I came across this recipe in Elizabeth David’s entertaining book, An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, where she calls it Grillade des Mariniers du Rhône, and just had to try it. Quite like the Chou Farci recipe, it takes extremely simple ingredients and prepares them in an idiot-proof manner to produce a most tasty dish. It works really well with lean meat, such as round steak and the often disappointing striploin steaks found in the supermarkets these days. The only change I made to the recipe was to include a pinch of asafoetida to reduce the possible ‘windy’ effects of so much onion.
The preparation of this dish is simple and all you need is a few hours in a low oven to produce a delicious meal.
Makes: 4 generous portions
Preparation: 15 mins + 10 mins
Cooking: 2 hours + 1 hour
3 or 4
Lean beef steak
Onions (fairly finely sliced)
Preheat the oven to 140°C.
Trim any fat or grizzle from the steaks and cut each on the bias into 3 or 4 smaller steaks. Flatten each somewhat with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
Take a rectangular ovenproof dish, a little smaller than an A4 sheet of paper and about 50mm deep. We are going to fill this with alternating layers of onion and meat. With this size of dish and amount of ingredients, it should be possible to get 4 layers of onions and 3 of meat.
Start with a layer of onions. Sprinkle very judiciously with asafoetida. Next place a layer of meat and season with salt and pepper. Repeat, until you have 3 layers of meat and finish with a layer of onions.
Next work the butter and flour together and arrange in small dots over the top layer of onions. Cover with buttered greaseproof paper, making sure it fits snugly, then put the lid on the dish or close with foil. Transfer to the preheated oven and leave for 2 hours.
Make use of the 2 hours as you see fit … read the paper, have a glass of wine …
Then make the dressing by just mixing the ingredients. Mash the anchovy fillets with a fork to get them to break up. Lift the lid and paper from the dish, sprinkle the dressing evenly over the onions and meat, re-cover and return to the oven for another hour.
The dish is now ready to serve, alongside some boiled potatoes or whatever else takes your fancy!