Man, oh man, do I have a lot of updating to do over here. I’ve been super busy the last week or two–or at least it felt busy–and while I could have used some free time for blogging, I opted to use it doing needlework instead. I’ve got a recent addiction to embroidery that is prettymuch overruling anything else I could possibly need to do. In fact, I would be doing it now too, except for the fact I REALLY need to do dishes, and blogging is an exceptional tool for procrastination.

Anyway, this here is another old post moved over from the previous blog. It was a pretty good steak, all things considered—main consideration being that it was the first one I ever made. I’m really not a steak eater which is why I put off figuring out how to make one for so long, but I quite liked this one. Perhaps because I made it myself and could more easily control how done it was. And of course, because it wasn’t smothered in A1. that makes all the difference.

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I have a confession: This is my first time making a steak–any type of steak.

My dad is an enthusiastic griller. Behind our house we actually have an “outdoor kitchen,” which basically consists of a humongous grill and some countertops sheltered under its own little overhang. In the summer, we have grilled vegetables, grilled hamburgers, grilled chicken, grilled fish…and of course, grilled steaks. In fact, I’d wager that just about every steak I’ve ever eaten has been grilled…I don’t think it even occurred to me until recently (pardon my meat-eating naivete) that steaks could be cooked any other way. So, as a non-griller myself, I have never made a steak.

My eyes were opened when I watched Gordon Ramsey making a steak in a skillet on the stovetop the other week. steak? stovetop?? well, it’s worth a try. So I went out and bought some steaks.

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Upon getting them home, I immediately covered them with a layer of sea salt. This is a technique I’ve read about on a number of blogs—basically what happens is that the salt draws the water out of the steak (because that’s what salt does…you can see all the liquid starting to pool up in the picture), the water absorbs some of the salt, and some of that salt is then taken back in to the steak.This process improves the flavor of the meat, and also helps to relax the proteins—resulting in a much more tender and tasty piece of meat.the salt sits on the meat for about an hour, and I immediately begin to prepare my sauce…which I also allow to sit for an hour (or more, would be ideal!) to allow the flavors time to develop.
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I’m scratching my head right now trying to remember what I put in the sauce. I believe it consisted of 1/2c cooking sherry (only because I’ve run out of red wine), 1/2c beef stock, olive oil, minced garlic, and about 2t of rosemary.
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When you’re ready to cook the steaks, rinse off all the remaining salt, and dry them off. Get 2T of butter and some olive oil sizzling hot in a pan, and….
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add your steaks!
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Once the steaks were looking nice and brown on the outside, I added in just a bit of my sauce mixture from before, and allowed the steaks to continue cooking to their desired degree of done-ness.
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Once the finished steaks were removed, I set about making the sauce. I poured in teh rest of my rosemary-sherry sauce mixture and brought it to a simmer. Then, I made a buerre manie, just like Julia Child taught me, which is a thickening paste made of blended butter and flour. Thats the clumpy white stuff in the picture above. I whisked it all together until a smooth, creamy sauce, and poured it over the steaks to serve.
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I wish I had a better picture of the finished product, but here it is on my plate, with a sweet potato and some roasted root vegetables. It was a great meal and (dare I say it!) pretty healthy! My main complaint was that the meat DID turn out saltier than I would have liked, but then again I don’t regularly eat much salt on food so I tend to be much more sensitive to its presence than some. I had expected that only a little bit of salt would be absorbed and the rest would be rinsed off…but I think more got absorbed than I anticipated. I may have to make some adjustments to how long the meat salts. However, the steaks were juicy and tender, and I thought the sauce was quite flavorful–definitely several steps up from A1. Overall, a winner! I can’t wait to experiment some more with steak.

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