Handheld food: The saga continues

Tasty wraps: steak in a sari

- Advertisement -

To make steak and feta wraps for two, you will need:
• 300g porterhouse steak

• 1 onion

• 2 cloves garlic

• 1 sweet pepper

• 50g feta cheese

• 1 star anise (optional)

• 2 small KZN red pele pele chillies

• 1 bunch of fresh coriander plants

• 2 tablespoons mung bean sprouts

• 2 Lisbon Giant spring onions

• 1 stick of celery

• Salt and pepper to taste

• Pita breads, frozen tortillas or roti

There comes a time in the life of a busy kitchen mechanic when washing up is such a chore it eclipses the desire to cook in the first place. When this happens, immediately resolve the crisis by cooking something you can eat by hand. This isn’t so much a cuisine as a lifestyle, one that can change your relationship with the kitchen sink, now and forever. To kick off this week’s lifestyle choice, here’s a steak and feta wrap – filled with the unexpected, both in terms of flavouring and ingredients …

Tasty wraps: steak in a sari

Let’s start with the optional bit: one star anise. Now, this is a powerful experience as spices go, a little Hiroshima is not to everyone’s taste. But for those of you who want to be pleasantly surprised, star anise will give a pleasing accent to these otherwise familiar – or even over-familiar – ingredients.

- Advertisement -

Moving on: dice the steak, after making the personal choice of whether or not to trim off the fat. With a sharp, thin filleting knife, cut one or two rounds of best-quality feta into geometric chunks. Peel and thinly slice the onion; crush and mince the garlic; cut the spring onions and celery into 15mm sections; cut the sweet pepper into thin strips; and thinly slice the chillies, taking the pips out if you fear chillies and leaving them in if you enjoy pain.

Carefully remove every last vestige of Mother Earth from the coriander roots and cut into small sections. Select 10 or 20 of the best leaves and reserve for a garnish later.
Heat a little Cape extra-virgin olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and, over a mild heat, sweat the onions, garlic, coriander roots, chillies and star anise. When the onions are transparent and soft, remove the contents of the pan, add a little more oil if strictly necessary and sear-fry the cubes of porterhouse. Remove when brown all over and joyously pink within.

In a bowl, combine the cooked ingredients, discarding the star anise, which has now done all its best work. Add the feta, taking care not to reduce this fragile cheese to a crumbling mess. Season with salt and coarsely-ground black pepper and, if you feel adventurous, a teaspoon of soya sauce.

Now for the packaging. You can, of course, make the flatbread of your choice. But even better, check the freezer at your local supermarket for pita breads, roti or tortillas. Bring these up to scratch with a couple of minutes in a warm oven and use them to make parcels of the cooked steak, feta and vegetables. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with a green salad. What a blast, man, what a blast! – David Basckin |fw