Tag Archives: steak

Za’atar Steak with Spicy Sumac Roasted Vegetables

Bird has a bit of a problem. It’s the reason our spice cupboard (yes, we have a whole cupboard) is the biggest mess you’ve ever seen. It’s an obsessive need to buy any interesting spice that she’s heard of, or one that she hasn’t, that we don’t currently own. This time resulted in za’atar and sumac cluttering up our kitchen. These are both widely used in Middle Eastern and North African cooking – sumac is a beautiful deep red/purple course powder made of crushed, dried fruits which, despite their fiery colouring have no heat, just a beautiful lemony tang. Lebanese style Za’atar contains sumac along with some earthy freshness from thyme and oregano, aniseed sweetness from fennel and rich creaminess from toasted sesame seeds. Za’atar can come in many guises, this is just the blend of ours, have a look and see what you can find!


We also had a craving for steak and thought it would be fun to try our new spices on some lovely rib eye steaks. It’s most unusual for us to not have any chilli in things so we put a little in with the vegetables and then smothered the steaks in za’atar and oil and popped them on a really hot griddle pan for just a few seconds a side. This is a brilliant meal for those who love their aromatic spices but don’t get on so well with chilli as you could leave it out entirely and still have a burst of gorgeous spices. It’s also incredibly flexible, these spices are slightly mellower than many we use so would go with mild fish, vegetables or white meat right through to steak like we did.


  • mixed vegetables which are great for roasting – we used an aubergine, some peppers, red onion and mushrooms
  • 1 heaped tsp of sumac
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • vine tomatoes
  • 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 steaks
  • 1 tbsp of za’atar
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • flatbreads/pitta breads to serve

Bit of a non-recipe really… preheat the oven to 190°C. Chop up all of the vegetables apart from the tomatoes into bite sized chunks and mix with the sumac, the chilli flakes if using, the sea salt and the olive oil in a large roasting dish and whack them in the oven. They will take about 45 minutes to roast and need a shake around every 15 minutes or so. Mix the za’atar with the extra virgin olive oil to form a paste and smear all over the steaks to briefly marinate. After nearly half an hour of the vegetables roasting add in the vine tomatoes. Then after a further 10 minutes add the pomegranate molasses to add some tangy sweetness.

Sumac vegetables

Now is the time to get your griddle pan super hot and then stick the steaks on, we did ours for less than a minute a side because we love ours really rare but just turn the heat under the griddle down a little and cook it for longer. Make sure you scrape all of the toasted herbs and seeds onto the steak, the sesame seeds are gorgeous! Serve with the vegetables and some warmed flatbreads or pittas (and a cheeky glass of wine!).

Steak with vegetables

Steak with Stir-Fried Veg

It’s Asian food time again! Normally when we cook stir-fries we bung all of the meat in with the rest of the veg and fry it all in a wok together. This time, we thought we’d try something a little different. In this recipe, we’re stir-frying the veg like we usually do, but griddling the steak separately. This is a little more effort but a million times more rewarding! It’s also a great way to make a steak go that little bit further if you’re on a budget but still fancy a treat.

So here’s what you’ll need:

  • A steak, fatter the better
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 medium-sized pak choi
  • A large handful of mushrooms
  • 8-10 pieces babycorn
  • A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
  • A fresh red chilli
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • 150 g rice
  • 2 tbsp Oyster sauce (1 tbsp for the marinade, 1 for the vegetables)
  • Sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Pepper

Phewf! A whole load of stuff then. But just like with our noodle soup, loads of these are store-cupboard staples. Actually a lot of these ingredients were leftovers from when we cooked that recipe, so they’re a great couple of meals to do close together to make sure you don’t waste anything.

First, knock up a quick marinade for the steak, using nothing more than a tablespoon or so each of oyster sauce and olive oil – make you you have enough to cover the steak. Leave to marinade for an hour or so – it’s a good idea to keep it out of the fridge and covered in some cling film, as your steak ought to be room temperature when you fry it.

Feel free to mix it up with the veg - this lot is nice and colourful though!
Feel free to mix it up with the veg – this lot is nice and colourful though!

Put the rice on to cook. Slice up all your vegetables fairly thinly, as they’ll need to cook pretty quickly. Put a griddle/frying pan on to a high heat for the steak, which you’ll do in a minute. Now get your wok out and heat up some oil, and throw in the veg – it should sizzle satisfyingly (the wonders of cooking on gas! This step would take about 20 minutes using the electric hob at our old place). Mix together some dressing for the veg using 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp water, 1 tsp fish sauce, juice of half a lime and a few twists of pepper and add this to the wok, making sure it covers everything. The veg should take about 5 minutes or so to cook.

Granny Bird's old wok still going strong
Granny Bird’s old wok still going strong

Now for the main event!  Your pan should be hot by now, so put the steak in. Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of your steak and how you like it – our (very rare) steak took about a minute on each side. When it’s done take it out and rest it for a minute while the veg finishes cooking. To serve, we sliced our steak as thinly as we could, on a slight angle so that each piece was still nice and big – remove any excess fat as you slice.

Mmm we like our steak raaare
Mmm we like our steak raaare

Now plate it all up with an extra wedge of lime and appreciate the magnificence of what you have created!

Stir Fry Done