A few years ago you'd never have found steak in a student recipe book, but now you can usually find it on special offer in supermarkets, and it's so easy! If you're worried it might be a bit tough, bash it with a rolling pin or marinate it before you cook it, and leave it to rest for 3-4 minutes after cooking.
Cooking time: 10 mins
400-450g rump steak
1 tbsp olive oil
½ a glass of Shiraz or other full-bodied red wine
About 100ml beef or chicken stock (made with a stock cube or bouillon powder)
Salt and black pepper
Balsamic vinegar if you have some
A griddle or frying pan
Cut the steak into two portions and trim off any excess fat. Put each piece of meat between a couple of sheets of nonstick baking paper or cling film and give them a bash. Rub a little oil into each side of the meat and season well with freshly ground pepper. Heat a ridged grill or frying pan for about 3 minutes until really hot. Lay the steaks in the pan, pressing them down well. Cook for 2-3 minutes then turn on to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes, depending whether you like your steak rare or medium to well-done. Remove from the pan, grind over some salt and put them on a warm plate to rest while you make the sauce. For the sauce, pour the wine into the pan and let it bubble up and reduce until it becomes thick and syrupy. Add the stock and simmer until reduced. Pour in any juices that have run off the steak and check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary and a few drops of balsamic vinegar if it needs a lift. A small squirt of ketchup will help here if the sauce tastes bitter.
Tip: Any wine you use for cooking should be drinkable! Take half a glass out of the bottle you buy to drink with the dish. If you like your steak with onions it's best to make the sauce first. Fry a sliced onion or 3-4 shallots until they begin to brown, then add the red wine and follow the method above. Cook the steak separately, leave to rest then add the sauce.