There comes a time in the life of all braai mechanics when their hearts and minds cry out for something just a little bit more interesting than a boerewors roll. It’s at times like these I hear the call and respond to culinary anguish by publishing blueprints – this is no mere recipe – for the greatest steak roll of all time. Don’t let the status of this grand experience overwhelm you. With only a little care and great focus and dedication to good food you too can make this massive contribution to civilisation in the comfort of your own kitchen
To make the steak roll of your dreams for four you’ll need:
600g aged rump
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
4 Roma tomatoes
Coarse mustard (Dijon)
6 large onions
1 tablespoon soya sauce
4 tablespoons sweet white wine
4 hot dog rolls or a panini
Starting at the tough end, we begin with caramelised onions. This fragrant and sweet-tasting garnish is the rocket fuel that’s going to take your steak roll right out of the ordinary and blast it into the stratosphere. Peel the onions, then slice them as thinly as possible. Using your hands, separate the sliced onions into individual rings. Select a heavy-bottomed frying pan and bring a couple of tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil up to high heat. Add all the onion fragments simultaneously then immediately reduce the hob to low. Using your stir-fry skills, use an egg lifter to keep the mass of onions moving. A burnt onion contaminates the taste of all the others. After 20 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on the amount involved, the sliced onions will have reduced massively in volume and be well on the way to browning. If necessary, add a little extra oil during this process. The latent sugars in the onions should be enough for the caramelisation process, but some cooks like to meddle with nature by adding a tablespoon or two of brown sugar to speed things up.
When brown, remove from the pan, then add three to four tablespoons of sweet white wine. Stir this on medium heat until it reduces by half, then return the cooked onions to the pan, add a tablespoon of cooking soya sauce and mix with the reduced white wine. That’s it. Now you’ve got caramelised onions. Reserve them in a covered bowl for later in the proceedings.
Moving on. If you’re using a Woolworths panini, complete the baking process in the oven. Do the steak either over a slow braai or in an olive oil-lubricated frying pan. Sear or grill the meat so the outside enjoys a slight caramelised crust, while the rare to medium-rare interior stays red and juicy. When done to your liking, cut the steak into diagonal strips 5mm thick.
Slice the Roma tomatoes and arrange these in overlapping rings, plus some lettuce on the panini or hot dog rolls. Next come the juicy strips of rare rump, the mind-blasting caramelised onions, the optional capers, and finally, a hearty dollop of mayonnaise, revved up with Dijon mustard.
What a blast. And oh, did I mention the top of the roll was optional? After all, there’s only so much one can shove into a mouth at once. – David Basckin |fw