Sunday, January 13, 2008

Steak Your Claim

OK, this one's a freebie! It's not a traditional post, but I found the pictures in my camera - I had forgotten I took them. I was so excited to try out my brand new food processor that I got for Christmas. I had some steaks, and what goes better with steak than potatoes? So I made Rosemary-crusted Sirloin with Goat Cheese-Red Potato Gratin and Roasted Asparagus. Yummm!

Here's how I did it:

I halved or quartered the red potatoes (depending on their size, to fit into the processor), and sliced them with the food processor. I put them into a 9 X 13" casserole dish. Then in a large saute pan, I made a roux by melting some butter (about a half a stick) and adding about 3 T. flour until it formed a thick, almost doughy consistency. I whisked in some milk, and then crumbled in some goat cheese, salt, and pepper. I let the cheese melt, and continued to whisk the mixture until it was thick. Then I poured it over the potatoes. I baked them at 375 until the whole thing was hot and bubbly and the top had begun to brown.

To make the Cranberry Reduction that I put over my steaks (to the best I can remember), I began by pouring about 3/4 c. balsamic vinegar, a splash of red wine, and about 1 c. chicken stock in a saucepan. I also put in some salt and pepper, a dash of cayenne pepper, a whole rosemary stick (leaves intact, to be removed later), about 1/2 c. dried cranberries, and a couple generous spoonfuls of strawberry jam. I cooked it about 45 minutes, the entire time I was cooking everything else. That way, it had plenty of time to reduce and thicken. I've made plenty a runny sauce - the key is giving it time. Just put it on medium heat, and occasionally stir it. That's all there is to it.

As for the asparagus, it's my go-to weeknight veggie side dish, and my favorite way to cook it is how I did it for this meal. All I do is trim the ends off and place it in a shallow baking dish. I drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over it, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. I toss it all together to evenly coat it with the oil and seasoning, and bake it on 400 for about 10 minutes. They come out perfectly tender-crisp every time.

And for the steaks, I had some relatively thinly cut sirloin, which is a really lean piece of meat - perfect for a weeknight red-meat meal. I used a steak seasoning blend all over both sides, and I finely chopped some fresh rosemary and pressed it into both sides of the meat. I heated some olive oil until is was really hot, enough to caramelize the outside of the steaks. Once they had some nice color on the first side (about 2-3 minutes), I flipped them and did the same for the other side. Then I reduced the heat to medium and cooked them for a few more minutes on each side, until they were cooked to medium.

This meal came out really well. The one downside was that the steak was sort of tough - I think that since it was so lean, it would've needed a nice long roast to really start to get tender. (But hey, when you're watching your figure, you have to make some sacfrifices.) The Gratin came out AMAZINGLY. It was so rich and satisfying - not the healthiest side dish I've ever made, but it was so rich, after just a small portion I was feeling full. And, as always, the asparagus was delish.

Try this one at home, folks! It sticks to your ribs.

Thanks for reading!

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