A special autumn salad

A special autumn salad

Serves 4

I really wanted to make this salad with beef short rib but while it would have been stupendous, it would also have been a bit of a palaver. Instead, I’m making it with rib-eye steak. There’s not a salad leaf in sight but all the ingredients resonate of autumnal cooking. It’s hearty but not heavy with a gorgeous, sturdy dressing.
1 x 250g rib-eye steak
½ celeriac
½ Savoy cabbage
2 ripe pears
1 packet of radishes
80g walnuts, toasted
For the dressing:
150ml sherry or red wine vinegar
3 tbsp raisins (blonde if possible)
2 tbsp golden brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 sprig of fresh thyme
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
200ml sunflower oil, plus extra to cook the steak
100ml olive oil
To make the dressing, put the vinegar, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon stick and thyme in a small pan. Bring to the boil, then immediately take off the heat. Whisk in the mustard, then drizzle in the sunflower and olive oils. Season and set aside. This will make more than you need but it will keep for two weeks or more in the fridge.

Heat a little sunflower oil in a pan over a high heat, until it’s gently smoking. Season the steak and carefully put it in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare. The cooking time will depend on how you like your steak and how thick it is, so you will have to use your judgement. Remove the steak from the pan and allow to rest, covered, in a warm place.

Peel and thinly slice the celeriac into a bowl (a mandolin is perfect for this). Trim and shred the cabbage, then wash and dry it and add to the celeriac. Slice the pears and radishes, then add them to the bowl along with the toasted walnuts.

Thinly slice the steak and add it to the vegetables along with any juices from the plate. Spoon over some of the dressing, season, mix and it’s ready to eat.

I like to serve this with a little horseradish crème fraîche. Just mix 1 tablespoon of horseradish sauce into a 200ml tub of crème fraîche and there you have it.

From Butter Boy: Collected Stories and Recipes by Paul Flynn

Photograph by Harry Weir


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