Sunday, June 04, 2006

More Steak - the cheap cuts

In my last post, I talked about grilling a mariniated round tip steak - not the greatest cut of meat, but with the right pre-treatment (in this case, a good marinade), even a cheap cut can be good. And with the prices we're seeing these days, cheap steak that is good is a very good thing. Another method of preparing an inexpensicve cut of beef is pan searing. I've used the recipe below several times since seeing it on an episode of America's Test Kitchen called "Dinner on a Dime". The recipe is called "Pan-Seared Inexpensive Steak" and can be found here, on their web site. Warning, though, you will be asked to register... It's free and definately worth the minimal effort and time.

Pan-Seared Inexpensive Steak
Serves 4
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 boneless shell sirloin steaks (top butt) or whole flap meat steaks, each about 1 pound and 1 1/4 inches thick
Table salt and ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Meanwhile, season both sides of steaks with salt and pepper. Place steaks in skillet; cook, without moving steaks, until well browned, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip steaks; reduce heat to medium. Cook until well browned on second side and internal temperature registers 125 degrees on instant-read thermometer for medium-rare (about 5 minutes) or 130 degrees for medium (about 6 minutes).

2. Transfer steaks to large plate and tent loosely with foil; let rest until internal temperature registers 130 degrees for medium-rare or 135 degrees for medium, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare pan sauce, if making.

3. Using sharp knife, slice steak about 1/4 inch thick against grain on bias, arrange on platter or on individual plates, and spoon sauce (if using) over steak; serve immediately.

There is also a Buttermilk Ranch Mashed Potatoes and a nice Mustard-Cream Pan Sauce on their site. Both go very well with this steak:
Mustard-Cream Pan Sauce
Makes 3/4 cup
1 medium shallot , minced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
6 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
Table salt and ground black pepper

After transferring steaks to large plate, pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from now-empty skillet. Return skillet to low heat and add shallot; cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high; simmer rapidly, scraping up browned bits on pan bottom, until liquid is reduced to glaze, about 30 seconds; add broth and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Add cream and any meat juices; cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in mustard; season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over sliced steak.


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