Italy’s vignarola, a beautiful mixture of spring vegetables and pancetta, makes a great accompaniment to peppery minute steaks.
- 400 gm podded baby broad beans (about 800gm unpodded)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 150 gm flat pancetta, cut into lardons
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 100 ml chicken stock
- 8 char-grilled artichoke hearts (see note)
- 350 gm frozen peas, defrosted
- 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 12 beef fillet minute steaks (about 50gm each), at room temperature
- ½ cup (loosely packed) mint, coarsely torn
- 1Blanch broad beans in boiling salted water until bright green and tender (1-2 minutes), refresh and set aside.
- 2Heat half the oil in a deep frying pan, add pancetta and stir occasionally until fat starts to soften (2-3 minutes). Add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (2-3 minutes). Add chicken stock, artichokes, peas and broad beans and cook until bright green (3-4 minutes). Add half the butter, season to taste, set aside and keep warm.
- 3Meanwhile, heat half the remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Season half the steaks liberally and with plenty of freshly ground black pepper to taste and cook until browned (1-2 minutes), turn, add half the remaining butter and cook until cooked to your liking (1 minute for medium). Repeat with remaining oil, steaks and butter. Serve hot with vignarola, scattered with mint.
Char-grilled artichoke hearts are available from select delicatessens and supermarkets.
This recipe is from the September 2011 issue of