Rob Howell’s Swede ‘Steak’
With Butter Bean Mash, Pickled Shallots & Peppercorn Sauce
This time of the year you always need comfort food, however everyone is trying to be a little healthier and watch what they are eating. So I see this as a good compromise. Swede is widely available and so delicious, with the pairing of the peppercorn sauce it will really steal the show. You can either finish the swede in butter or oil depending on how you feel.
1 large swede or 2 little ones
100g butter or 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
60ml white wine vinegar
40g caster sugar
Butter Bean Mash:
2x 400g tin of butterbeans
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 small clove of garlic
60ml Worcester sauce
1 Tsp Dijon mustard
Shot of brandy (optional)
1 tbsp green peppercorns in brine (chopped)
- Preheat the oven to 200’c
- Start with the swede by wrapping it in tin foil, it may seem excessive but do about three layers. The layers help with the cooking of the swede and it almost steams itself and ends up with a great texture. Place in the oven and bake for about 90 minutes for a good sized swede, change cooking times depending on size. Check if its cooked by sticking a skewer in it, you should be able to put one through with some resistance. Remove for oven and leave to cool.
- While the swede is in the oven, you can pickle your shallots. Peel the shallots and slice across to get nice rings. Pick apart the shallots so you have plenty rings and place in the suitable container and add a pinch of salt. The salt will draw a little moisture from the shallots and help them take on the pickle. Place the vinegar and sugar in a small sauce pan with 20ml of water and bring to a boil on a high heat. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly before pouring over the shallots. Leave to the side until needed or this can be done in advance and kept in the fridge for up to a week.
- For the butterbean mash, drain the beans from the tin and place in a blender with the garlic (depending on the blender it may be helpful to chop the garlic and mince it before adding). Add the oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper and blend on a high speed until you have a smooth mash like consistency. You may want to add a little water to help get it smooth but not too much as you want to keep the texture of mash potatoes, check seasoning. Place into a small saucepan and heat when needed.
- For the peppercorn sauce, place the Worcester sauce and brandy if you wish in a small sauce pan on a low heat and slowly reduce until you are almost left with a syrup like liquid, be careful not to burn. At this point when reduced to almost nothing add the cream, chopped green peppercorns, mustard, pinch of salt and a good grinding of cracked black pepper. Still on a low heat bring to a simmer and let reduce to a 3-5 minutes. Check the seasoning.
- Remove the swede from the tin foil, with a knife remove the skin (taking as little fresh with it) and cut the Swede into half then quarters, depending on the size of your swede then cut each quarter into 2 or three. In a large frying pan, place on a medium heat either add your butter and heat until it foams or heat oil until warm. Add your swede pieces into the pan and cook on either side for about 5 minutes until they have taken on a lovely golden brown colour. Season with a little sea salt and pepper. Make sure the sauce and mash is warm before plating. Add a good couple spoonfuls of mash to the plate before placing the Swede pieces on to it, covering with a good helping of sauce and finish by removing the shallot rings from the pickle and placing a few on top to finish.