Surf and Turf, Atkins Style

You’ll all remember the Atkins Diet craze – eat fat and protein, a few green things, and watch those pounds fall away. And then suffer some unpleasant side effects, which we won’t go into here. Well I am on a diet but to be honest, now that I can fit into my Aqcuascutum* suit, it’s getting a bit difficult to maintain the motivation.

(*That’s not bragging, they’re on the verge of bankruptcy so I’ve heard)

So in order to a) fulfill the need to cook delicious food with b) my desire to pretend that I am still losing weight, I decided to revisit an old favourite – Surf ‘n’ Turf.


I went looking for a big piece of fillet steak and a lobster tail. I found the fillet but the lobster tail was somewhat elusive so I settled for some frozen Canadian prawns (the middle of England isn’t swamped with fresh prawns, or lobster come to that).

Now I didn’t have anything green in the fridge so decided to make a rich maderia wine sauce. So for this classic creation you will need:

  • A large chunk of fillet steak
  • A bunch of Canadian prawns, head and tails on!
  • Oil and Butter
  • Salt and Pepper

For the sauce

  • A couple of shallots
  • A glass of Maderia wine
  • A quarter bottle red wine
  • 1/2 pint chicken stock
  • A tablespoon of butter

First make sure the meat is at room temperature and rub some salt into it to remove excess liquid. Then rub some oil all over.

Chop the shallots and gently fry in the butter until soft. Add the stock and allow to reduce till its half its original volume:


Use a sieve to remove the shallots. Add the juice back to the pan and then add the wines:


Let the sauce bubble away, slowly reducing (I think I added a bay leaf but I can’t honestly say it made any difference)

Meanwhile heat a skillet until its smoking (that’ll be the residue from the last time you did this, yesterday, probably). Then put that muscle on!


Brown the meat all over. Reduce the heat some and then add the prawns. Lets just take a second to review these things:


They remind me of underwater spiders – with little beady black eyes. Actually they look like mini-Aliens. Anyway add them to the pan:


Once the prawns have cooked (gone pink + a min) remove from the pan. The meat will cook in about 15  mins (depending on thickness and your rareness preference). Remove that from the heat and wrap in foil. Now lets divert again and take a look at one of those prawns:


Its still staring at me with those little beady black eyes and those unpleasant looking legs. Rip the sod’s head off:


Now peel off the shell:


And you’re left with a prawn. Now repeat and your left with several prawns and a huge pile of detrius:


I suppose you could make a stock with this but I don’t have time – I need to eat! How’s the sauce doing?


Not bad – but you might want to skim the excess butter off. You can use that to reheat the prawns. Now plate up. Cut the steak into slices (I managed to over-cook mine to medium when I prefer medium-rare, but it didn’t matter too much). Arrange the slices on a plate and then drizzle the sauce over the top. Pile some buttery prawns on the side and serve with a dollop of horseradish:


Some might say this isn’t really a balanced diet – but I say you’re forgetting the wine is made from grapes, and grapes are green, and green is good, right?


26 thoughts on “Surf and Turf, Atkins Style

  1. Grapes are excellent for you! I’m not sure if prawns are the same as shrimp – they look the same – but when we buy them here, they’ve had the heads including those beady eyes already chopped off for you.
    This looks like a superb meal – what a piece of beef that is.

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