Strip Steak with Red Wine Sauce and Braised Asparagus

A couple nights ago Lolly wanted steak for dinner — despite her sweet demeanor she can be quite the voracious little carnivore sometimes — so I picked up a couple 12 oz. Angus strip steaks at the local grocery meat counter and decided to pan sear them and make a red wine pan sauce as an accompaniment.  On the side I did some potatoes Anna and braised asparagus.  The latter recipe came off very nicely so I decided to include it here with the steaks.

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Since I was cooking on the stovetop rather than the grill I gave the steaks a few drops of Liquid Smoke and a suitable dry rub, and let them sit out for a couple hours so the temperature could come up a bit.  In a rippin’ hot cast iron skillet with a splash of vegetable oil I gave them a hard sear for a few minutes on each side and finished them in a 400° oven for about 10 minutes, although you may not need quite that long depending on the thickness of your cuts.  While the steaks were resting I made the pan sauce with the following ingredients (which will serve 4):

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 tbsp. whole butter (unsalted)
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. prepared Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup beef stock or low-salt broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and cracked pepper

Pour off the excess fat from the skillet, then sauté the shallot in the fond over medium heat for about a minute.  Stir in one tablespoon of the butter and the flour, and cook for about a minute to create a roux.  Stir in the mustard, then deglaze with the stock and wine, and whisk to ensure that the roux is fully blended with no lumps. By the way, any dry red wine will do for this recipe — I happened to have just enough leftover of a nice DOCG Chianti on hand so I used that.  Kick up the heat to medium-high and simmer the sauce until it reduces by half and becomes noticeably thicker.  Turn off the heat, swirl in the remaining three tablespoons of butter, along with the parsley and lemon juice.  Adjust your seasonings to taste with the salt and pepper, and you’re ready to rock and roll.  Spoon some onto the plate and over your steaks, and enjoy the results of your efforts.

Meanwhile, you’ll want to have your asparagus working as well — all good cooks need to multitask.  Here are your ingredients for that dish:

  • 1 lb. medium to thick asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp. whole butter (unsalted)
  • Kosher salt and cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

For this you’ll want a large skillet with a lid.  Get the skillet good and hot, then throw in the asparagus spears and let them cook dry for a couple minutes, turning them occasionally, to develop just a little char.  Next add the chicken stock and butter — but be careful because when that liquid hits that dry, hot pan it will immediately begin to boil and put off a big cloud of steam.  Toss in a pinch of salt and pepper, then cover the pan and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the asparagus is tender, depending on the thickness.  Your liquid should reduce to a glaze.  When you get to that point, sprinkle on the lemon juice and you’re ready to serve.

On a side note, the pan sauce will also work beautifully with chicken or pork — just substitute chicken stock and white wine.  We enjoyed both of these dishes immensely as we munched them down with a big happy grin on our faces.  Very tasty stuff indeed.  Until next we meet:  Eat well, my friends!

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