Shell steaks with red wine butter

Red wine, ruby port and peppercorns give this steak recipe a kick.

  • Preparation Time25 mins
  • Cooking Time35 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium
120g unsalted butter, softened
4 (290g to 350g) shell steaks (also called club steak, strip steak or New York steak), about 3-cm thick
Vegetable oil, for griddle
2 tsp salt, plus additional for seasoning
2 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp red wine vinegar
120ml red wine
120ml ruby port
1/4 tsp black peppercorns, cracked
1 tsp coriander seeds, cracked
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper


1) Melt 15g of butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallot and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the coriander seeds and peppercorns and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2) Pull the pan from the heat and add the port and wine. Return the pan to the heat and, if cooking over a gas burner, tip the pan to let the alcohol ignite. (If cooking over electric or halogen, just keep cooking the mixture.) Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer briskly until syrupy, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3) Beat the remaining butter in a medium bowl with a handheld electric mixer or whisk until smooth and light. Add the reduced wine mixture, vinegar, parsley and 10g salt and beat until evenly mixed.

4) Spread a 30cm-long piece of cling film on a work surface. Mound the butter across the cling film, about 5cm from edge nearest you. Fold the bottom edge of the cling film over the butter and roll it up to make a 2cm-wide log. Twist the ends together in opposite directions (like a party favor) and refrigerate until firm.

Prepare an outdoor griddle with a high fire.

5) Brush griddle grate lightly with oil. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and black pepper, to taste. Barbecue 3 to 5 minutes, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the meat reads 50 degrees C to 52 degrees C for rare; 52 degrees C to 54 degrees C for medium-rare; or 54 degrees C to 57 degrees C for medium.

6) Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve each steak topped with a 2cm-thick slice of the wine butter.

Cook's Note: Any leftover butter can be frozen and used with lamb and pork.

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