Steak with garlic red-wine sauce; sauteed arugula; crispy roast potatoes
Recently, after a day of heavy fall work, I made the following meal. The steak came from a small nearby farm that lets its cows feed on pasture.
Steak with garlic red-wine sauce; sauteed arugula; roast potatoes; green salad
2 smallish NY strip steaks
2 medium potatoes
Virgin olive oil
Sauteeing oil (I've been using pure olive oil lately; the best thing to use is clarified butter or grapeseed oil)
Vinegar (I've been using Sherry vinegar)
Lots of old, down-on-its-luck arugula (the local grocery store should have plenty of this; 1 bunch will probably suffice)
Sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic
Chile flakes, to taste
I cup good solid red wine
2 or so tablespoons butter, cold
Preheat oven to 400.
Dry the steaks well with paper towels and salt and pepper them on both sides generously. Let sit while you continue cooking.
Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Place flat side of each half down on cutting board, then cut into thin slices. Place in a bowl. Dry them with a kitchen towel as well as reasonably possible (this will help them brown); salt and pepper generously, give them a lashing of virgin olive oil; stir with hands until the potatoes are evenly dressed; then place them on a cooking sheet, in one layer. Put sheet in hot oven.
Mash a clove of garlic to a puree with some sea salt, and place in bottom of a salad bowl. Add a bit of vinegar, and about twice as much EV olive oil. Whisk and correct for seasoning. Clean salad greens and place on top of dressing, but do not toss.
Now finely chop two cloves of garlic, adding it to a cast-iron skillet with a bit of EV oilve oil (enough to cover the bottom) over low heat. Add a pinch (or two) chile flakes, and stir. Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the other three garlic cloves, setting them aside. Wash arugula, but don't spin it dry, then tear it (or slice it) to small pieces. Add it to the skillet with the garlic and chile, and raise heat to medium. Add salt and pepper, and stir until it's wilted (just a minute or so.) Add a bit of vinegar, correct for salt, and divide the arugula on two serving plates.
Turn heat off and wipe the pan with a paper towel. Check potatoes; flip them over and return to oven.
Turn heat on cast-iron skillet to medium and add enough saute oil to cover the bottom. When oil smokes a bit, add the steaks. Brown them on both sides. If you like your meat more than rare, place the pan in the hot oven and let them cook for a couple of minutes there, after they've browned on both sides.
When the meat is done to your specs, place each steak on the serving plates, placing a clean plate on top of each one to keep the steaks hot while you make the sauce. (Foil works here, too).
Lower heat under cast iron skillet, pour off any fat that has built up, and add sliced garlic to the pan. Stir the garlic and let it cook until it has given off its aroma. (It's fine if it browns a little, but take care not to let it burn.) Add the cup of wine and raise heat to high. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up the precious brown bits and incorporating them into the sauce. Let the wine reduce by at least half.
The potatoes are done! Take them out.
When the sauce is reduced, lower heat and add cold butter in small chucks, stirring to incorporate each one. Correct sauce for salt. Spoon sauce over steaks. Divide potatoes between each plate. Toss the salad. Enjoy.
Note: The steak technique was inspired by the very good cookbook Simple to Spectacular, by Jean Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman.