Another New Year, full of resolutions and optimism for the year ahead! How lovely to start 2019 with a really unusual gin from a part of the world known less for gin, and more for sprawling cattle plains and Amazonian rain forests.
The biologist in me is inspired by the thinking behind La República Amazonica Gin. The distiller’s passion for biodiversity, expressed in the wide and varied nature of the locally-sourced botanicals, gives the gin a fresh and slightly zesty edge. It sings of the colourful world of South America, and I wanted to reflect this in this month’s recipe.
South America is world famous for its beef, so steak it is. I also wanted something reminiscent of this part of the world – and laced with delicious La Republica gin! – so I’ve served it with chimichurri, a traditional fresh, herby South American raw relish served with beef, but also delicious with chicken, pork, lamb or fish.
The trick here is cooking the steak. I use either fillet or ribeye, as I believe they have the best flavour. Cooking steak not only requires good beef, but also heat – and lots of it. You really need a smoking hot pan to char the outside of the meat, keeping the middle nice and pink. Don’t be afraid if the pan smokes wildly when the steak hits it… that’s what you want!
Steak with La Republica Chimmichurri
Heat a heavy-based frying pan until seriously hot. Brush your steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper both sides. Pop in the pan and do not touch. The pan should smoke.
Cook for about two minutes per side for a medium rare fillet. If using ribeye, reduce the cooking time as the cut is not as thick as fillet. When the steak is almost done on the second side, add the butter to the pan and baste the steaks continually for about 30 seconds.
Remove the steaks and put onto a warmed plate with the buttery juices. Leave in a warm place to rest for about 5 mins, covered with foil.
For the chimichurri, simply place all ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
Serve steaks with a drizzle of their juices, a crisp green salad and sauteed potatoes, with a dish of chimichurri on the side. Delicious!
4-8 fillet or ribeye steaks
A little olive oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
30g unsalted butter
For the chimichurri:
Large handful chopped fresh parsley
Small handful chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1 or 2 chopped red chillies
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
½ shallot finely chopped
100ml good quality olive oil
30ml red wine vinegar
50ml La República Amazonica Gin
Salt and pepper, to taste