Ribeye au Poivre with Heirloom Sun Gold Salad
So a few weeks ago it was my cute lil' wife's birthday. She craved seafood but her special day landed on a Sunday and the idea of eating three to four day old fish was less than ideal. Nobody likes the taste of smelly old decaying flounder. Her next favorite thing; steak. A big juicy slab-o-meat. All dark and crusty on the outside and pink and juicy on the inside (keep your mind out of the gutter you nasty bargain bin, dollar store porn freaks). Okay, I just grossed myself out. Anyways, I'm not a huge steak eater. I can go all cave girl once in a while when I crave a hunk of cow but I'd much rather have a burger over a steak most of the time.
When I was little the few times my parents took us out for steaks I'd order a plate of shrimps. I was that girl. The shrimp girl at the steakhouse. I do remember one time though when I had my first bite of a properly cooked, butter injected steak off my dad's plate (I think it was at an Outback steakhouse when they first became aces (that's Aussie slang for hot shit). I would come away from there from the Land of the Meat Down Under thinking "hey mate, maybe I do love steak" until the next time working class cuts of steak were killed to death on our backyard grill. My ten year old brain came to terms with the fact that fancy steaks and tasty lobsters were rich people food (or very special occasion food) and hamburgers and pre-cooked, frozen shrimps were working class people food. Sure there's a little grey area to be found in there but at the time I searched for answers and truth.
My cat Clara loves laying under garbage. She also loves steak.
Now that I'm all grown up (yeah right) and a chef and whatnot I can cook a bad-ass steak at home. I love me some of the cheap cut meats but they just need a little more love. Plus if you can, it's nice to occasionally plunk down a wad of cash for some fanciness. For K's birthday I picked up some beautiful, local ribeyes. I sat them on the counter for an hour to come to room temperature. I put a cast iron skillet on the stove and cranked the burner to high. I lightly rubbed the steaks with some canola oil and seasoned both sides more than liberally with kosher salt and lots of fresh ground black pepper. Once the pan was screaming hot I placed the steaks down on the pan. Two and a half minutes later I flipped them (using tongs) and let them cook on the other side for two and a half minutes more. After 5 minutes of totally cooking time I pulled the steaks off and let them sit on a cutting board for 15 minutes. Do not even dare cut into the steaks prior to that resting time. That would be a serious meat crime and all of the meat juice would leak out of your steak leaving you dried up, expensive garbage.
So while the steaks were resting I turned the heat down a little and poured a little sherry and a bit of crushed black peppercorn into the pan. I scraped up some of the tasty steak fond (the dark crusty bit stuck to the pan). As the sherry reduced a tiny bit I poured in a little veal demi-glace and fresh chopped thyme. Over medium high heat I let the sauce thicken for about 4 minutes. Once the sauce thickened I added a bit of butter to finish the sauce. The steaks were so huge we only had a half a steak each. Served up with a heirloom sun gold tomatoes and a organic mixed greens salad.
After dinner I made K a banana split topped with homemade balsamic strawberry compote and dark chocolate sauce. Yum!