Carpet bag steak

Serves 4
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The Independent Online

I haven't seen this on restaurant menus for ages. The thought of cutting through a rare steak into a luke-warm oyster is always slightly off-putting, but this is one of those dishes that you either love or hate. I've added a baked oyster on the side here and also some herbs and butter. Chips and lettuce-heart salad would be perfect with this, or you could go retro and serve it with grilled mushrooms and tomato.

What cut of steak you use is up to you but I rather think a rib steak or wing rib is going to work best for this dish. It would probably have been fillet in the Seventies, but fillet rarely has flavour.

4 rib steaks weighing about 250g each
Vegetable oil for brushing
8 large rock oysters, shucked and shells kept
2 shallots, peeled, halved and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
A couple of good knobs of butter
2-3tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
2tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Using the point of a sharp knife, make a pocket in the side of the steaks large enough to fit the oysters, in fact make it about double the size. Season four of the oysters and carefully push them into the pocket.

Gently cook the shallot and garlic in the butter for a couple of minutes until soft, then mix in the parsley and breadcrumbs and season.

Pre-heat a grill and a cast iron ribbed griddle plate or heavy-based frying pan. Season the steaks and brush with a little oil. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side for rare and 5-6 for medium depending on the thickness of the steaks. Meanwhile, spoon the breadcrumb mixture on to the four remaining oysters and place on a tray under a medium grill for 3-4 minutes until golden. Serve the steaks on warmed serving plates with the oysters alongside them.

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