Steak with 'Marchand De Vin' sauce is a classic recipe which is both delicious and quick to prepare. There are variations to the basic recipe which include mushrooms, ham, garlic etc. but we have kept it very simple. This simple sauce stands by itself and is surprisingly quick to prepare.
We used sirloin steak from our local butchers. Supermarket steaks are OK but they will never come near to the quality of the meat hand-picked by your local butcher.
For the inquisitive, "marchand de vin" can be translated into English as "wine merchant".
Cooked this again tonight (8 October 2022) and it really is the most delicious, simple recipe ever created!
2 sirloin steaks (225g / 8oz)
1 medium onion
175 ml / 6 fl oz red wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
We used sirloin steak from our local butchers and it was top quality. Local butchers survive because the locals who shop there know the meat is top quality. Supermarkets survive because they are convenient. So call in at your local butcher's and buy the sirloin steak for this recipe there.
A good piece of sirloin should be marbled with fat through the meat, red or browny-red (not purple), moist looking and without any bad smell.
Peel and chop the onion finely. Add half the olive oil to the frying pan and turn up to a medium high heat. Add the onions and fry until the onions are softened and turned a light brown colour. This should take around 5 minutes. Whilst cooking turn the onions frequently.
If you are cooking mushrooms and grilled tomatoes as well as the steak, prepare them now. First turn on the grill to a medium heat.
Cut the tomatoes in half and peel the mushrooms. Drizzle some olive oil over them and put them under the grill. They will be ready in about 10 minutes.
Tomatoes and mushrooms ready for baking
Remove the onions from the frying pan, add the remaining oil with the plate still turned up to a medium high heat and add the two sirloin steaks. Press down each steak into the frying pan. This will sear and seal steaks to make them look good and keep in all the meat juices.
Cook for 2 minutes (rare), 3 minutes (medium) or 4 minutes (well done) on the first side then turn the steaks and cook for 1½ minutes (rare), 2½ minutes (medium) or 3½ minutes (well done) on the other side.STEP 4
See the picture below for how a properly cooked sirloin steak should look - it doesn't matter if it's rare or well done because the 'seared' appearance appears in the first minute or so of cooking.
All the flavour is sealed in as well as most of the natural moisture.STEP 5
Three minutes before the sirloin steak is cooked rare, medium or well done, return the fried onions to the frying pan and pour in the red wine.
Stir the liquid gently for the next three minutes until it thickens to a syrupy texture. Watch it carefully to ensure the sauce doesn't over-thicken.STEP 6
Take the mushrooms and tomatoes out from under the grill and put on a warmed plate. Drain the potatoes and place them on the plate.
Add the steak and spoon the sauce over the steak and eat immediately. A gastronomic experience of such simplicity which you will remember for a long, long time!