Monday, 22 November 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner Alternative to Turkey: Sirloin Steak

One day last week, I featured on this blog a suggestion as to how those who are going to be forced to spend Thanksgiving alone in the USA this year could still enjoy a traditional, roast turkey, Thanksgiving dinner. There is another issue surrounding Thanksgiving dinner, however, which should be considered, in the sense that there are some people who quite simply do not like turkey. Whether such people are spending Thanksgiving alone, as part of a small group, or at a huge family gathering, they are clearly going to have to prepare or be served something other than turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.

Particularly where a turkey alternative for Thanksgiving dinner is to be prepared only for one person in a large group, the last thing anyone is going to want to do is offer something which is complicated, requiring a lot of individual time and attention. This is not being harsh to the unfortunate person who does not like turkey, it is simply a practical consideration. This is where sirloin steak makes an excellent choice as a turkey alternative (make sure your guest is not vegetarian!) as it can be very easily prepared properly as you attend to the other pots, pans and ingredients for the meal.

Where the sirloin steak is to be served only to one of the guests in a larger group, it can of course be very effectively accompanied by most of the turkey trimmings. Where you are preparing only sirloin steak, however, and no turkey, you may wish to consider this recipe in full.


1 thick slice of sirloin steak
A few small, new potatoes
A few Brussels sprouts
1 egg
1 tomato
Little butter
Salt and pepper
Pinch of dried dill
Pinch of dried nutmeg
Sunflower oil for frying


The first step is to get your potatoes on to cook. They should be washed and added to a pot of lightly salted, cold water. They should be put on a high heat until the water starts to boil and then the heat may be reduced to achieve a simmer. Whole, new potatoes like this will take around thirty minutes' simmering to cook.

When the potatoes have been simmering for around ten minutes, it is time to cook the sirloin steak. This may be the stage where you have your turkey already out of the oven and covered with tinfoil to rest, giving you a little free time to attend to the dish for the person who does not like turkey. Prior to putting the steak on to cook, put a dinner plate in to the oven at a low heat. This will be needed to effectively rest the steak.

The steak can of course be griddled or grilled but I have chosen simply to shallow fry it in a frying pan. I am using a little sunflower oil to do so and bringing that up to a fairly high heat before I add the steak (seasoned on both sides with salt and black pepper) and reducing the heat to medium. When you are frying a steak, resist the temptation to move it around in the pan. The only time you move it during cooking should be to turn it. Different people like their steaks cooked to different extents (if you are the cook only and not the person who will be eating it, you should check!) and cooking a one inch thick sirloin such as this for five minutes each side will allow it to be served medium rare.

When you have turned the steak, the sprouts should be added to a pot of boiling water and allowed to cook for a total of ten to fifteen minutes, depending upon how big they are.

When the steak is ready, the plate should be removed from the oven and the steak transferred on to it. A large sheet of tinfoil should then be used to cover the steak and plate and wrapped securely around the edges to seal. Be sure to use oven protecting gloves for this process, as everything will be very hot! The tomato should then be halved and each half placed flat side down in to the pan vacated by the steak to fry for around five minutes.

The egg could be fried in the same pan as the tomatoes are cooking, especially if space is at a premium. I have used a separate small pan, however, with only the tiniest amount of sunflower oil. The pan should be fairly hot before the egg is broken firstly in to a small bowl and then inserted carefully in the pan. As there are a great many common mistakes made when frying an egg, you may wish to click here for some very helpful and practical tips and advice. The egg will take three to four minutes to fry.

Plating up involves draining the potatoes before returning them to the empty pot with a little butter and dried dill to be swirled around. The sprouts should be similarly drained before being swirled in butter and ground nutmeg. It is simply a matter thereafter of plating up the individual component parts of the meal as shown and serving your turkey alternative Thanksgiving dinner to your guest.

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