You know its Friday when you can open the bottle of wine while getting the ingredients together - and not in any hurry or rush, but just enjoying the act of making dinner. I love making dinner when time is not an issue, it just isn't the same on a school night.
This particular Friday night's menu included slow roasted root vegetables, and a relatively quick steak au poivre paired with a bottle of old vine red that was on sale at Surdyks. The vegetables needed 90 minutes in the oven, so I wanted to get that started first. This recipe is quite easy - and can be adapted to include things you might already have onhand. Read more for the recipes.
Steak - a total of 20 minutes will get you through the prep and cooking, and another 5-10 minutes for the sauce if care for it. We usually just cook one steak for the two of us. I prefer one large steak to two smaller - somehow it just seems easier to prep and cook just one piece of meat than two...
Of course, Mikka (our 6 mo. old bulldog that we got each other for Christmas) needs to be close enough to see what we are up to. So, like great parents - we acquiesce and pull her bed to the outskirts of the kitchen so she can sleep in peace.
Recipe: Slow Roasted Root Vegetables
to serve 2-4
1/4 cup olive oil
1 TBSP maple syrup
1 garlic clove - minced or pressed
1 bunch of real baby carrots (skinny with the greens removed)
1 parsnip peeled and cut in 2" chunks
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2" chunks
3 beets, peeled and cut into wedges (about the thickness of the other veggies)
1 medium onion, skin removed, cut into wedges from the root end
Salt and Pepper
* Heat oven to 350. Mix together the oil, syrup and garlic. Spread vegetables on a foiled, rimmed baking sheet in one layer. Pour liquid over and stir to coat. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. Bake for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Recipe: Steak au Poivre
1 cup beef broth
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 medium shallot, minced
1 TBPS butter
1 Strip Steak
1 TBSP peppercorns
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 TBSP butter
1 TBSP lemon juice or champagne vinegar
* Melt butter in heavy bottomed 12" skillet (i used a cast iron.) Cook shallot until soft (about 5 minutes). Add broths and cook on high until reduced to about 1/2 cup (about 8 minutes). Pour reduced stock into a 1 or 2 cup glass measuring cup and set aside. Wipe out skillet.
* Meanwhile, trim the steak if desired. Salt all sides of the meat. Crush peppercorns (should look roughly chopped - not fine like ground pepper). Push crushed peppercorns into one side of the meat. Cook steak on non-peppered side first for 6 minutes. Do not move the steak while cooking. Flip and cook on peppered side for 3-4 minutes (rare), 4-6 minutes (med-rare). Remove steak from pan, cover loosely with foil.
* Add cream to the reduced stock and return to the pan. Stir to get any steak bits into the sauce. Cook until the mixture turns deep amber and coats the back of a spoon (about 4-6 minutes) - stirring constantly. Take off the heat and whisk in butter 1 TBSP at a time. Last - add the vinegar or lemon juice. Season to taste.