steak on it. It should be cooked only 2-3 minutes (for rare) on each side and turn it over JUST once. When you turn it over the first time place a thin layer of butter in the top and rub it into the meat a little bit. Then let it slide down the steak and with a tablespoon “bath” it in a butter for a while.
  • 5. Wash and dry the arugula, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot and smoking, for about 2 minutes. Drop the arugula into the oil and move away quickly because the oil will spit and sputter for a second or two. Stir-fry the arugula for 30 seconds, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.
  • 6. Wash and cut the zucchinis into circles (1 cm thick). Heat the grill pan or regular one, and grill it with a little bit oil until they “get some tan” on each side. Transfer them into a bowl, drizzle some olive oil and a little bit of lemon juice (1 tablespoon) and sprinkle with finely chopped garlic. Stir it really well.
  • 7. With a peeling knife make thin cheese leaves, it is kind of a “shaving” the cheese.
  • 8. Blend the cherries with two one tablespoon of aceto and the sauce is done. You can also buy special aceto, which is little bit lighter and it has “Forest fruits” flavor.
  • 9. You can combine these side dishes and a sauce in many different ways. You can put fresh arugula with a drizzle of olive oil and some pepper, or you can switch to baked potatoes rather than zucchinis. It is up to you, my dear reader.
  • 10. Place the steak on one side of the plate, add little bit of arugula and zucchinis, sprinkle with fresh parsley and pour some sauce or Aceto on the side of the plate.

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