James St Cookery School: Picanha steak with anchovy and rosemary butter, mussel pasta

Picanha steak with anchovy and rosemary butter
Niall McKenna

THIS week's recipes that are perfect for either impressing guests or for a cosy night in. An accompanying glass of wine or bottle of beer is optional but encouraged if you're not doing Dry January.

First up is a melt-in-your-mouth juicy picanha steak, paired with anchovy and rosemary butter. Sometimes all a good piece of meat needs is the perfect sauce, and for me, this is it. But if your New Year's resolution is to reduce your red meat consumption, then this mussel spaghetti is the one. It's quick, easy and ultimately a show stopper.


(Serves 4)

1kg picanha steak

4 sprigs rosemary

4 cloves garlic, smashed and in skins

sea salt

ground black pepper

olive oil


We recommend cooking the meat medium rare. It is a great cheap cut, suiting big flavor combinations, and is best when left to marinate overnight.

Put the steak in a roasting tray with the rosemary, garlic, black pepper and a dash of olive oil and toss to ensure it's all coated. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 12-16 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove from fridge and allow the meat reach room temperature before cooking. Once at room temperature heat a pan for a couple of minutes until it is hot and season the beef with sea salt. Flash cook for two-to-three minutes on each side until the meat is medium rare in the middle. Don't overcook this cut as it will become tough.

Remove from the pan, cover in tinfoil and let it rest for 10 minutes. When you are ready to serve, you want to slice the meat across the grain – nice thin slices work well.

Anchovy and Rosemary Butter:

100g butter, softened

50g anchovy fillets, drained and mashed to a pulp

2 sprigs rosemary, removed from stalk

squeeze of lemon juice

1 clove garlic fine chopped

salt and pepper

Using a bowl and small fork, work the ingredients into a paste. (You'll need to soften your butter to a thick cream and then add in the flavorings and mix well.) Place the mix into a piece of cling film and roll into a cylinder shape. Tie each end and place in the fridge or freezer until required or serve straight up alongside your picanha steak.


(Serves 2)

20 mussels, washed and debearded, any open mussels discarded

1 pint whipping cream

1 shallot, chopped

1 clove garlic chopped


olive oil

fresh chives (chopped)

salt and pepper


Place enough spaghetti for two in a pot of boiling water and cook until al dente. For the cream mussel sauce, rinse and clean the shells under cold water. (Tap any that are slightly open – if they close shut again, they are OK to use but if they don't, throw them away. Also discard any broken/cracked shells.)

Place a drop of olive oil in a pan and once warmed add in chopped shallot, cream and white wine. Once this comes to the boil add in the mussels for two minutes. Toss in your boiled/drained pasta; serve with a squeeze of lemon and dress with chopped chives.

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