Roast swede steak with couscous, labneh & wilted chard
This recipe certainly takes swede to a new dimension. After gentle cooking in butter and then in the oven, slices of swede transform into soft, silky steaks spiced with Turkish chilli and aromatic garlic and rosemary. Turkish chilli flakes called pul biber have a wonderful fruity quality to them and not too much heat. If you can’t get hold of any, don’t worry, just use ½ the quantity of normal crushed chilli flakes instead.
4 x 1.5cm thick slices of swede, peeled
75g unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 garlic cloves, left whole in their skins
1 tsp pul biber (Turkish chilli flakes)
300ml hot vegetable stock or water
1 tsp cumin seed
30g dried cranberries (you could use raisins or dried apricots)
30g unsalted shelled pistachios (you could substitute almonds)
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
Salt and black pepper
200g rainbow chard or spinach
100g plain labneh or Greek yoghurt
Preheat your oven to 175°C
Over a moderate heat, melt the butter with 1 tbsp of olive oil in a wide non-stick pan. Add your swede steaks to the pan, in a single layer, and season with salt and black pepper. Now add the garlic cloves and rosemary to the gaps in between the steaks.
Allow the steaks to cook for 7.5 minutes on the first side. Don’t be tempted to move them around too much as this will prevent them from getting nicely caramelised. Once browned on the first side, using a spatula, flip them over and cook the second side for 5 minutes, regularly spooning some of the flavoursome butter over the top of each steak.
After 5 minutes, transfer the steaks and garlic, together with a little of the buttery cooking oil, to a baking tray lined with non-stick paper. Pop the tray in the oven and cook the steaks for 15 minutes until tender (when the point of a sharp knife easily goes through the thickest part of the steak, they’re done). If needs be, you can leave them in the oven on a lower heat whilst you finish the other components.
Meanwhile, return the pan used to fry the steaks to a gentle heat and add the chilli flakes. Allow to bubble for a minute or so before pouring into a small bowl or ramekin for use later. Clean the frying pan.
Prepare your couscous. Simply pour the hot stock or water over the couscous and cover with cling film. Fluff with a fork after a few minutes and recover until all the liquid is absorbed.
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in the clean frying pan along with 1 tbsp of the chilli oil that you put aside. Once hot, add the onion, cumin seed, cranberries and pistachios to the pan and cook gently for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft and starting to brown at the edges. Then add the pomegranate molasses and allow to bubble for a minute or so before adding the couscous. Give everything a good mix. Drizzle over some more of the chilli oil that you’re reserved to one side and season well with salt and black pepper. Make sure you taste for seasoning!
Cook your chard or spinach as you like and then finally plate the dish up. First add some couscous to the plate, followed by some chard/spinach and then the swede steak. Add a dollop of labneh or yoghurt to one side and then drizzle more chilli oil all over the dish.