Done in 40 minutes – Sirloin Steak with Cheesy Penne and Broccoli

Sorry for the slight hiatus, everyone. I’ve been a little distracted recently but I’ve really missed blogging. Somehow I’ve fallen into learning bits of programming after work/reading (i’m reading a book written by a former undercover FBI agent who infiltrated the American mafia!)/stoning in front of the computer. I know. No excuses. So here we go: what I whipped up for tonight’s dinner in 40 minutes.

pan fried sirloin steak, cheesy penne, stir-fried broccoli with mushroom


Mmmmmm I do love steak! Partly because it’s so easy – coarse sea salt and ground black pepper on each side, stick it on a hot pan, leave it to brown on each side before turning (approx 4 minutes on each side), done. No recipe needed for that, surely. And for the sides – a quick soy sauce, mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine), and oyster sauce stir-fry with broccoli and mushrooms, and a cheesy penne.

I improvised on the penne because there was some leftover cheddar in the fridge, and was really pleased with the results. I had it in my mind to go for a ‘mac and cheese’ kind of taste, so I simply melted butter, cheddar cheese, and milk into the pot of hot, freshly cooked penne with some of the remaining hot water used to boil the pasta.

Turned out to be a nice American-ish meal (if hunks of red meat, fatty carbs and Chinese stir-fries can be associated with the US of A), very appropriate for watching the presidential election results coverage! Oh how I miss the US. Living in England is great (anyone else see some good fireworks shows over the weekend/on Monday night for Guy Fawkes?), but have to say that the food here is at times quite dire. Or perhaps I’m just all pub-ed out (I count probably 4 pub meals in the past two weeks – not good for the wallet… …).

Hoping that I can get away without providing a recipe for this, as I haven’t measured anything. What I would say is that for the penne, the ratio of butter : milk : cheese should be half tablespoon butter:3 tablespoons milk: 4-5 tablespoons cheese. Those are my estimates for the amounts I used for 150 grams of uncooked penne (2 portions), so scale up/down depending on how much pasta you are cooking. πŸ™‚

Ok so maybe I’ll come back to this post and write up the recipes another time, if anyone’s interested. Otherwise, I’d like to make this blog more about sharing thoughts and experiences of cooking and food in general – rather than a step by step document of How Sheila Cooks Food. I’m probably the least precise person I know so I find retrospectively writing up recipes a slight chore! (Anyone else with me on this?! Or am I just lazy? 😦 – wait don’t answer that…!)


17 thoughts on “Done in 40 minutes – Sirloin Steak with Cheesy Penne and Broccoli

    • Sheila says:

      Have to say that I didn’t realise I was going to cook the pasta until I had finished the steak! Though thinking back, the mirin was just to give the broccoli and mushrooms a little more moisture – perhaps normal cooking wine would be better alongside the cheese – but somehow it didn’t clash too terribly, phew :).

  1. Sam says:

    Not precisely the orthodox cook book as you said, but you made it sound so easy and enjoyable for us to try. Photoshot of the dish is appetizing as well!

    • Sheila says:

      Thanks! Yes, I can’t cook with precision… my goal when I walk in the kitchen is cook something (anything!) that be simple, taste good, and recharge me after what is usually a busy day at work!

    • Sheila says:

      Right – well I shan’t give up just yet then! Perhaps it’s just Oxford – yes, there are some nice places, but they tend to be doing other cuisines – and I want to find proper good British fare! (that doesn’t cost a fortune…)

    • Sheila says:

      Definitely :). I think I should also try cooking larger portions for leftovers for the next evening, but that will involve more organisation – and a bigger wok/pan probably!

      • Sheila says:

        That sounds like a real challenge – I’ve always wondered how parents can prepare food for 4, 5, people day in day out – it’s mind boggling the amount of work that has to be done! But perhaps it’s all down to careful planning (and a little creativity..?) πŸ™‚

  2. Michael says:

    I love steak. In fact it is a regular here. YW and I bought a mini-grill awhile back. Steak is so delicious!

    Medium rare please πŸ™‚

    • Sheila says:

      Cool… I’ve never used a grill before – ovens here have grill functions that can come in handy except I guess it’s nice to have grill pans/racks so that you get that nice lattice on the grilled food! I’ve stopped eating medium rare steaks now… can’t trust the meat here!

      • Michael says:

        Except I’m lazy to clean the grill so I stick in the pan. Works great and it’s always delicious!

        Also, I like how your blog has turned out into. It’s homey and bubbly with lots of people leaving comments!

        My only pointer for you is, you might want to change the “Older Posts” button at the bottom of the page – it’s too inconspicuous.

        Love it!

      • Sheila says:

        Thanks Michael! Hmm v good point – i do want to make sure the archive is featured more prominently, rather than just popular articles.

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