Thursday, November 06, 2008

What's for dinner: Prime NY steak w/brandy cream

Major score at Costco this week: fresh Brussels sprouts and USDA Prime NY steaks.

I realize that the little cabbages aren’t on most people’s list of favs, but I’ve converted more than a few people when I braise them with bacon and maple syrup, a trick I learned in a cooking class. Just slice them in half so they can soak up all that nice flavor, and if you finish cooking them without a lid you won’t end up with that nasty sulfur aroma.

These steaks had the most beautiful marbling, and were almost 1 ½” thick. I rubbed them with kosher salt and mushroom powder and let them sit out until they were room temp. Then I rub them with a little olive oil and into a really hot skillet for three minutes on a side. Don’t touch them until the three minutes are up if you want the most beautiful caramelized surface. Then into a 400-degree oven for four minutes. Put them on a plate to rest and made the pan sauce: add a couple of tablespoons of minced onion to the skillet (back on the heat) and stir until the onion is translucent, scraping up the fond in the skillet. Then pull the skillet off the heat and add a couple of tablespoons of brandy; tilt the pan as you put if back on the burner and the brandy will flame. I used more like ¼ cup of brandy (4Tbs), and got flames mostly up to the kitchen ceiling (and we have high ceilings!). But no damage, even kept my eyebrows and I didn’t drop the skillet when it happened. I guess I’m getting used to flambéing. Once the flames went out I added some salt and about a tablespoon of flour, since I wanted the sauce to cling a bit to the meat. Stirred until the flour was cooked and then added heavy cream until I got the consistency I wanted. Did I mention that this meal was designed to harden your arteries even as you prepared it? Anyway, once the sauce was done and I corrected the seasonings, I put the steaks back in the pan for just a bit to coat them in sauce, and plated it up.

You could almost cut the steaks with a glance. Incredibly buttery and tender, and a perfect medium rare all the way through.

We had a nice salad of baby greens with blue cheese crumbles and candied pecans in a raspberry vinaigrette to round out the meal. No leftovers tonight!

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