Early in January, the other Jared over at the Carnivore Project started the Adopt-a-Meat program, hoping to save all the tasty meats of the world from lives of poverty and despair. Something like that. We all signed on to champion our favorite meat dish by preparing it as best we can, and then submitting the results back the Carnivore Project. The goal is to convince the other participants that yours is the “meatiest meat.” I signed on for steak. That’s kinda generic terminology, but as I’m a firm believer in NSLB (No Steak Left Behind), I felt I needed to adopt this one and turn it into something delicious. It is also hard to think of anything that can possibly be considered more “meatier” than a slab of grass-fed beef that’s roughly the same size as a small child. Since this is actually a competition, and my steak will be competing against the other white meat Jared’s ribs, I had to pull out all the stops. What goes better with steak than a thick and chewy Cabernet? A whole bottle reduced way down into a great sauce:
red wine reduction:
1 largish piece of fine beef: porterhouse, London broil, tenderloin, rib eye, etc.
1 shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small handful of whole peppercorns
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup brandy
1 bottle Cabernet
1/2 cup cream
2 tbs butter, divided
salt and pepper
Season the beef and set aside. You don’t want to throw a cold piece of meat on the grill, so leave it out on a plate for thirty or so minutes before you cook. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a saute pan. Add the peppercorns, and sweat the shallots and garlic over medium heat for 10 minutes or until they go translucent. Pour in the broth and reduce it down till only about 1/4 cup of liquid is left. Add in the brandy and flame by tilting the pan towards your gas burner, or with a lighter. If you are at all like me, run your arm under cold water to extinguish any flames and sooth the burns. This is also probably a good time to point out that wooden kitchen utensils should generally not be left in a saute pan of flaming brandy. Your experiences may be different.
Once the alcohol has burned off, pour 1 glass of wine and set aside for the cook. Pour the rest of the bottle in the pan, and allow it to reduce for about 10 minutes. This is about when you want to preheat the grill. Once hot, sear the steak and cook on a side for about 3 minutes for rare. Obviously this will vary if the cut of meat you have is bone in (yea!) or not (boooo), is very thick (praise be) or very thin (I’m so sorry). Remove the meat from the grill or broiler or what-have-you, and cover loosely with a foil. I like to top the meat with a bit of butter while it rests.
Pour the wine reduction through a fine chinois or sieve into another sauce pan, and discard the solids. Reheat the sauce and add the cream. Bring back to a gentle simmer and allow to thicken for about 5 minutes. Add any meat juices that have collected under the resting beef, swirl in the remaining tablespoon or so (don’t be shy) of butter and remove from the heat. If you aren’t ready to eat right away, you can hold it in a thermos. I like to slice the meat, arrange it on a platter, and then drizzle the sauce over. Add the sauce right before you serve, since this stuff doesn’t keep too well.