Feather Steaks with Black Olive Butter

Image of feather steaksFeather steaks are a really good buy. They’re cut from just under the blade bone of the beef and because they’re usually cut thin, are sometimes called flatiron steaks.

They’re marbled with fat, which keeps the meat nice and moist and although I’ve seen recipes for them which involve braising, I like them best cooked fast so they’re still rare.

Ours weighed a total of 400g for the grand sum of £4.04 and there was enough for two greedy people. For Aberdeen Angus, that’s a serious bargain.

I pinched the idea of making black olive butter to go with them from Waitrose – you can find their recipe here or make my cheat’s version using tapenade, although neither recipe is terribly taxing.

We ate them with potato cakes made with kale and bacon (please see below) with roasted tomatoes on the side.

Feather Steaks with Black Olive Butter

Feather steaks with black olive butter

400g of feather steaks

Salt, freshly ground black pepper, oil

For the black olive butter:

2 tbsp softened butter

2 or 3 tbsp black olive tapenade, to taste

1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and crushed

2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

Image of black olive butter


In a small bowl, mash together the butter, tapenade and garlic, then stir through the parsley to mix evenly.

Place in a line on a square of cling film, fold over the plastic and roll into a fat sausage shape. Chill in the fridge until needed.

Rub the steaks on both sides with a little olive oil and season well.

When you’re ready to eat, heat a griddle pan on the stove until it’s smoking and flash-fry the steaks for about 40-60 seconds a side, depending on thickness, but no more than a minute. Leave to rest while you dish up.

Slice the olive butter into circles and put one on each steak. The remaining butter will keep in the fridge for several days or can be frozen for up to three months.

Potato Cakes with Kale and Bacon

Image of potato cakes with kale and bacon


400-500 g mashed potato (500g gave me nine mini cakes)

2-3 rashers of smoked streaky bacon

1 small red or white onion or 4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped, or a bunch of spring onions

About 200g of kale, well washed

A small handful of chopped fresh parsley

1 small egg, beaten

Salt, pepper, olive oil, polenta or plain flour

Image of potato cakes with kale and bacon formed into patties

The potato cakes before cooking


Fry the bacon in a hot dry pan until crisp. Remove and drain on a piece of kitchen paper. Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary and fry the onions until soft and golden.

Strip the kale from its stems, discarding the central spine. Shred roughly and steam until tender. Then drain it and squeeze dry between sheets of kitchen paper – wring out every drop of water you can. Chop finely.

Put the mashed potato in a big bowl and mix in the crumbled bacon, onions, kale and chopped parsley. Add some beaten egg to bind it. Season to taste and form into small round patties. Put in the fridge to firm up if you have time.

Just before cooking, spread a little polenta or flour on a plate and dunk the potato cakes to lightly coat each side. You don’t have to do this but it will make them crisper.

Image of potato cake dusted with polenta

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and cook the potato cakes on both sides until golden. Eat straight away.

6 thoughts on “Feather Steaks with Black Olive Butter

  1. Oh man, this meal looks delicious. Those steaks look yummy and the potato cakes are more guilding on the lily. Funny, we go through periods where we forget completely about compound butter (probably because we’re too busy slathering everything with garlic yogurt) then suddenly one evening we sit up and go, oh, compound butter, right, let’s do some of that. Thanks for the tasty reminder – and thank God, the recipe isn’t “terribly taxing.” 🙂 Ken

    • Oh, garlic yoghurt, I hear you, we eat it by the bucketful. Still, compound butters make a nice change – and I surely wouldn’t want to overtax you. You work so hard keeping the rest of us inspired and salivating. L xxx

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