Pic of Steak with piri-piri peppers and sweet potato mash

Steak with piri-piri peppers and sweet potato mash

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Meat mains

Steak with piri-piri peppers and sweet potato mash

Main Serves 2 40 min
Piri-piri is a sauce that hails from Portugal. Its popularity has spread to most of Africa, and now the world, thanks to certain fast food chains. Essentially it is a hot, acidic, chilli sauce. We're giving you the option to adjust the heat to suit your taste with a little extra dried chilli. Sweet potatoes seem a natural fit and make a rich, sweet mash with very few additions.

Cook's notes

A dash of lemon juice enlivens the mash, but take care not to go too far as the piri-piri sauce is inherently sharp.


  • 2 sirloin steaks
  • oil for roasting, e.g. light olive
  • 600g sweet potatoes
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes, optional
  • 25g butter
  • salt and pepper
Image of Steak with piri-piri peppers and sweet potato mash


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 30 min
  • Step 1

    Remove the steaks from the fridge. Leave them out to come to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Step 2

    Preheat oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 8. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into even 2cm chunks. Place them in a saucepan of well salted water and bring up to a boil. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until tender.
  • Step 3

    Halve and deseed the peppers. Cut them into rough 2cm pieces. Peel the onion and cut it into 12 equal wedges. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Add the peppers, onion and tomatoes to the roasting tray. Oil them lightly and season with salt and pepper. Put the tray in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes.
  • Step 4

    While they roast, make the piri-piri sauce. Deseed and finely chop the red chilli. Peel and finely chop or crush the 2 garlic cloves. Mix the chopped chilli, garlic and thyme with the vinegar, Worcester sauce, smoked paprika, 1 tablepoon of olive oil and the juice from ½ the lemon. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Add some dried chilli flakes to it if you want more heat.
  • Step 5

    When ready, remove the roasting tray from the oven. Add the piri-piri sauce to the roasting peppers. Mix well and return the tray to the oven. Bake everything for a further 10 minutes.
  • Step 6

    Meanwhile put the frying pan on to the heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. Get the oil very hot and fry the steaks for 1 minute a side. They should be nicely browned. Remove the steaks and let them rest for 4-5 minutes.
  • Step 7

    Drain the sweet potatoes, discard the thyme and return them to the pan. Add the butter and then mash until smooth. Check the seasoning and tweak with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice to suit your taste.
  • Step 8

    Tip any resting juices from the steaks into the peppers and mix together. Serve the steaks with the sweet potato mash and the peppers on the side.

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