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yummy steak goodness

cost not being an issue, try to get your butcher to get you the onglet (hanging tender, the muscle connecting the stomach and diaphragm). if you already have fillets, use those instead but tone down this marinade.

onglet marinade (1lb or 1/2 onglet, should be shaped like an oval):
- salt/pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- chopped italian parsley, sage and thyme (to taste, a couple teaspoons should be sufficient)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 4 tablespoons olive oil

mix until it forms a good emulsion and work into the meat with your hands, let the meat sit in the marinade in the fridge, turning every few hours. min time: 4 hrs, preferably overnight.

filet marinade (2 4-6oz steaks):
1/3 cup of red wine
pinch salt
pinch sugar
pepper to taste
sage, thyme, italian parsley

dump the steaks into a freezer bag, dump the marinade on it, leave in the fridge for 4 hours to 10 hours.

prep (either):

remove steaks from marinade, reserving the marinade.

pat the steaks dry.

for an au poivre (with peppers) prep, rub steaks with oil and press in fresh ground black and white peppercorns and a pinch of kosher salt.

get a sautee pan really hot. (two mutally exclusive tests - the water test, water should dance; or olive oil will smoke slightly). plunk the steak(s) down. wait a minute, lower heat to medium flame. wait another two minutes to 3 minutes tops depending on thickness, flip.

its MUAY IMPORTANTE to not touch the steaks when they first go down on the pan because you want to form a crust.

generally, you can dry roast with a nonstick pan (with a small amount or no oil) or, using a regular sautee pan, use 2 or 3 teaspoons of oil.

doneness hint: when you've flipped the steaks, the steak will be medium rare if when you touch the top it feels taught, like the fleshy part of your thumb if you curl your thumb.

moisture note: harold mcgee has demonstrated a way to loose less moisture by frequent flipping (every 15-30 seconds), but that defeats the crust purpose. anyway, i tried it and it works out, but the old fashioned way works fine too.

LET IT REST. when you think you're almost but not quite done, remove the pan from heat, remove the steaks from the pan onto a plate, and DO NOT TOUCH THE MEAT for several minutes. (1) carry-over heat will continue to cook the steaks. always take that into consideration. (2) when the steaks come off, the internal and external temps are not at equilibrium and water molecules are very active. you want the steak to reach more equilibrium in temp before you cut it or all the moisture will escape. a more even temprature ensures that moisute has had a chance to settle. some will run off, but you can use that in the sauce..

the sauce:
fond (brown bits in the pan)
run off juices from resting meat
optional - demi glace (this can be store bought, but make sure you mind the salt content)
optional - unsalted butter
optional - dijon mustard - goes w/ butter mounted sauces
optional - reserved marinade
1 cup of red wine or so
thyme, parsley, minced shallots, etc
salt, pepper to taste

you need your sautee pan, the above, a tasting spoon, a fork or whisk and a strainer or chinoise to strain the sauce.

put the sautee pan over med, med-low flame. let it get hot.
if there's alot of fat, pour some of it off. save the brown burnt stuff.
add shallots and garlic.
pour in the wine and optional demi-glace.
after a moment, use a fork or whisk to break up the sticky brown bits (that's where the flavor is).
let simmer and reduce to disolve the fond.
add optional marinade. there are coagulants in the raw blood that will form solids. this is why its necessary to strain (also, removes any charred black bits). bear in mind that there's salt in the marinade.
you want 1/3 of the liquid you started with.
once you're to that point, turn the temp low.
add your herbs
add optional mustard and butter (a good tablespoon of each).
MUAY MUAY IMPORTANTE: taste with tasting spoon, adjust salt and pepper if need be
whisk and strain. this get's spooned over the meat.

if you got onglets, slice on a bias against the grain. if not, you can leave the filets whole.

onglets are usually sold in halves. a half onglet or hanger steak is a hearty portion for one person or can be divided between two people. either way, you want to slice it because if sliced the wrong way it's shoe leather. sliced against the grain it just might be the best steak you've ever had.

i also like to mix equal parts gorgonzola and unsalted butter to top filets or onglets. some people go 2 parts butter to one part cheese if the stuff is real salty.

that's my basic formula for yummy steak, the rest is up to you ;)

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
melanie
Jan. 30th, 2002 04:53 pm (UTC)
Know What I Like About Reading Your Recipes?
It's that you understand that top-quality ingredients, paired with the right cooking techniques, yield better results than the most complex-but-poorly-executed recipe.

Your narration is full of important information spoken well. Thanks!
und1sk0
Jan. 30th, 2002 06:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Know What I Like About Reading Your Recipes?
heh, thanks.

feel free to wrap a whole tenderloin with brioche and serve with consomme and some kind of stacked up salad if you want. but it sure is easier to control a simple pan sautee and tastes just as good.

(not that i dont love a good wellington :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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