Father’s Day dinner: Steak? Check. Whiskey? Check. Fire? Check

Marinating steaks in a whiskey-based mix really tenderises the meat and brings out the savoury, beefy flavours

It’s Father’s Day this weekend, so I’m sharing the recipe for one of my husband’s favourite dinners. It involves flames and includes whiskey and a chunky salad. It ticks so many boxes.

I marinate the steaks in a whiskey-based mix that really tenderises the meat while encouraging all of those savoury, beefy flavours. These can, of course, be cooked indoors with a grill pan, but the lick of flames from a barbecue adds to the taste.

This marinade works well on pork or chicken, too. I always suggest a big green salad for balance, but this grilled wedge of lettuce is just as nice, while being a little different from the usual. Having big wedges of grilled greens is perfect for portion control, too, so this works really well when hosting a larger group.

A few minutes on the barbecue or grill pan makes the lettuce smoky and charred in places while still being crisp and fresh. Look for a compact, tightly packed Gem lettuce or pick greens such as endive, romaine or radicchio. Leave the root of the greens intact so it doesn’t fall apart on the grill. Cut it in half down the middle, brush with a little olive oil and season with salt.

I’m a big fan of ranch dressing and love how it transforms everything it comes into contact with. All of the ingredients are simply shaken in a jar and it’s ready to serve. The buttermilk is cooling and refreshing, and the apple cider vinegar encourages just the right amount of piquancy. I love it for drizzling over salads, dipping crunchy raw vegetables in, or perking up grilled vegetables. You can add parsley or dill, but I’ve gone for finely snipped chives here (use a scissors) – they add a nice subtle allium layer along with the crushed garlic.

I’ve listed the ingredients below to include four fillet steaks, enough for four adults or two adults and four kids. We would rarely have fillet steaks, but when I do cook them I usually slice them all and divide them between the five of us. This is really easy to cook food with a celebratory summer feel. 

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