Scottish Surf & Turf with Stovies

Scottish fresh produce make this a very special dish by using the best Aberdeen Angus fillet steak and freshly caught lobster. The steak and lobster are simply cooked with a little olive oil and are accompanied with a little watercress and potato stovies. Stovies are very similar to French potato boulangare or dauphinoise as they are sliced and cooked in the oven with a little stock or milk, stovies are usually finished with cooked meat leftovers. In this recipe I prepare the stovies with milk as it complements the lobster flavour.

Portions: 4 Portions

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients

Steak

  • 4 Aberdeen Angus fillet steak (150-175g each)
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil for cooking

Lobster

  • 2 lobster tails sliced in half and intestine removed (see note)
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil for cooking

Stovies

  • 500g floury potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 leek (white only), finely sliced
  • 50g butter
  • maldon salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Herb Butter

  • 150g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp basil, shredded
  • 1 tbsp tarragon leaves
  • 1 tsp sage leaves, shredded
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • maldon salt and freshly ground pepper

To Serve

  • 4 generous handfuls of watercress leaves, washed
  • 2 tsp virgin olive oil
  • maldon salt

Method

  1. Herb Butter: Place the butter with the herbs and a little salt and pepper in a bowl and mix them together with a fork until well combined. Lay a sheet of cling film out on a worktop and place the butter in it. Bring the butter together and place it on the cling film, wrap it in the cling film the roll it until you have a firm sausage shape. Place the butter in the fridge to become firm.
  2. Stovies: Preheat an oven to 200C. Melt the butter on the stove in an oven proof pan over a moderate heat. When it is hot add the garlic and leeks, sweat them for a couple of minutes then add the potatoes. Allow them to cook for a couple of minutes, tossing them regularly so that they are well distributed. Add the milk to the pan and dot a little extra butter over the top, cover the pan with a lid or foil. Allow it to cook on the stove for 5 minutes so that the milk simmers then place it in the oven and leave it to cook for 30-40 minutes. The milk should be absorbed by the potatoes and the potatoes should be tender when they are cooked but without colour.
  3. Steak: Coat the steaks in garlic and generously coat them in freshly ground black pepper and a little salt. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a moderate high heat. When the oil is hot add the steaks and reduce the temperature slightly. Cook the steaks for 8-15 minutes each turning them halfway through, the time that you cook them is dependent on how you like them cooked (see note). Remove the steaks from the pan and leave them to stand in a warm place for a few minutes before serving.
  4. Lobsters: Preheat a grill to moderate-high. Place the lobster tails on a grill pan flesh side facing upwards and place pinches of the herb butter over the tails generously (make sure you leave enough butter for serving slices with the steaks), return the butter to the fridge until ready to serve. Place the lobster tails under the hot grill for 5-8 minutes so that they are well cooked (the shell will be an orangey red colour). If you are using precooked tails place them under a moderate grill until heated through.
  5. To Serve: Using a large round biscuit cutter cut out 4 portions of the stovies or slice wedges. Place the stovies on one side of the plate and sprinkle over a little parsley. Place the steaks and lobster tails on either side of the potato. Remove the herb butter from the fridge and slice four thick rounds of butter and place them on the steaks. Garnish each plate with a handful of watercress. Serve.
  • Lobster: If you are purchasing live lobsters make sure that they are healthy. They should show active signs of life and not be inactive. Choose ones that are heavy for their size, with no damaged legs or claws. To kill them so that they are raw insert a sharp knife through the centre of the cross on their head and bring the knife downwards along the tail cutting them in half, then finish by cutting the rest of the head in half. Remove the dark intestine along the tail. For this dish you only need the tail so remove it from the head and cook the claws separately.
  • Steaks: To test how well done the steaks are press down with the side of your palm the greater resistance the more it is cooked.