Handheld food: steak & double salsa roll

This is based on an ancient principle: if one is good, two is better. Hence the double salsa. While best with a freshly grilled steak, this combination also works superbly with cold beef
or smoked ham.

To make four steak and double salsa rolls, you will need:

  • 4 generous rolls, ideally baguettes
  • 400g sirloin steak 20mm thick

Salsa #1

  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch coriander (dhania)
  • 2 onions
  • 2 spring onion tops
  • 1 fresh or pickled jalapeno pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon crushed dried chillies
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin (jeera)
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil


Salsa #2

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • Half an English cucumber
  • Half a fresh or pickled jalapeno pepper
  • 1 lime
  • Coarse salt

After obtaining the ingredients, which will take up most of your preparation time, cut the steak into four 100g strips each 20mm wide. Cut the baguettes or ciabatta rolls in half and lightly butter each side.

For Salsa #1, discard the stems and roots of the parsley and coriander and rinse to remove all traces of Mother Earth. Peel and quarter the onions, peel the garlic and measure the quantity of each dry ingredient. Place the parsley and coriander leaves in a food processor and let it run for a couple of seconds. Add the whole fresh or pickled jalapeno, seeds and all. Pour in all the dry ingredients and run the processor for five to 10 seconds.

At this point, pour in the vinegar, followed by the olive oil, and let the machine macerate the contents to a coarse paste. Chop the spring onion greens by hand and sprinkle them into the mixture. This may seem a little odd, but it’s all to do with final appearance. Decant the salsa into a container and set aside.

Salsa #2 is even simpler. With a knife, coarsely chop the cucumber, onions and tomatoes. Place the chopped vegetables in a bowl and mix them with the juice of a single lime. The lime is a big deal in terms of its contribution to the flavour, so only use a lemon as a last resort. Stir in a little salt to taste and Salsa #2 is ready.

Steak time. Grill the steak briefly the way you choose. What works best for me in this context is a very hot frying pan free of oil or seasoning. Drop in the plain, unseasoned, unlubricated steak and grill it for 90 seconds or so, turning it with a flat egg lifter (not a fork) every 10 seconds.

This should produce a delicious crust of caramelised blood sugars, not to mention billowing clouds of smoke. Let the steak strips rest on a chopping board for three minutes under a sheet of aluminium foil, then cut them into cubes.

Finally, let it all come together in perfect harmony. Lay the steak cubes on a roll, followed by a layer each of Salsa #1 and its equally lovely little sister Salsa #2. Fit the top of the roll, grab in both hands and eat. Ah, such happiness.