Executive Chef Ransley Pietersen has come come a long way from a bursary from Protea Hotels at 18 years to an award winning chef that has cut his teeth at renowned restaurants like Overture, Fermier, Serengeti Estates to finally launching The Old Oak restaurant at The Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. His latest venture sees him partnering with Circle Senior Living to consult on their upmarket food offering at their new urban retirement development in Sandown. Chef Pietersen says, “If I could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, it would most definitely be my grandfather. He never really understood why I wanted to be a chef, coming from a blue-collar background his entire life. He never considered professional cookery or culinary arts as a true career. I would then prepare a simple twist on a great steak. This specific braai spice, though very basic, is the signature of how my grandfather prepared meat for our family get togethers. The chimichurri dressing is inspired by recent occasions where my dad and I have subsequently taken charge of the customary Sunday braai.”
As South Africans we all have a braai memory that takes centre stage. Here’s a winter warmer to get those flames sizzling and warm the heart.
Preparation time: 10 minutes and Cooking time: 10 minutes
1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper/chilli flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Steak and Seasoning Ingredients:
2 x 300g Ribeye, Sirloin or Fillet (+/- 2.5cm thick)
40g Course Salt
10g Coriander Seeds, toasted then ground
50g Rosemary Fresh
50g Thyme Fresh
2 Cloves of Garlic
1. Ensure that your fire is hot, and your coals are just turning grey. Preheat your griddle for at least 10 minutes before cooking. Remember the thicker your griddle the better the results you will achieve in grilling your steak.
2. Pat the steak dry with a paper towel and season generously with your seasoning mixture on both sides.
3. Place the steak on the preheated grill and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare or adjust the cooking time to your desired level of doneness.
4. While your steak cooks, prepare your resting butter. Combine all ingredients into a skillet pan over a medium heat and allow all ingredients to marry. The resting butter is ready when the butter solids have formed a sediment at the bottom of the pan, and you have a clarified aromatic liquid.
5. Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest in the butter mixture for a few minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Pro-Tip: I usually rest my steak for 30% of the cooking time.
6. Slice the steak against the grain into thin strips. I prefer slicing my steak at a 45° angle to increase the surface area when dressing with the sauce.
7. To serve, drizzle the chimichurri sauce over the sliced steak or serve it on the side as a dipping sauce. You can also serve the steak with some grilled vegetables, roasted potatoes or a fresh salad.