This lovely elixir can be served with crudities or cooked potatoes for dipping or drizzled over steak.
20 salt-packed anchovies
3 fat cloves garlic, peeled
2 1/2 tbs. lemon juice
175ml extra-virgin olive oil
125ml cold water
Soak the anchovies in a dish of cold water for 5 minutes. Throw out the water, add fresh water and soak for a further 5 minuets. Rinse each anchovy under running cold water and remove the tails. (Or use oil-packed anchovies that have been well-rinsed.)
Place the anchovies in a small food processor (or into a bowl if using a stick blender) with the remaining ingredients except the steaks. Blitz to a gloomily, fluid sauce. Decant into serving pieces.
Cook the steak to your liking, leave it to rest for 10 minutes, then serve with the elixir.
Serves 4 with steaks or many more as a dip
This is a twist on the classic Steak au Poivre, but instead of giving the cream sauce a punch with pepper, Nigella uses anchovies. They melt into the sauce and add an earthiness and deep flavor that is utterly irresistible.
2 steaks, rump, strip, rib-eye or fillet
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
2 tsp. regular olive oil
1 tsp. unsalted butter
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 fat clove garlic, minced
2 tbs. fresh chives, finely chopped
75ml heavy cream
Take the steaks out of the fridge and sprinkle them with the salt on both sides. Leave them to come to room temperature.
Pour the oil into a heavy-based skillet in which the steaks will fit without too much empty space around them. Turn the heat to high. When the oil is hot, add the steaks and cook 3 minutes a side for rare, or longer for more well done.
Take the pan off the heat and transfer the steaks to a plate, then tent with foil. Put the pan back on the heat and turn it to low. Add the butter to the pan juices. When melted, stir in the anchovies and garlic. Cook for a minute or so until the anchovies melt into the butter. Add most of the chives and pour in the cream. Let the sauce boil and thicken, then remove from the heat. Pour over the steaks and serve sprinkled with the remaining chives.