Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday is for Steak!

Yesterday I decided I wanted to make a warm and hearty dish since it's apparently winter again in Chicago.  I went for a classic steak and potatoes meal and put my own spin on it.  A few weeks back I used a Groupon that Ian got me to a really fun store called Oh Olive!  As you might imagine it is an olive oil store.  I got a bunch of tiny bottles of different oils and vinegars for marinades and just because they looked fun.  I decided to marinade my steak with truffle oil and an 18 year balsamic vinegar.

Now I purchased this steak from a really sweet farmer that was randomly selling his wares in a fair trade shop.  I missed the fact that the piece I chose had a gigantic bone in it, which isn't a problem for the marinade, but I suggest if you're planning on pan searing it to get a boneless piece of meat.  For the marinade I used 2 teaspoons of truffle oil and 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper.  Something I recently learned from my dad is that it's not necessary to use a ton of marinade to make the steak flavorful.  This small amount went a long way, although if you want more feel free to add it!

If you're going to cook it right away, leave the steak out.  It cooks better at room temperature.  If not throw it in the refrigerator for however long you want and take it out about 30 minutes before you plan to cook it (I, of course, forgot to do this and it turned out ok, so it's not the end of the world if you forget!)

Now for the potatoes.  Did I mention these were... purple?  Oh, yes.  My greatest dream come true.  I am obsessed with the color purple.  So when I was at the farmers market last week, and I saw purple potatoes for the first time, I freaked out... I'd only ever read about them, and all of a sudden the reality seemed too overwhelming.  Granted, they taste about the same as any other potato, but, you know.  They look awesome.

Moving on... I found a recipe on The Pioneer Woman's website (she is fantastic and hilarious if you haven't already discovered her), and I put a little spin on it. 

My first words of advice on this or any potato matter would be to buy some kind of a scrub brush exclusively for your potatoes and some kind of a masher.  These potatoes were dirty (which is good, I'd prefer they were immediately taken from the ground and brought to me), except Ian and I have 3 forks... which means we certainly don't have a good way to clean these darn things.  So I scrubbed them with a paper towel and hot water.  Then I boiled them for about 20 minutes until a fork could go right through them.

When they are done, drain them and prepare a foil lined cookie sheet that has lots of oil to prevent them from sticking.  Place each one on the sheet and leave lots of room between them.  This is when it got complex for me.  It becomes necessary to smash them individually (hence the recommendation for the potato masher).  Well, as I said before, we are not in possession of such fancy items.... so I used a fork... and then I bent the fork.  It was at a right angle!  So then I used our trusty hamburger flipper.

And I smushed as hard as I could... a lot... until I got this

Isn't it pretty?!  Then I drizzled it with more oil.  But I decided to use the Tuscan herb oil that I got from Oh Olive! and I added some sage and rosemary to the top, along with salt and pepper.  Then I baked it in a 450 degree oven for 25 minutes and the result was gorgeous.

OK: back to the steak.  Since the potatoes take so much longer, I'd say at least start them while the steak is marinating.  Remove the steak from whatever it's being held in and, if it has a ring of fat around it the way mine did, make a few incisions along the steak so the fat doesn't curl up.

First I'm going to tell you what I did.  Aaaaand then I'm going to tell you to do something else.  As I said earlier this sirloin steak had a large bone in it.  I decided to pan sear it since my oven was being used for the potatoes and I was too impatient to wait.  So I heated a pan with oil (I used a tiny bit of the truffle oil since that was what was in the marinade), and I seared it.

And you see that black?? That is black from the darn bone.  If it has a bone, it's a better idea to broil it.  It's a much hotter environment and it will cook more evenly.  You will still get color, but it will probably be prettier, and it will take about the same amount of time--except it will be better.  I seared my steak on each side for about 5-6 minutes for medium-rare.  You can do the same thing while broiling.  Then before cutting, allow it to rest for just about 5 minutes.

I don't want you to think this meal was anything but good.  It was incredibly delicious.  It's just that when I cut the meat off the bone,the meat around the bone wasn't as done--so I threw it back in the pan for about a minute.  And we ate it all. Up.

My version of steak and potatoes may have been more difficult than necessary, but let me tell you it was delicious.  Experimenting with olive oils and vinegars is a lot of fun.  And you could really taste it in both dishes.  Do you have any favorite kinds of oils or vinegars to cook with?  What are they?

Steak and Potatoes - (Potatoes are based off of a recipe from Pioneer Woman)

1 sirloin steak (about a pound)
2 teaspoons truffle oil (or anything you prefer)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

8-10 purple potatoes (enough for 2)
1-2 teaspoons Tuscan herb olive oil (or any preferred)
1-2 teaspoons sage and rosemary each (or whatever herbs you have on hand)
salt and pepper

1 comment:

  1. Purple potatoes!! That is most excellent :D