Now that we’re in the apartment for the winter, I no longer have access to a barbecue. For a year-round barbecuing person, this has been a challenge. However, it has provided an opportunity to experiment with the oven. And with the smoke detector.

This recipe for pan-fried steak is adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Cooking with Jamie. The recipe calls for one-inch-thick sirloin steaks, but I have also used rib-eyes, with good results. You can make a pan sauce or not. This is my recipe for Brussels sprouts and squash and it couldn’t be easier – just toss the vegetables with oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 30 minutes.

You may think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, but if you haven’t tried roasting them, this recipe may change your mind. Roasting brings out their nutty flavour, and, unlike what happens when they are boiled or steamed, they don’t turn that insipid shade of green.

You can cook this dinner in about 45 minutes, including preheating the oven. It’s not exactly a meat-and-potatoes meal, but it’s close, and just as satisfying.

Toss sprouts and squash with oil, salt and pepper

Fry steak in a hot pan, about 8 minutes for medium-rare

Pan-fried steak with sprouts and squash

To avoid additives and preservatives in the sauce, use colour-free butter (such as Gay Lea unsalted) and a low-sulfite wine.


For the steak and pan sauce

2 x 7 oz sirloin or rib-eye steaks, 1-inch thick, fat scored

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Olive oil

2 tbsp butter

2 shallots or 1 small red onion, peeled and finely diced

A few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked

6 oz. Chianti or other red wine

Extra-virgin olive oil

For the sprouts and squash

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved and trimmed

1 lb. buttercup or other dry squash, cut into 1-inch cubes

½ tsp each salt and pepper

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, toss Brussels sprouts and squash with oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer, with the cut side of the sprouts down. Roast in oven, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until tender and starting to brown.

Meanwhile, heat heavy frying pan, large enough to cook both steaks at once without the touching. Season steaks with salt and pepper and brush them with olive oil. Using tongs, hold the steaks fatty-edge down in the frying pan to render and colour the fat. When the fat is golden (about 2 minutes), fry the steaks for 8 minutes in total for medium-rare, turning them every minute. Remove from pan to a plate to rest, covered loosely with foil.

Turn the heat down and add a tablespoon of butter to the pan. Fry the shallots and thyme for 4 minutes, then add the wine and reduce by half. Pour in the resting juices from the meat, add the remaining butter and take the pan off the heat. Stir around to emulsify. Taste, season and serve with the steak. Serves 2.

Adapted from Cooking with Jamie