Steak Johannesburg

Steaks grilled in the best South African tradition, served with grilled asparagus with orange and nutmeg Hollandaise, and cumin flavored chickpeas. This is not as challenging as it may seem as long as the orange juice reduction is ready in advance.


6 asparagus (green asparagus spears)
2 t cumin (seeds)
1 onion (medium size, finely chopped)
1 clv garlic (grated or finely chopped)
2 T vinegar (balsamic vinegar)
1 cn chickpeas (15 oz can, drained)
3 T bell pepper (red, finely chopped)
1 T tomato sauce (plain tomato sauce, tomato puree or ketchup)
2 T sauce (sweet chili relish, adds more color)
1 T coriander (fresh leaves, finely chopped)
1 T orange juice (use the orange juice reduction)
1 1⁄2 T butter (melted butter)
1 t nutmeg (ground)
3⁄4 lb beef (2 steaks 6 oz each)


Season the steaks with salt and pepper, brush with oil and grill on both sides until done to your taste.

Season the asparagus, brush with oil and add to the grill halfway the cooking time and cook together with the steaks, turning once.

To serve, place a steak on the plate with a couple of spoonfuls of the cumin chickpeas on the side and three grilled asparagus. Drizzle a little of orange nutmeg Hollandaise on top of the asparagus.

Cumin chickpeas

Heat olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat, then toast cumin seeds for 1 minute or until fragrant. Incorporate chopped onion and crushed garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes more.

Add vinegar and cook for 1 minute before adding chickpeas, ginger, pepper and sauces. Cook for a further 2 minutes. 

Finish off by seasoning with salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh coriander.

Orange and nutmeg Hollandaise

Heat water in the bottom part of a double boiler until it boils. Reduce heat until water just simmers.

Whisk the egg yolk in the top of the double boiler. Blend in the orange juice reduction. Place on top of the simmering water, whisking continuously until the mixture thickens a little.

Now is the time to start adding the warm liquid butter, a little at a time and beating continuously until thickened to your taste.

Sprinkle the nutmeg, season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.

Total time
50 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
2 servings


For a smoother texture, substitute 2 tsp cumin seeds with 1 Tbs ground cumin.

To make the orange juice reduction, simmer 6 Tbs orange juice with 4 black peppercorns, 1 small bay leaf and 1 tsp white wine vinegar until most of the liquid has evaporated and there is only about 2 Tbs or less are left. Strain to remove bits and let it cool.

Substitute melted butter with clarified butter - melted butter mixed with oil - to reduce the saturated fat content.

You can improvise a double boiler with a metal bowl, best if round bottomed, and a same diameter pan with boiling water. Check that the bowl fits in the pan half way and its bottom does not touch the simmering water.

If the sauce is thickening nicely, you can add butter in a thin stream. Do not let the Hollandaise sauce boil, it will split.


South African cuisine

grill, challenging
meat, main meal, dinner
South African food recipes
Food in Africa

Built over the bountiful mines, Johannesburg is not only rich in gold or diamonds but tantalizing flavor. This is good example of the melting pot for flavors South African dishes have become. Notice varied influences in the flavor blend. The plain grilled steak accompanied with chickpeas and grilled asparagus. However, the chickpeas are seasoned with cumin, in keeping with the best North African tradition, pickled ginger, a Far East influence, and balsamic vinegar, definitely a European one. The grilled asparagus come with an orange flavored Hollandaise sauce, a different take on the classic sauce.