In this section acclaimed freelance chef Michael St John has provided us with some excellent recipes.

Michael has an established reputation on the British cookery scene and has been a customer of RC Roland & Son for over 10 years.

His CV includes The Gloster Arms Hitchin, Host Bishops Stortford, Shaker Brown Hitchin, The Greenhouse Restaurant Warkworth, The Cook and Barker Inn Northumberland, Fredricks London, The Old Bell Hotel Hurley, Knights and Westoes London, and La Brasserie Northumberland.

Firstly Michael has some tips on cooking steaks

“It is a popular misconception that beef ( especially where steaks are concerned ) is a bloody meat.

This is not true, the blood is removed from the beast at the abattoir and if the joints are cut and hung correctly for an average of 21 days the little if any blood will remain.

The hanging process for the meat allows it to tenderise naturally and any overcooking after this simply serves to reverse the process often leaving the meat tough and most of the flavour stays in the pan or falls through the grill bars.

The red liquid and meat that is seen to be bloody is actually just the juices of the meat itself produced as the meat “bursts” when heat is applied and also the juices produced as the natural fat breaks down and mixes with the meat producing a red juice.

Although very rare meat can be a little jellified in its texture and not suitable for all palettes, it is often better to cook to the rare side with steaks, my suggestion would always be to cook the steak medium rare, this is when sufficient heat has reached the centre of the steak to begin the breakdown and solidification of that part, then remove the steak from the heat and allow it to rest and relax the cooked muscle to achive the best result. “

Beef Fillet "crunch" Thai style

”This is a delicious tender beef dish with crunchy vegetables and a scented Thai flavour contrasted by soft noodles.”

Serves 4

500g piece of whole fillet (Tournedos)
Prepare the meat by cutting thin medallions and place on a tray.

For the marinade
2 red chillies
2 bulbs of garlic
1 inch piece of galangal (or ginger)
2 spoons of sweet soy
4 spoons of Nam Pla (fish sauce)
1 spoon of lemon juice

Chop the chillies, garlic and galangal, place in a processor with the other ingredients and blitz to a liquid.
Soak the beef pieces in the marinade, cover with cling film and place in a fridge for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish.

1 head of Pak Choi
1 small mouli
2 carrots
1 red pepper
100 g Mange tout
200 g rice noodles
2 spoons sweet soy
1 spoon sweet chilli sauce
Small bunch of coriander, chopped
Sesame oil

Dust off your wok and place it over a low heat, when it is warm, rub it with oil using kitchen paper and reheat.
Take the pak choi and remove the leaf part, cut it into very thin strips and set aside. Trim off the base and cut the stems into large finger size pieces.
Peel the mouli and the carrots and cut into thin circles.
Cut the pepper, remove the seeds and trim into long pieces, 1/4 inch thick.
Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water, leave for 2 minutes only then strain and rinse.

Now the wok should be nice and hot.

Increase the heat and add a little sesame oil, add all the vegetables at once and toss for 2 minutes, keep the heat on the wok at all times.

Add the sweet soy and chilli sauce and stir-fry for 1 minute only.
Remove everything from the wok into a bowl and clean the wok with warm water.
Reheat the wok, add a little oil and wipe out, keeping the wok on the heat.
Drain the marinade from the beef onto the vegetables.
Oil the wok and stirfry the fillet on maximum heat for 2 minutes until all meat is sealed, remove from the wok and set aside. Now put all the vegetable mix and the noodles into the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Serve onto warm dishes and lay beef on top then coat with a little of the sauce that should still be in the wok.

Le roi des biftecks à une sauce à moutarde et à vin rouge (Round Bone Sirloin)

“This particular sirloin steak has the greatest amount of lean and the least amount of bone so it is best cooked on a high heat and for a short time with a little resting time before serving. This extremely simply recipe will allow the steak to speak for itself. “

You will need: per serving:

1 steak around 16oz
1 medium onion sliced
1/4 teaspoon of English mustard
3 small new potatoes cooked
Coarse salt & pepper
1/2 glass of red wine
4 floz of gravy or similar

Heat a large frying pan or grill skillet on a medium flame, but do not add oil to it at this stage.
Place the cut steak on a plate and lightly brush with oil, a mild olive oil is best. Then season with coarse salt an pepper and allow to stand for 10 minutes to reach a room temperature
In a small frypan put a drop of cooking oil and add the sliced onion and sliced new potatoes, fry lightly, tossing regularly until golden brown, then add a little salt and pepper.
Turn down the heat and keep warm until steak is ready.

Now the steak pan should be at optimum temperature, place the steak in the middle of the pan (it should begin to sizzle immediately, at this point turn up the heat slightly)
Cook the steak for 2 minutes then turn it, the pan should always remain hot and slightly sizzling.
Cook for a further 2 minutes and remove to a clean warm plate.
Add the wine to the steakpan to deglaze the meat residue allow it to reduce by half then add the gravy
Place the steak on a serving plate and pour any juices into the sauce
Add the potatoes to the plate and serve the gravy as desired.

The steak dish is now ready to enjoy but can be accompanied by any green vegetables that you prefer, especially nice with fresh crisp watercress.

Fillet Steak with Peppered Poached Egg and Savoury Sauce.

“For this steak I would always recommend cooking medium rare at the most, it has a very low fat content, is very lean and tender, any overcooking would produce a dry and flavourless dish and would not do justice to it's quality.

My philosophy of good food speaking for itself is demonstrated here to the full, a simple tender and full flavoured steak, with a poached egg and brown sauce, what could be easier, and what do you think the top chefs like to eat? “

You will need: per serving:

1 Fillet steak around 8oz
1 medium egg
1floz vinegar
Coarse salt and pepper
1 bottle of HP Sauce

Season the steak to your taste and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Place a saucepan of water on a high heat
Place a frying pan on a medium heat but leave empty
Place steak in fry pan and turn up the heat slightly
Cook for one minute on the top and an the bottom, if the steak is tall, also cook on the side, rolling slightly every few seconds
Remove from heat and place on a warm plate
Put vinegar into boiling water and reduce the heat until the rising bubbles break just under the surface.
Break the egg into the water, be careful not to break the yolk in the process.
After 2 minutes, remove the egg and place on top of the steak

Take a serving plate and decorate with HP sauce, place steak and egg onto the plate and serve immediately.

Oriental Style Sirloin Steak

“This steak is cut from the heart of the sirloin it is best served slightly rare and cooked by grilling or frying allowing a breakdown of the larding to produce a tender steak dish.

This recipe would allow someone who is not familiar with eating rare meat to still enjoy the flavour without the concern of the blood.”

You will need: per serving:

1 steak around 10oz
1 Clove garlic finely chopped
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
1 small chilli
1 teaspoon of chopped coriander
2 teaspoon teryaki marinade sauce
4oz cooked medium noodles
6 oz mixed sliced vegetables, such as mushrooms, peppers, pak choi, spring onion or whatever you prefer

Mix together the garlic, ginger, chilli, coriander teriyaki and soy and brush lightly onto the steak on both sides retaining a little for the vegetables later, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Place a wok or deep non stick frypan on a medium heat, do not add any oil
Cut all vegetables and cook noodles if necessary.
Remove steak from fridge and place in preheated pan (with a little oil if using a wok) do not use oil if using a non stick pan as the marinade will cause the oil to spit.
Cook the steak rapidly turning after 1 minute then remove from pan.
Add vegetables and noodles, stirfry rapidly and add any leftover marinade.
After one minute more frying, remove and place in the centre of a shallow serving dish
Place the steak on a board and slice at angles to produce pieces of around 2" width
Lay the steak pieces over the noodles stir and serve immediately

Sirloin Steak, Wedge Bone with a Tomato Crunch Top

“Due to it's slightly higher fat content, this steak is best grilled slowly to crisp the fat and allow the flavour to "bleed" into the meat, it would be a mistake to cut the fat away as this will leave the meat dry and somewhat lacking in taste.

It is not always true that beef steaks should be cooked rare, it would always depend on the type of meat and in the case of this steak cooking to medium or even close to well done would be best as this allows the fat the time it needs to reach the rest of the meat and impart it's flavour.

The acidity of the tomatoes and the salad dressing goes well with this type of fatty steak and also aid in digestion allowing you to enjoy the steak to the full. “

You will need: per serving:

1 steak around 12oz
2 large tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2oz capers
2oz breadcrumbs
1 small egg, beaten
Coarse salt and pepper
Salad of mixed dressed leaves as accompaniment

Brush the steak with oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper to desired taste and allow to stand for 10 minutes

Preheat a toasting grill or salamander ready for the last part of the recipe.
Place the steak on a heated grill or in a griddle pan and cook on a medium heat for 4 minutes each side. While it cooks, cut the tomatoes into small dice roughly, chop the garlic and place both in a bowl, add the breadcrumbs and the beaten egg and a little salt and pepper to taste. Mix this to a dry crumble texture.

Turn the steak back onto it's first side and place the crumb mix over the top of the steak, place under the grill to toast the crumble but not too close to the flames, a low shelf option is best employed

When golden brown on top remove and serve with salad or alternative accompaniment.





R.C. Roland & Son. 26 Queen Street, Amble, Morpeth, Northumberland. NE65 OBZ. UK.
Tel: 01665 710210. Fax: 01665 710210. E-mail. Web.