steak béarnaise with watercress and burnt onions


serves 4

2 x 4cm thick sirloin steak (about 500g ea)
salt pepper
50g watercress, washed

for the onions:
4 large onions

for the béarnaise:

2 shallots, finely chopped
pinch black pepper
60ml white wine
60ml wine vinegar
1 branch tarragon

250g butter, 3 egg yolks, 40ml hot water and 2T fresh tarragon chopped


preheat the oven on 200c
place the onions on a tray and bake skin on for 1h
remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30min before cutting in half and pull out the cooked flesh

cook the steaks:
rub the steaks with salt and pepper
place on a baking tray and in the oven at 125c for 35 min
remove from the oven and rest for 15 min
place a cast iron griddle on high heat
when rested, sear the steaks for 1 min on each side
when done, you can cut and serve that meat immediately

make your béarnaise (this can be done while the steaks are slow cooking in the oven):

place the wine, vinegar, tarragon and black pepper in a small pot on the heat
reduce on medium heat until all the liquid has evaporated
set aside
then get your equipment right: add 2 fingers of water to a small pot and set a glass or metal bowl over the pot – it must not touch the water. Now melt the butter in a microwave oven until it is very hot. Turn on the heat under the pot. Remove the bowl and add the egg yolks, hot water and half the lemon juice. Beat with a wire whisk or handheld electric whisk for 2 to 3 minutes
to aerate the eggs. Reduce the heat under the pot so that the water is simmering and place the bowl over the water. Carry on whisking or beating constantly over the steam. as the egg starts to cook it will whiten and thicken.

When it gets to the ribbon stage (if you lift your whisk, the mixture will drip slowly down, forming a link to the mixture below) it is time to start adding the melted butter. Remove the bowl from the heat to a board. Scoop up a little of the hot butter and whisk it in. (This is like emulsifying
a hot mayonnaise.) Continue until all the butter is emulsified in the egg mixture. if you don’t want it to be too rich, you can use just three-quarters of the butter. When you are happy that your sauce is the right consistency, taste it, add the reduction that you kept aside and the fresh tarragon

to assemble:

place the onion flesh on the plates
add a little handful of watercress
place the sliced steak on top of the watercress
sauce generously