Swe-Dishes: Steak On A Plank (Plankstek)

Photos courtesy of John Duxbury

Food & Drink

Swe-Dishes: Steak On A Plank (Plankstek)

You can never go wrong with some good old steak and potatoes. But cooking and serving piped potatoes and steak on a wooden plank elevates the dish more than your typical meat-and-potatoes deal.

According to John Duxbury of Swedishfood.com, “Steak on a Plank” (in Sweden, Plankstek) was particularly popular in Sweden during the 1970s but seems to be enjoying a revival. Duxbury affirms that Plankstek typically is served with duchess potatoes (pommes duchess), béarnaisesås and vegetables, usually grilled or stuffed tomatoes and French beans or asparagus wrapped with bacon.

Enjoy!

Duxbury’s Tips

  • Use SwedishFood.com’s recipe for homemade béarnaisesås! Homemade is so much better than store-bought.
  • For a recipe for pommes duchesse (duchess potatoes) click here.
  • You can buy wooden planks for grilling meat online or at the barbecue sections of some garden centers. These days, the planks used in Sweden normally are made from oak, although you can use any plank designed for going under a grill.
  • The boards must be treated before used for the first time, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ingredients

  • 4 sirloin steaks, about 6 oz. each
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. oil, for frying
  • 1 tbsp. butter, for frying
  • 1¾ lb. duchess potatoes
  • 8 oz. asparagus spears of French beans, blanched*
  • 8 slices of thin unsmoked (green) streaky bacon
  • Béarnaise sauce, lightly warmed
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Finely chopped tarragon, to garnish

*Blanching. Bring a pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Plunge the trimmed beans or asparagus spears into the water. Return to the boil for 1 minute. Drain and then refresh by plunging in lots of cold water to preserve the color. When cold, dry and wrap in bacon and add to the planks.

Instructions 

  1. Unwrap the steaks, pat dry, trim any fat from the steaks, and beat them lightly with a meat mallet so that they are an even thickness. Season both sides with pepper, but not salt at this stage. Leave to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  3. Prepare the planks by piping the duchess potatoes along two sides and adding the tomatoes and the beans or asparagus wrapped in bacon.
  4. Preheat a frying pan (or skillet) until smoking hot, and season the steaks on each side with salt.
  5. Fry the steaks in oil and butter for about a minute per side, to sear and seal. As soon as you put the steaks into the pan, put the planks with the potatoes and vegetables under the grill.*
  6. When the steaks are sealed, transfer them to the planks and cook for about 4 minutes, until the potatoes are nicely browned.
  7. Drain off any juices, and spoon a little béarnaise sauce over the steaks so that it melts into them, serving the rest in a jug or individual bowls. Garnish the steaks, and sauce with freshly chopped tarragon. Serve immediately.

*Timings are for medium rare. The potatoes and vegetables need grilling for a total of about 6 minutes, depending on your grill. After frying the steaks for a minute on each side, they need grilling for about 2 minutes (rare), 4 minutes (medium rare) or 6 minutes (medium), depending on the thickness of the steaks.

 


John Duxbury enjoys cooking Swedish food and went to the trouble of learning Swedish so he could read Swedish cookbooks. The love affair with Swedish food started as a result of numerous visits to Sweden when he was working with Swedish students. When he retired from teaching he decided to set up http://www.swedishfood.com so other people with an interest in Swedish cooking could benefit from his work.

 

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