Warm Beef and Blue Cheese Salad

I can’t wait til there’s a grand stretch in the evenings. Winter light is no friend to food photography, I mean, I struggle at the best of times. So you’ll have to trust me when I say this salad tasted and looked much better than the photo suggests.

I took a series of pictures to use but this was the best of a bad lot.

I don’t normally go out to eat lunch when I’m working but I did wander into Zamora recently. (It’s lovely new place on Academy Street in Cork, I’d highly recommend it). I ordered the beef and blue cheese salad as I hadn’t had one in a while. It was gorgeous! When I told himself about it later he thought it’d be a great idea if I recreated it at home. He’s clever like that. It is so tasty and easy to make so I will definitely do it as an alternative to steak and chips more often.

There seems to be many differing opinions about the type of steak to use, ranging from flank to fillet. I went with sirloin steaks – purely because I saw Jamie using them recently for a salad. I’m not going to give a recipe for cooking steak, there are so many differing methods out there. I like mine cooked for a few minutes on each side on a high heat until the outside is charred, but still pink inside. (Sadly, these were verging on well done by the time I sliced them but they were still very tender.)

It is normally served with sauté potatoes but I had made them with a chicken salad a few days beforehand so I went with new potatoes and onions roasted in balsamic vinegar. I’ll post a recipe to them soon*. You can go without for a lighter option. Use whatever blue cheese you like, I went with my go-to blue, Cambozola.

*Edited: recipe added here

The dressing is adapted from Neven Maguire’s Home Chef

Serves 2 as a main


  • 2 x sirloin steaks (approx. 500g)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ a small red onion
  • 150g blue cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Your choice of lettuce leaves – I used a salad selection from a bag. All about convenience here!

For the Balsamic Dressing

  • 2 tbsp. of good quality balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp runny honey
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Start by making the balsamic dressing. Put all of the ingredients into a jar, close the lid and give it a good shake to mix everything together. Taste it to see if it needs more seasoning. Set to one side. It will last for a few days in the fridge.
  • Next remove the fat from your steak, you don’t need it here. Season the steak well with salt and pepper and cook to your liking.
  • While the steak is cooking, assemble the rest of the salad. Lightly dress the lettuce leaves in some of the dressing. Finely slice the red onion and scatter on top. Crumble the blue cheese on top of them.
  • Once the steak is cooked, allow it to rest for a few minutes. Discard most of the oil from the pan and turn down the heat to low. I like to toss the tomatoes in the hot pan just to roast them lightly. I think it sweetens them and brings out the flavour. You can skip this if you want and just add them straight to the salad.
  • Once the beef is rested, slice it up and lay it on top of the salad. Pour over the remaining dressing and serve immediately.

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