When families gather together in the summer, the most convenient way to picnic is for everyone to bring a plate of food ... and even if there's no-one co-ordinating, there's rarely much duplication. Yesterday 11 families brought a picnic lunch to share at the lunchtime break of the school cricket XI v the old boys. First to go were the onion bhajis, made by the mother of the captain, who also made vegetable samosas. Quiche, crostini, dips, sausages, raw veggies, smoked salmon - all easily transportable summer favourites.
I made cold beef strips using rump steak, a really good standby when you need something that won't take long and will travel well. The trick is to marinade the meat after you cook it to give it flavour. Quick and delicious - it's just as good hot, too.
Steak strips with lemon and thyme
Choose a thick piece of rump, and trim away the fat. When it's at room temperature, brush it with oil and cook it on a smoking hot griddle pan so that it is rare. A couple of minutes each side should be enough - it will "cook" a little more in the marinade, and if you're eating it cold, it will also carry on cooking as it cools.
For one or two pieces of rump, finely zest a lemon, then squeeze half the juice. Add a handful of finely chopped thyme, lots of pepper, some crushed garlic if you like. For a picnic, put everything in a plastic box. Take a board and a sharp knife, and slice the meat when you're ready to eat.
If you're eating this at hot and at home, put the meat in a shallow dish and pour on the marinade; leave it for about 10 minutes - you'll have to turn it, as there's not much liquid.
Other good things to take to a picnic
Travelling beef sandwich
Blossom time - Following on from this post, here's some more 'flowery wool' from Tracy at Norah George. Incidentally, since that last post, Tracy has moved her shop to it...
8 hours ago