Good Old Fashioned Steak and Chips with Barbecue Sauce, and a Lesson in Plating Up

Brendon D'SouzaServes 4

How steak and chips taught me a lesson in food styling and plating techniques.

The other night I was craving something I hadn’t eaten or cooked in a very long time: steak, seasoned with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Grilled on a smoking pan till charred on the surface yet still pink in the centre. Served with a crunchy, oven-baked chips, sprinkled with rosemary salt and served with a homemade barbecue sauce.

So I got cooking (and photographing and blogging) and then plated it all up on a blue plate that I picked up recently. That’s where I came across a problem.

I’ve served other dishes using this plate and it usually carries red, white, yellow and green foods really well. For some reason, I didn’t feel it was working when I was looked back at the photos. Was it the colours, or my geometrical presentation? Maybe after going to so much trouble to get good grill marks across the steak I just wasn’t doing it justice?

I think it’s one of those life lessons that you learn from trying and failing, but it’s important that you don’t quit, but rather use the opportunity to try it again.

I’ve posted the recipe for the steak below, and thanks to the power of photo-editing I was able to play around with the pictures to make them jazzy. But I definitely didn’t want to let this one just slip by. So I gave it another shot, this time taking an Asian spin, and came up with a recipe for Soy and Ginger Steak with Stir-Fried Vegetables.



  • 3 medium potatoes (I used organic Dutch Creams)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper


  • 2 x 250g beef steaks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sliced cucumbers, to serve

Homemade barbecue sauce

  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp clove powder
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2tbsp dark muscavado sugar

Brendon D'Souza


Line a baking tray with baking paper. Pre-heat an oven to 180ºC. Cut the potatoes into chips. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with cold water. Microwave on high for 8 minutes to par-boil the chips.

Add the oil, rosemary and seasoning to the chips and toss to coat. Spread them on the baking tray in a single layer and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time.

Heat a grill pan over a medium heat to warm up. Place the steaks, on a plate and rub with olive oil. When the pan starts to smoke, season the steaks generously on one side with salt and pepper.

Place the steaks in the pan, salt-side down, and grill over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes for medium or until cooked to your liking. Season the top-side and flip over. Continue to cook.

Remove the steaks from the pan and onto a plate. Cover with foil and allow to rest for two minutes, then slice thinly and arrange on a plate with the chips, barbecue sauce and cucumbers.

For the barbecue sauce place all ingredients into a small saucepan and cook over a low heat for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Serve with the steak and chips.

Have any of you had plating or photography disasters? Post them in the comments below and keep reading for my Soy and Ginger Steak recipe.

Happy Cooking and Keep Smiling,

Brendon 🙂


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Casey says:

    Your posts always make me hungry! They look so good, I want to eat the pictures haha


    1. Thank you very much Casey!


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