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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Good Eats: My favorite splurge

 Here's the thing. Every once in awhile, you just need to eat something expensive. We have a weekly grocery budget, so I can't buy beautiful juicy steaks all the time, but every once in awhile I'll try and make cost effective meals for most of the week so I can afford to buy a beautiful marbled filet for that one special dinner. Here's my favorite splurge! Filets with mustard cream sauce, served with mashed golden potatoes and wilted greens. It's inspired by this recipe by the pioneer woman.

You'll need:
-Greens of your choice (I use a mix of chard, spinach, arugula, and something else I forget. It's called the supergreen mix by organic girl, or something like that!
-Salt and Pepper
-A few shallots
-Dijon and Grainy mustard
-Brandy, dry white wine, or whiskey
-Chicken broth
-Heavy Cream
-Topping for the potatoes (you know - butter, sour cream, milk, etc.)

Let's start with some yummy golden potatoes! I prefer golden potatoes if I'm going to mash them, because I find them to be a little more creamy and have a natural buttery taste :)

I chop them to make the boiling time quicker!

I usually stick the lid until the water boils, again, to speed things up a bit. I want these babies to be done when everything else is!

Next I start prepping the steak ingredients. If you're not familiar with shallots, I highly recommend them. I use them all the time - in pan sauces, in pad thai, on pizza - they really add a punch of flavor.

Finely chop one large or two small shallots.

 Get the best quality beef you can afford on your budget, and season on both sides generously with salt and pepper. (This recipe is also great with chicken and pork, if you're not a steak person!)

Heat up a pan with a little oil on medium high. Once it's hot, add about a tablespoon of butter. It should bubble like crazy - if it doesn't, let the pan get a little hotter before adding the steaks.

 Sear them on both sides, not moving them until time to flip.

You're looking for a nice brown crust. Remove to a plate once they're seared on both sides. (It's okay if they're not all the way done yet - you'll add them back to the pan later.)

Once the steaks are removed, add the shallots to the pan.

 Stir until they're fragrant and golden.

Add about a tablespoon each of dijon mustard and grainy mustard. Whisk or stir until smooth.

 Once the mustard is incorporated add about equal parts of pretty much any alcohol and chicken broth.

I used the last of our brandy in this instance, but I've also had great success with dry white wine,  whiskey, and cognac. So really, anything in your cabinet will probably do, as long as it's pretty dry. I wouldn't use a red, though, or anything with a cooler flavor like gin.

I think it's usually best to add more liquid than you think you need. This stuff is like gold. I always like extra so I can dunk my mashed potatoes in it! Let it simmer and reduce a little, stirring frequently.

Lower the heat a tad and add a good dose of cream.

Return the steaks to the pan along with any of their juices that may have seeped onto the plate. Allow the sauce to thicken and the steaks to finish cooking as you desire. (Don't overcook these babies, though! I like mine medium to medium rare, and I've found that if I take them out when they still look a little too raw, they turn out perfect, as they tend to cook a little more once they're removed to a plate.)

While the steaks are finishing up, strain and mash the potatoes with the yummy stuff! I use a little butter, a ton of sour cream, milk or cream for thinning, and salt and pepper for flavor. (Oops - I accidentally spilled the pepper into the pot. Don't be like me. Our potatoes were very peppery.)

Once done, plate the steaks and drizzle with the sauce, leaving a little in the pan for the greens. Add a ton of greens, because they really wilt up.

Stir until evenly wilted.

Plate up, and you're done!


Just look at that.


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