Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sauteed Steak With Red Wine Reduction

red wine reduction simmering away

Friends, I forget things quite often. As a result, I needed to scribble down once and for all the way I make a quick pan fried steak and an accompanying sauce. This recipe is classic in style, which is great because I love French food.

When it comes to beef, I prefer lean cuts. I don't often use rib-eye because of the marbling. A lean New York strip is ideal for me. After cooking I will trim off any fat to present a nice, lean cut that will leave a clean plate when the eater is finished. I don't like seeing chunks of fat littering a plate. ;)

Because I use lean cuts, cooking time is very fast. Only 5 1/2 minutes or so is required for a rare to medium rare finish. I find that a meat thermometer is useless for me in this application. Because the lean cut cooks so fast, a meat thermometer might only read 100 degrees in the center, even though the outside is nice and browned. The good news is that while the center is rare (and this is good in classic technique) the steak will continue to cook as it rests. Some people might freak out about rare steak, but live a little. See the photo at the bottom for the lovely profile of the steak. The pink looks - and tastes - awesome between the pepper crusted outside.

Sauteed Steak With Red Wine Reduction

Lean New York strip steak
Coarsely ground pepper
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
Pink peppercorns (optional)

1. Pat steak dry with paper towels. (Wet beef will steam; dry beef will brown.) Rub all over with pepper and season lightly with salt. Heat oil over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook steak until cooked to desired doneness, 3 minutes (possible less) per side. Transfer to a plate so that it can rest and tent with foil.

2. Reduce heat to low and add 1 tablespoon butter and shallot. Cook until shallot is softened, but be careful not to burn.

3. Add wine, broth and thyme to skillet. Increase heat and simmer, scraping up any of the fond (browned bits of steak), until slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Turn off heat and whisk in accumulated steak juice and remaining butter (1 tablespoon at a time). Season with kosher salt (I used between 1/2 and 1 teaspoons), then spoon sauce over steaks. Garnish with crushed pink peppercorns and thyme.

Next time I will either make my own beef stock or see if I can't find a higher quality stock than the salty, watery broth I used.

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