Steak on a plank


Swedish plankstek with Bearnaise sauce and pommes duchesse

Plankstek was a particularly popular in Sweden during the 1970s, but it is now enjoying something of a revival. Plankstek is nearly always served with pommes duchesse (duchess potatoes), béarnaisesås and vegetables, usually grilled or stuffed tomatoes and French beans or asparagus wrapped with bacon. John Duxbury


Recipe summary for Swedish plankstek 


A bowl of homemade bearnaise sauce

• Use our recipe for homemade béarnaisesås! It is so much better than shop-bought bea!

Pommes duchesse piper round the edge of a plank

• For our recipe for pommes duchesse (duchess potatoes) click here.

Icon for grill and oven together

• Use the oven and top heat/grill together, sometimes called CircoTherm grilling.
• You can buy wooden planks for grilling meat online or at the barbecue sections of some garden centres. These days the planks used in Sweden are normally made from oak, although you can use any plank designed for going under a grill.
• The boards must be treated before used for the first time, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions.


4   sirloin steaks, about 150 g (6 oz) each
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp   oil, for frying
15 g (1 tbsp) butter, for frying
800 g (1¾ lb) duchess potatoes
200 g (8 oz) asparagus spears of French beans, blanched*
8   slices of thin unsmoked (green) streaky bacon
    béarnaise sauce, lightly warmed
8   cherry tomatoes, halved
    finely chopped tarragon, to garnish

*See advice below on blanching.


Two trimmed sirloin steaks on a board

1. Unwrap the steaks, pat dry, trim any fat from the steaks and beat them lightly with a meat mallet so that are an even thickness. Season both sides with pepper, but not salt at this stage. Leave to come to room temperature.

2. Preheat the heat oven with grill to 200ºC (400ºF, gas 6, fan 180ºC).

Duchess potatoes piper round the edge of a plankstek

3. Prepare the planks by piping the duchess potatoes along two sides and adding the tomatoes and the beans or asparagus wrapped in bacon.

4. Preheat a frying pan (skillet) until smoking hot and season the steaks on each side with salt.

5. Fry the steaks in oil and butter for about a minute per side, to seal. As soon as you put the steaks into the pan, put the planks with the potatoes and vegetables under the grill.*

6. When the steaks are sealed, transfer them to the planks and grill for about 4 minutes, until the potatoes are nicely browned.

7. Drain off any juices and spoon a little béarnaise sauce over the steaks so that it melts into them, serving the rest in a jug or individual bowls. Garnish the steaks and sauce with freshly chopped tarragon. Serve immediately.


A medium rare steak cooked on a plank

*Timings are for medium rare. The potatoes and vegetables need grilling for a total of about 6 minutes, depending on your grill. After frying the steaks for a minute on each side, they need grilling for about 2 minutes (rare), 4 minutes (medium rare) or 6 minutes (medium), depending on the thickness of the steaks.


Vegetables that normally accompany Swedish planksekt

Bring a pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Plunge the trimmed beans or asparagus spears into the water. Return to the boil for 1 minute. Drain and then refresh by plunging in lots of cold water to preserve the colour. When cold, dry and wrap in bacon and add to the planks.


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