Butter them up with a juicy Irish steak cooked on the BBQ

Di Curtin shares the perfect steak recipe if you are having a BBQ this weekend
Butter them up with a juicy Irish steak cooked on the BBQ


BUTTERMILK has long been one of Ireland’s favourite products. This humble ingredient, a by-product of butter making, once had no real commercial value for the farmer and his family. So it was usually kept by the farmer’s wife, who used it for making bread and pouring over the hot spuds at dinner time.

These days, though, buttermilk is an ingredient in its own right, valued for its versatility in many recipes, including pancake batters, scones, cakes, muffins and savoury dishes.

This weekend, I’m using buttermilk with another famous Irish ingredient — best Irish grass fed beef herds produce great steak, made even more flavoursome with a buttermilk marinade. The buttermilk’s tenderising quality breaks down the fibres of the meat and creates a juicy and succulent end result.

The marinade creates flavour and tenderness and cooking outdoors over charcoal gives that wonderful smokey finish. Choose either striploin or or ribeye steaks for the barbecue.Whichever you go for, make sure the meat has a decent amount of marbling of fat through it which ensures juiciness.

Last week, I was given some fabulous homegrown radishes, one of my very favourite things to grow at home. Radishes are a brilliant way to start kids on the grow your own journey because they are easy and quick grow from sowing to harvest, and you can keep the crop going all summer long. When picking, the smaller the better is really the secret to great tasting radishes.

Young radishes have the most peppery flavour and crunchy texture. They make a super salad with green beans to serve with the chargrilled steak and chargrilled potatoes on the side.

For pudding, I’m sticking with the barbecue theme. Pineapple makes a great fruit to cook over the coals. Cut it into thick wedges and leave the peel on so the wedges keep their shape. Marinate in lime and ginger before grilling over hot coals, just so the flesh gets a little caramelised.


Ingredients (Serves 4)

4 striploin or ribeye steaks 

200mls buttermilk 

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed (optional) 

Pinch of dried red chilli flakes 500g baby potatoes, cooked 

For the salad:

Mixed peppery leaves 

100g green beans, trimmed 

100g radishes, thinly sliced 

1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and sliced 

For the dressing:

4 tbsp olive oil 

1 tbsp cider vinegar 

1 tsp Dijon mustard 

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Lay the steaks in a shallow dish big enough to hold them in a single layer.
  • Mix buttermilk with seasoning, garlic and chilli, if using.
  • Pour over the steaks, and massage in with fingers both sides.
  • Cover and leave to in the fridge for an hour or until ready to cook. Take out and let them come to room temperature while you fire up the coals.
  • Make the salad dressing by mixing all the ingredients together in a jar, sealing with lid and giving a good shake. Reserve.
  • Slice the potatoes thickly and place in a bowl. Drizzle with a few drops of olive oil to moisten, then season. Toss to coat. Reserve till ready to cook.
  • Blanch the beans and refresh in cold water. Drain and reserve When the coals are hot enough, lay potato slices on the grill and let them char lightly each side, so they are just warm. Lift off the and place in a bowl. Reserve, keeping warm.
  • Lift the steaks out of the marinade and shake off the excess buttermilk, so it’s not dripping.
  • Cook the steaks over the hot coals for a few minutes each side until seared and charred, and , they give lightly when prodded with a finger for a medium result. You should see pink juice just pricking the surface of the meat for medium steaks. Cook longer for well done.
  • Mix the leaves in bowl with sliced radishes, green beans and spring onions. Shake dressing and drizzle over. Toss.
  • Serve the steaks with salad and charred potatoes.

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