Monday, August 2, 2010

A rare slice of summer

After a lovely weekend off for a camping get away to one of Ontario's many gorgeous lakeside parks, spent eating the simple stuff: fruit, oatmeal, mac n' cheese from a box and wieners roasted on a stick, I was in the mood for something a little more elegant. An herb-crusted rib eye steak, picked up around the corner at a Kensington market butcher, topped with caramelized shallots and slices of king oyster mushroom fit the bill perfectly. A good bottle of bordeaux, cracked purple n' fingerling potatoes, and a side salad and we were a couple of happy campers sated and ready for sleep in our urban flat.

Grilled herb-crusted rib eye steaks with caramelized shallots and mushrooms; plus, cracked fingerling and purple potatoes

For the steaks

2 rib eyes, at room temperature
2 tbsp coriander seeds
3 tbsp mustard seed
1 tbsp black peppercorn
1 tbsp pink peppercorn
1 dried chili
1 tsp sea salt
4 king oyster mushrooms, sliced vertically
8 shallots, sliced
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter

For the taters

1C small purple potatoes, whole
1C fingerling potatoes whole
3 tblsp veg oil
2 tbsp, fine salt
1 tsp dried rosemary

Start off by taking your steaks out of the fridge and letting them acclimatize. In a bowl, salt the raw potatoes and let stand. Heat the oil on high in a large pan (that must have secure fitting lid or a plate that you can use to cover it), and add the potatoes, they should sizzle and snap if the heat's right. Turn down to medium-high and stir often for ten to fifteen minutes, covering in between. When the potatoes start to split, press them flat into oil with your spatula to crisp and brown their skin. Turn down to medium heat, sprinkle with rosemary, and let the taters continue to cook as you prepare your steak.

In a small pan, heat olive oil and butter over low until they're mixed. Add your shallots and stir for five minutes, until completely translucent. Now add your mushrooms, stirring occasionally for another fifteen minutes. The key to caramelizing is to keep the heat low and allow the sugars to cook without burning them.

Smash all your whole herbs in a mortar with a pestle, then rub the surface of your meat until its well coated (don't be afraid to use your fingers to get in there). Grill the steaks for a few minutes on either side 'til they're done to your liking (Mina likes them crisped and I like them bloody); you can search for all kinds of charts and tests and what not online, but it's simply a matter of taste. Top your steaks with the caramelized goodness, plate taters on the side and crack black pepper on the top. A dollop of sour cream and chives never hurt anyone either.

1 comment:

  1. Your photos are so charming. I love the light. I also love the meal. I wish we had steak in the house...