My Grandma has always taught me the importance of eating a good meal every single day and I for one believe her. At the ripe old age of 87, my Grandma is as fit as a fiddle. She rides her bicycle to the local paper shop every morning to pick up a crossword magazine and my Grandad’s cigarettes before heading up to the local supermarket to fill the basket on the front of the bike with the evening’s dinner. I think that’s pretty good going. Her kitchen secret? Lard.
In the pan to cook bacon, in the roasting tray for roast potatoes and of course, in the pan for chips. The best you will ever eat. Lard, lard, lard. For the second Fat Friday of the year, we’re calling in the big guns. Homemade chips cooked in lard and pan fried rump steak.
If it’s a meal for two, you will need –
2 delicious rump steaks (2 for £7 at Tesco at the moment)
4 medium sized potatoes (I used Maris Piper)
A block (200g) of lard
A handful of cherry tomatoes
A steak sauce/mustard of some description. I went for my fancy and overly priced Cassis Mustard from Borough Market
Slice the potatoes lengthways into three pieces, turn, and whilst still lengthways slice into three more pieces making 9 chips. Boil these for around 7-8 minutes before draining and leaving to cool.
Give the steaks a rinse and season well with salt and pepper and leave on a plate to have a little rest before cooking.
I only have one frying pan and I needed that for the steaks, so instead I used a very heavy-bottomed wok to fry the chips. Gently melt about three-quarters (200g) of the block in the pan. Once it’s melted, turn the heat to almost full and pop one chip in the pan to see if the lard is hot enough. It needs to start bubbling quite soon after the chip goes in so adjust the temperature until you’re happy.
Carefully pour the chips into the lard and make sure all of the chips are pretty much covered in the fat and let them bubble.
Whatever you do, do not leave the chips alone. Keep turning them every 45 seconds – 1 minute.
Whilst these are cooking up nicely, heat a frying pan for the steaks. Once it’s hot, add in the meat to start them sizzling. If you want to, add a few cherry tomatoes to the pan and they make a nice accompaniment to the steak (or at least makes you feel like you’re getting one of your five a day).
Depending on how you like your steaks will determine how long you should cook them. I like mine medium and last night I was also cooking one rare so I started cooking my one first and then added the second to the pan a few minutes later. Like a true fatty I added a little bit of butter to the steaks, just help them brown nicely – I was going to leave this information out but I wanted to be honest.
If your chips aren’t as golden as you would like but the steaks are ready, leave the steaks to rest for a few minutes. It won’t do them any harm. Good things come to those who wait after all. When the chips are golden use any sort of spoon that will allow drainage to remove the chips from the pan. Put them straight onto a plate with kitchen roll on to soak up the excess fat.
Move over to the dinner plate and serve with the steak, tomatoes and whatever sauce or mustard you like.
Eat immediately. My Grandma really does know what she’s talking about.