Did you know that on average Brits take just 26 seconds appreciating their recipes before tucking in? That’s probably how long it takes to take your plate from the kitchen to the dining table and pick up a knife and fork. Today’s blog post is all about slowing down and appreciating our meals more, with a delicious steak recipe to get you started…
I have to admit, I’m one of those people who rush around the kitchen, whip up something edible in about 15 minutes and it’s gone in another 5. I think that’s probably because our busy lives don’t really allow us to stop to appreciate our food; I’m always thinking of the next thing I’ve got to do while I’m eating lunch or dinner. Also, the fact that we wolf down meals in front of the TV means that I don’t really want to put a lot of effort into making a special recipe because I know it’ll be gone in a matter of minutes.
But I think this needs to change. I’d love to slow down in the autumn and spend relaxing evenings cooking dishes and enjoying the outcome. ‘Mindful meals’, perhaps? There are health benefits involved in enjoying your dinner slowly too. Studies show that our brains take 20 minutes to register that we’re full, so a fast eater can easily fill up on more food than necessary. Plus, if you eat slowly it makes it easier to digest your food.
The 26 seconds statistic above comes from HelloFresh who have, thankfully, come up with a collection of recipes that include an extra step at the end of the meal preparation, giving you more time to enjoy that satisfying moment before you begin eating. The recipe collection is called ‘Food For Thought’ and that’s where I found the Sirloin steak recipe that I cooked at the weekend.
My husband and I actually extended the cooking process into a bit of a day out. We travelled to the nearby farm shop to pick out our ingredients. It’s a real treat to have steak (we mostly have vegetarian meals but both enjoy the occasional piece of good quality meat), so we wanted to get locally sourced, fresh beef from the butcher. While we were there we discovered plenty of other local produce (including some wine!) and even got our Christmas turkey sorted!
When we got home, we popped on the oven at 200c and set to work making our Sunday lunch. I laid the table with placemats, wine glasses, condiments, and I used our best vintage ‘Black Velvet’ crockery for the occasion. I even lit a candle for added hygge vibes. Here’s what we cooked…
Layer peeled, sliced potatoes in an ovenproof dish with cooked shallots, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Dot the top layer with butter and pour in 200ml chicken stock. Tightly cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes, removing the foil half way through cooking.
Toss tenderstem broccoli in olive oil and arrange on a lined baking tray. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper and then pop into the oven with the potatoes for the last 10-12 minutes of their cooking time.
Drizzle the steaks with oil and rub in salt and pepper. Fry on a high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side for medium rare. I like my meat cooked a little longer so I cooked my steak for another 1 minute on each side so that it was medium. Put the steaks on a plate and cover with foil to rest. Now is the perfect time appreciate your upcoming meal!
RED WINE JUS
The final step is to make a sauce to drizzle over your meal. Add cooked shallots to the steak pan, pop in a red wine stock pot and add 150ml water so that it sizzles. Simmer for a couple of minutes while you slice up the steak and plate up the meal. Spoon over the shallots and enjoy!
The whole process was joyful from start to finish and I especially enjoyed making the trip to buy the ingredients from the local farm shop. Plus, I’ve learnt new ways to cook potatoes and broccoli that I hadn’t considered before. In fact, it was really nice not to have anything boiling over on the hob and causing stress!
I wouldn’t really consider myself a great cook, but I felt a real sense of achievement when I was plating up our meal – it looked so pro! Plus, it tasted amazing. As hubby and I lingered over our lunch (and went back for seconds of the potatoes!) I wondered why we’ve never done this before and I made a mental note to make sure have mindful meals as often as possible.
So what do you think? Will you be taking more time over your meals in the future? Let me know in the comments below. Do you fancy trying out one of the Food For Thought recipes for yourself? There are plenty of vegetarian options in the collection, as well as every type of cuisine you can think of so it’s well worth having a look at the recipes. I’m certainly going to be trying more of them now that I’ve experienced my first stress-free cooking session! Do message me if you try any of them out because I’d love to hear how you get on.