Beef and pasta salad
- Barbecue, char-grill or pan-fry the steaks until done to your liking (see tip below). Remove from heat and rest the steaks for a few minutes.
- While the steaks rest, toss the remaining ingredients together.
- Slice the steaks thinly and mix with the pasta salad.
- Best beef cuts for salads: Thickly cut rump, rib eye/scotch fillet or sirloin/porterhouse/New York steaks
- Choose lean, thick-cut beef steaks. A thick-cut steak allows you to slice wide, juicy strips that will fold easily with the salad ingredients.
- Preheat the barbecue or char-grill plate to hot or preheat a pan to moderately hot.
- Brush the steaks lightly with oil.
- Cook the steaks on one side until moisture appears. Use tongs to turn the steaks once only.
- Cook the steaks to no more than a medium degree of doneness.
- Always rest the steaks after cooking so the beef remains juicy.
- Slice the steaks thinly so the beef is easily coated with the dressing.
- Add the dressing to the salad just before serving; the flavours of the beef, the salad and the dressing remain fresh and flavoursome this way.
- Testing for degree of doneness:
- Make a circle with your index finger and thumb and apply a little pressure to the centre of the ball on the palm side of your thumb, it will feel very soft. With either your fingertip or the back of your tongs, press the centre of the steak. If it has the same soft texture, it is rare.
- Move your thumb to the middle finger and press the ball of your thumb again; steaks with the same soft feel will be medium-rare.
- The ring finger and thumb together will indicate a medium doneness.
- The little finger and thumb together will be very firm; if a steak feels the same it will be well-done.