Sometimes there’s just a ravening urge for protein. Maybe it’s the stress of the previous week, or the one coming up. Maybe it’s a hint that I’m about to get the flu. Whatever. What I need is meat.
I don’t think fillet is the meat for this: although useful in other contexts, it’s just not interesting enough on its own. Rump, sirloin, or onglet are the way to go. I have a pricey, but very good butcher not too far away, and I will simply say that I want some steak for frying, and they’ll suggest the most appropriate model. You want it sliced about 2cm thick.
Make sure the meat’s at room temperature, if not, get it out of the fridge. Rub it all over in olive oil; enough to make it glisten, but no more. Grind over some pepper if you fancy, but no salt. Chuck in a pre-heated grill pan and leave it for two minutes. Flip it, salt it, and leave it for another two minutes. This should give you rare. Another minute and you’ll have medium. But there is no shame in sawing off a corner to have a check: just remember that the centre will be pinker than the corner.
Pop the steak on a warmed plate to rest, and deglaze the pan with something. I use Madeira for this. If you were feeling particularly fancy, you could have a roux going in another pot, and pour the pan juices and Madeira into this. I just reduce and pour over the steak. True ritual gluttony would call for sauce béarnaise.
There must be fries. I think oven fries will suffice. They’re particularly good if you have a fan forced oven and crank it up as high as it will go for the last three minutes.
And of course a simple salad of dressed leaves to make it seem healthy.