Jamie Oliver Inspired Steak Ratatouille

Jamie Oliver Inspired Steak Ratatouille

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Once again, I dipped into a Jamie Oliver cookbook, this time, from his 15 Minute Meals because my boyfriend was really wanting to grill some steak. Being not so carnivorous myself, I always like to balance out meals that are heavy on the meat with a lighter vegetable and carb option. Unfortunately, we didn't have all of the ingredients, so it was quite a bit of improvisation on this one, with a little too much hot sauce added in on our end to make up for the spice paste we needed (Note: definitely just buy yourself some harissa and save the attempt to pretend  to understand how many random spices and chili powder should be added in). For this version of the recipe, you'll need: For the ratatouille:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 2 mixed colour peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 heaped tsp harissa
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

For the rice:

  • 300g whole grain or basmati rice
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

For the steak:

  • quality sirloin steak, portioned per amount of people you are cooking for (we used 4 smaller steaks)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp steak spice mixture of your choosing

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1. Put the rice in a pot with double the amount of water and half the lemon juice. Cover and cook until fluffy, stirring occasionally.

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2. Half the zucchini lengthwise, and cut the eggplant into 1 cm thick pieces and place both on a griddle pan, turning when charred. We didn't have a griddle pan available, so we used a large frying pan.

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3. Place the can of tomatoes in a large pan and bring to a boil, to allow the tomatoes break down and form the sauce for the vegetables. Roughly chop the peppers, onions, charred zucchini and charred eggplant and place in the pan with the tomatoes. Add in the chopped garlic. Cook until the vegetables reach your desired tenderness.

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4. Rub the steaks with the olive oil, lemon and steak spice mixture and place on a hot grill, turning every minute until cooked to your liking. And if you want to be as dedicated as my boyfriend is to cooking a quality steak, you stand outside in the below freezing Canadian winter and grill them on the barbecue (this step not recommended).

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5. After letting the steaks rest, chop them up to your desired size. Serve the ratatouille, rice and steak with yogurt, and parsley for garnish if you wish.

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The verdict:

While this dish is in Jamie Oliver's 15 minute meals cookbook, it definitely will take you more than 15 minutes to make. The kitchen preparation and chopping vegetables alone took 15 minutes, so you'll want to budget yourself a little more time to take this on. That being said, it is worth the time, the simple flavours and comforting mixture of the classic protein, carb and veggies makes this a dish that many people could use as a family staple, adding different veggies or spices to customize for your own tastes.

What are your favourite comforting family meals?

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