Andalousian Beefsteaks

This Spanish recipe for minced steak is enlivened by the addition of sherry to the gravy. Served with a simple pilaff and sauteed tomatoes, it is a delicious variation of the inexpensive and ordinary hamburger.

8 oz. long-grain rice

19 oz. water

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

4 cloves

2 oz. butter

1 ½ lb. minced steak

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

1 small clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon salt freshly ground pepper

4 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons cooking oil

3 fl. oz. sherry

4 tomatoes, cut in halves

Wash and soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain the rice and put in a medium-sized saucepan with the water, the bay leaves and salt. Bring it to the boil over high heat. When the water is boiling vigorously, cover the pan and turn the heat to very low. After 10 minutes, the. rice should be cooked and the water completely absorbed. If the rice is still damp, leave covered for another 5 minutes.

In a small frying-pan over moderate heat, saute the onion and cloves in the butter until the onion is soft. Discard the cloves and mix the onion into the boiled rice. Set aside and keep hot.

To prepare the steaks, melt half the butter in a small frying-pan over moderate heat and lightly fry the onion and garlic.

Put the minced beef in a mixing bowl. Add the cooked onion and garlic, salt and 7 grindings of pepper. Mix well, using your hands, and shape into 8 flat, round patties. Dip each patty into the flour and fry in oil in a large frying-pan.

While the meat is cooking, melt remaining butter in a small frying-pan and saute the tomato halves.

When the steaks are cooked, about 15 minutes, pile the pilaff in the centre of a serving dish and place the patties around it. Place a half tomato on each steak. Raise the heat under the large frying-pan and add the sherry to the meat juices.

Boil quickly for 2 minutes. Pour over the steaks and serve.

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