Flat Iron Steak, Anchovy, Crackling and Pepper Sauce


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By Katrina Meynink

Published 2014

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You will need to begin this recipe one day ahead.


  • 2 flat iron (oyster blade) steaks, 425 g (15 oz) each, cartilage reserved (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • 12 anchovies

Kohlrabi Leaf

  • 4 kohlrabi leaves
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil, for frying

Pepper Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 60 g ( oz) garlic
  • 130 g ( oz) French shallots
  • 40 g ( oz) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 15 g (½ oz) black peppercorns, ground
  • 15 g (½ oz) white peppercorns, ground
  • 5 g (¼ oz) sichuan peppercorns, ground
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) brown chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum

Pepper Crust

  • 3 tablespoons white peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons Kampot pepper

Whipped Potato

  • 200 g (7 oz) potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) milk
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) blended olive oil
  • white pepper, to season
  • lemon juice, to season

Pickled Shallot

  • 2 French shallots
  • 50 ml ( fl oz) white wine vinegar
  • 50 g ( oz) sugar


Put the thick piece of cartilage from the centre of the oyster blade in a saucepan with enough water to cover and boil it for 5–6 hours until soft. Scrape any remaining meat off, slice thinly and dehydrate overnight in a dehydrator.

Remove any sinew and cut the steak into 140 g (5 oz) portions. Set aside.

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook the kohlrabi leaves in the boiling water for 1 minute, then refresh in iced water. Drain and set aside.

To make the pepper sauce, heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat, then gently cook the garlic and shallot until golden. Add the sugar and brandy and simmer until completely reduced. Add the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, combined ground peppercorns, fish sauce and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. While the stock is still hot, transfer it to a blender and purée. With the machine running, add the xanthan gum and purée for 1 minute. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

Prepare the pepper crust. Grind the white, black and Kampot peppercorns. Discard the fine powder, leaving only the crust. Repeat three times. This removes most of the heat from the peppercorn, allowing for a thick crust that is not too overpowering. Set aside.

Boil the potato in a large saucepan of salted water until soft. Pass through a mouli grater into a large bowl. Warm the milk with the garlic clove in a small saucepan. Gradually whisk the oil into the potato until it splits from the potato. Gradually mix the milk into the potato mixture until it is emulsified, smooth and creamy. Pass through a fine sieve and season with salt, white pepper and lemon juice. The acid of the juice will thicken the potato mixture a little so use some more of the warm milk to adjust the consistency if necessary.

To make the pickled shallot, peel the shallots and slice into thin rings. Warm the vinegar and sugar with 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan over low to medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Cool and pour over the shallot. Stand until ready to serve.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Coat the steak portions in the pepper crust. Sear the steak in a hot ovenproof frying pan for 2 minutes on each side. Finish the beef in the oven, cooking for 3–5 minutes depending on the thickness, until the steak is done to medium. Once the steak is cooked, rest in a warm place for at least 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan of sunflower oil to 200°C (400°F) or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns brown in 5 seconds. Fry the cartilage slices in the oil until they puff completely. Drain on paper towel and season with a little salt. Heat a heavy-based frying pan and add ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Fry the kohlrabi leaves one at a time, until they start to blacken on one side.

Once the beef has rested, reheat gently. Carve into 5 mm (¼ inch) slices and season with salt. Lay 1–2 kohlrabi leaves and 4 slices of pickled shallot on each plate and place a spoonful of whipped potato on top. Put the beef portions beside the potato and add 2 pieces of fried cartilage, and 2 anchovies. Finish with 1 teaspoon of pepper sauce.