March 4, 2006

steak & sauce!

I think growing up in the South instilled in me the belief that a meal needs meat of some sort to be complete (hell, they serve “sidemeats” down there), and so I guess I eat it often compared to some folks, vegetarian, vegan (shudder) or otherwise. I got a laugh out of the whole Adkins and low carb diet hullabaloo, because that’s generally how we eat already. My partner, the lovely T. is a naturopathic physician and has pointed out that from a health standpoint protein and fresh veggies are the way to go, and that tends to be what we eat. We both love a good plate of pasta, and I’m a sucker for good bread, but we both work till fairly late and the easiest evening meal is often a nice cut of grilled beast sliced and tossed over a salad. Relatively inexpensive and easy meals, and we have leftovers for snacking or lunches the next day. My favorite all-time cut of beef is a top round roast, often referred to as a London Broil, which is actually a recipe instead of a cut. Originally the method called for a marinated flank steak, but evolved to generally call for the roast. They are still often labeled as London Broil at the market.

2-4 tbs olive oil
1 tbs sea salt
2 tbs fresh cracked pepper
4 tbs butter
1-2 tsp garlic powder (or minced garlic, if you do it ahead of time)
1-2 tsp chopped fresh parsley

Trim any excess fat and coat the meat with the oil. Press the salt and pepper into all sides of the meat, and set aside to rest. Whip the butter, garlic powder and parsley together in a small dish. If you are grilling, sear the meat on both sides for about 2 minutes and drop the heat to slow cook. When it’s cooked to your liking, remove from the grill to a cutting board, slather with the butter and loosely tent with foil. Allow to set for 10 minutes or so while you get your salad together. We like to use lots of crunchy goodness, like bok choy and bean sprouts, along with cilantro and baby greens or spinach. A dusting of Parmesan, Romano, or reggiano and a few toasted pine nuts ain’t never hurt anybody. Slice the beef thin, at about a 45 degree angle to the grain. The butter should have melted over roast and turned the meat juices into a great sauce. Reserve this sauce, arrange the sliced meat over the greens and top with the sauce you set aside. If there was enough, I sometimes don’t bother with a proper dressing, but if not:

salad dressing
Making really good salad dressing is so easy it’s a bloody wonder that any company can make money off of bottling and selling it.
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbs lime juice
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 squirt good mustard
1 solid jigger of OJ
1 splash soy sauce
1 tsp of grated ginger
A few good turns of the pepper grinder

Mix everything together except for the oil and mustard, and allow to meld. Add the oil and mustard to the rest, shake and serve. Keeps for weeks in the fridge. Add or subtract to the recipe as you wish with just about anything…

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