Beef and Broccoli redux

Prather Ranch has this lovely little deal at my local farmer’s market. Five steaks for a cool $20. They’re decent-sized grass-fed sirloin tips- just enough to satiate a steak craving or good to divvy up for a modest dinner for two.

I felt something of a meat craving coming on, so I moved one steak from the freezer to the fridge before I left, and came home to a perfectly thawed cut of meat. On the blogs lately there’s been a “World’s Best Broccoli” recipe making the rounds, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

I trimmed the stalks into florets, shook them with a little oil, S&P and turned to the steak. I’ve watched enough cooking shows to remember to dry the meat, salt and pepper it, and then lay it down in a hot pan. I let it cook about 4-5 minutes a side, and then, panic.

Crapfuckshitdamn, this must have been the part where I paid more attention to my email than the ‘how to cook a steak’ show of Good Eats. I quickly googled “bittman, steak,” and decided to have the steak join the roasting broccoli already in progress to cook through. The searing-hot pan, in no smart semblance of order was hit with a pat of butter, a splash of wine and sliced shallots. Not smart.

Smoking wine burned my eyes as I frantically opened windows and turned on fans in a stellar effort to keep my hair-trigger fire alarm from going off.

I failed. I hate my fire alarm.

But while the smoke was clearing, magic was happening back in the kitchen. The broccoli was searing itself into a sweet-nutty side dish. The meat was cooking through and the sauce was reducing all on its own.

Where the technique fell through, the ingredients saved the day. The steak came out perfect. Like, perfect perfect. Unabashedly pink with seared crust that made the smoke alarm seem almost justified in its reaction. This, with a roasted broccoli tossed with a little parm and a bit of lemon juice, made a damn fine beef and broccoli dinner. It was the kind of meal I was really glad I cooked for myself, because no one was witness to the spectacle that created it, plus I didn’t have to share if I didn’t want to.

No comments: