I should have taken a picture of the smile on Jim’s face, rather than the steak. He absolutely loved this, and it is only (and unbelievably) 308 calories per person. I don’t eat meat so I’ve always been a bit afraid of cooking steak, but this got a big thumbs up. Because this is a quick-to-cook meal, the key here is preparation. The recipe comes, of course, from The Hairy Dieters.


  • 1 lean rump steak (about 325kg), 2cm thick and cut into 2
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tbsp flaked salt
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 large, ripe vine tomatoes
  • 75g whole chestnut/brown mushrooms, wiped and quartered
  • 1/4 beef stock cube
  • 150ml just boiled water
  • 3 tbsp half-fat creme fraiche
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp white wine (optional, and I left it out)

Trim all the fat from the meat and cut it into two similar sized pieces, each should now weigh about 140g.

Brush a teaspoon of oil onto both sides of your steaks. Coat them generously with the pepper and salt. (Dave and Si tell you to use a pestle and mortar for the peppercorns – I just use our whizzy electronic pepper mill). Set to one side.

Grill the tomatoes for 5-8 minutes until softened.

Meanwhile, pour the remaining oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms on a high heat for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Set the mushrooms to one side.

Using the same pan, on a medium heat, fry the steaks for 2-3 minutes on each side. I cooked Jim’s for 2 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the second side – he likes his steaks medium rare.

Put the steaks on a warm plate, cover with foil, and leave to rest.

Return the mushrooms to the pan, add the stock and mustard, stir continuously. Add the creme fraiche and stir together for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is nice and thick and hot.

Spoon the mushroomy sauce over the steaks and serve with the grilled tomatoes and a salad. I also sneaked in a tiny baked potato.

Serves 2.