Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Doing what must be done.

And what, you may wonder, must be done? Scratching out a blog entry, mostly. That's no easy feat when you have nothing of real interest to add to the cyberconsciousness. Nothing new, of note, has happened. I'm coming down with a cold and I am trying to decide if I ought fight it or let it run its course...the question being what'll put me in better shape for my trip to Chicago on Friday.

Upon my return on Sunday, I trust I'll have much to tell. But it's Wednesday and I don't.

The only thing which springs to mind is a modest little foodie rant. It's this: The moment I discover a cut of (usually) beef which is flavorful, tender and reasonably priced -- keep in mind I am a cheapskate -- some genius will publish an article on said cut in a foodie magazine and the price will have shot heavenward.

Therefore, just so nobody wonders if I have spontaneously combusted due to an absence, is something (more of a rough guide, really) of a recipe, cobbled together from David Rosengarten's Taste and Patricia Well's Bistro cookbooks.

You need steak. It could be one of those big ones you slice and serve (think flank and its ilk) or the usual individual ones (ribeye, whatever). I used "chuck shoulder steak" in lieu of flank, but you do whatever. Get two pats of butter and melt them in a largeish skillet over medium-high heat. Pat your steak(s) dry -- this is key -- and then salt and pepper them. When the butter has ceased to foam. add your steak and sear it hard. DO NOT MOVE IT WHILE IN MID-SEAR. Turn on your oven (or toaster oven, ideally) and preheat at medium low. Flip the steak and sear the bottom for about half as long as you did the top. Put the steak on an ovenproof platter and stick it in the warm oven. If you're all fussy and obsessive, you can use a thermometer to get to the degree of doneness you prefer. I like medium rare and I eyeball it.

OK. In the now empty and forlorn skillet add another couple of pats of butter, crank the heat up to high, and as soon as they are melted add a half onion, diced as finely as your patience permits. Sautee and make sure you pick up the caramelized beefy goodness off the skillet's surface. Add a clove of garlic or two, also minced as finely as your patience will allow. Yes, you may use shallots, or scallions, or spring onions, instead of onions.

Adding a touch of salt will help the onions/garlic exude juice and wilt more quickly. As soon as the exuded juices are evaporated, add a good glob of tomato paste (I eyeball it, but guesstimate 2 teaspoons) and make sure it caramelizes, but doesn't burn. Add a dairy product of choice, a 2-3 tablespoons' worth. Cream, creme fraiche, creme legere, even sour cream or sour half-and-half will work. Add a liquid of choice (I used beef stock, but wine will do fine and even a splash of milk would work if you want to play up the dairy angle.) to thin down to the consistency of a slightly thicker sauce than you prefer. (You'll see why.) Yes, this will make more than you'll need, but you can freeze it very nicely for for later.

Take out your steak and drain the exuded juices from the platter into your sauce, which will thin the sauce down to about ketchup consistency. Plate up the steak and serve with a tablespoon or so of the sauce. Resist the impulse to consume the sauce directly from the gravy boat.

So there,

-J.

Posted by Joke at 8:01 AM

5 Comments

  • Blogger meggie posted at 5:50 PM, September 26, 2007  
    That sounds ideal for the carnivorous members of family.
    As to the gravy, friends have to remind their daughter, Gravy is not a beverage!
  • Blogger shula posted at 12:36 AM, September 27, 2007  
    Gravy is not a beverage?

    News to me...
  • Blogger My float posted at 4:54 AM, September 27, 2007  
    So. Are we all invited to dinner then?
  • Blogger Joke posted at 7:49 AM, September 27, 2007  
    MF,

    Yes, hop a boat right away, I'll try to keep it warmish.

    -J.
  • Blogger normanack posted at 9:53 AM, September 28, 2007  
    That is so, so bad for you. And it sounds fiendishly delicious.
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