Man Food with Mark Hix

Steak and crispy shallot salad

Most Popular

Salads have the potential to be truly uninspiring, but with a little thought you can turn a boring plate of cold foliage into something surprisingly exciting. 


I hate those bags of floppy mixed leaves that supermarkets sell. For me, salad leaves need to be tasty and robust, and the best tend to be wild.

If you’re a bit of a forager, you may already pick wild leaves, or if you’re into gardening, you’ll probably have weeds such as pennywort, chickweed and bittercress growing in the borders, which are ideal for the salad bowl.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Other interesting leaves you can grow include land cress, rocket and silver sorrel, all of which will get your dinner guests talking. When it comes to dressings, I’m a bit of a vinegar addict. I have a cupboard full of countless varieties from good cider to muscatel.

Mix up a glug of your favourite with a splash of oil and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect salad dressing; just add leaves.

You can use any cut of steak for this: rib, sirloin, rump, or better still, hanger (onglet). I like to use peppery leaves like rocket, land cress and watercress in this salad. Add some texture with a couple of cos lettuce hearts.

Most Popular

The salad
2 x 300g steaks
200g or so of salad leaves (see opposite)
5–6 medium shallots, halved, root removed and sliced
Flour for dusting
100ml milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

The dressing
1½tbsp good-quality red wine vinegar
2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2tbsp vegetable or corn oil
½tbsp Dijon mustard

1 | Pre-heat about 8cm of oil to 160–180ºC in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or deep-fat fryer. Put the shallots into the flour, shaking off any excess, then mix through the milk, and then through the flour again, shaking off any excess. Fry them, a handful at a time for 3–4 minutes until crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper. You don’t need to worry about keeping these hot.
2 | Heat a ribbed griddle pan or a heavy-bottomed frying pan, or better still a barbecue. Season the steaks well and cook to
your liking. For me, it has
to be rare, especially in a salad. Make the dressing by mixing the ingredients together and seasoning. Dress the leaves and arrange on serving plates. Slice the steak and add it to the salad, then scatter the shallots on top.

What do you think?

Food & Drink
Finally: The Health News You've Been Hoping For With All Your Cheese-Clogged Heart
It's good for you it's good for you it's good for you
Food & Drink
How To Make Garlicky Shrimp Alfredo Bake
Total Time: 25min
Level: Easy
Yeah it doesn't really get much better than this
Bangers mash Manna
London's Best Vegetarian Restaurants
From pad thai at Notting Hill's best raw restaurant to vegetarian sushi in Kings Cross​
food floor
Food & Drink
Science Is Here To Ruin The 'Five Second Rule' For Everyone
​Shut up science, and let us eat our pavement ice cream in peace​
Food & Drink
The Secret Guide To Lunch In Soho
Do lunch properly with our pick of the best lunch restaurants in the heart of the capital​
Coffee barista
Food & Drink
​A Barista Explains Your Morning Coffee
​What exactly is a flat white? And should you only drink espressos in the afternoon? All the complexities of caffeine culture answered...
scrambled eggs
Food & Drink
The Number One Secret To Amazing Scrambled Eggs
No, it's not the flick of that wrist
Richard Turner, cooking on a Drumbecue at Meatopia
Food & Drink
The Ultimate Guide To Grilling Meat
How to conquer the raw flames, from a guy who knows​
Radio Rooftop at ME London
Food & Drink
Where To Eat & Drink In London This Week: Rooftop Raves, Champagne Terraces & Mediterranean Sharing Plates
​We've got you covered​
Colonel Sanders
Food & Drink
Colonel Sanders' Nephew Just Revealed KFC's Top Secret 11 Herbs & Spices
A delicious legend​​