Surprisingly, I’m not much of a beef eater. Growing up in Texas we didn’t eat steak very often and when we did it was in the form of Fajitas. On special occasions like Independence Day or a family reunion we’d have a beautifully smoked brisket and of course I probably ate through a couple truck loads of Hamburger Helper as a kid but I can’t recall us ever sitting down to the table for a steak dinner. We were just too poor. As a young adult in Texas, I switched to turkey and wasn’t eating red meat at all mostly because I couldn’t afford beef or it would be more accurate to say actually that I didn’t want to eat the beef I could afford. Then I moved out to the East Coast and Amy happened. Bless her heart, that woman loves all things cow. From hamburg to ice cream to filet to rump roast to beef ribs to the milk in her coffee every morning, she just loves cow. So, I had to learn how to cook a medium rare steak. Admittedly, it’s taken me several years to master. That’s a lot of steak when you think about it but I’ve manage to wean her off anything but grass fed, local beef and we usually keep our steak indulgence down to once a month. With her travel tho, I tend to spoil her and not stick to my guns like I should and end up cooking beef a bit more than I’d really like to. I just counter it with healthy sides like wilted greens and sweet potatoes now to help ease my conscience a little. Although I didn’t really appreciate a good steak until I left Texas, I do really enjoy cooking steak at home and it’s WAY more affordable than going out to a steak house.
Butter Basted Filet, Pan Roasted Garlic Au Jus with Wilted Greens
2 good quality filets, preferably grass fed, local, and purchased directly from the farmer or a local butcher
4 gloves of garlic, skins removed and left whole
a few generous tabs of good quality butter, I use Amish handmade butter
Grey Celtic Sea Salt
1 teaspoon-ish of Grapeseed oil
1 cup finely chopped greens of choice such as Arugula or Chard
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1 tablespoon Apple Cider, Malt, or Balsamic Vinegar
About an hour before you plan to cook, remove the steaks from the fridge and allow them to reach room temperature. This step helps the steaks to cook evenly so don’t skip it if you have the time. Coat the steaks on all sides with the grapeseed oil, a bit more salt than you think you need, and pepper to taste. Preheat a cast iron skillet over a high flame until the skillet begins to smoke. Sear the steaks about 3 minutes on each side to form a crust. Drop the flame down to medium and add in the garlic gloves and butter. Once the butter is melted, very carefully tilt the skillet and continuously spoon the butter over the steaks several minutes more flipping the steaks at least once while basting. The steaks will need to finish cooking anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes more after searing depending on the thickness of the steaks and your desired doneness. Medium Rare ranges from 125 to 140 degrees. With a bit of practice, it will become easier to recognize how done the steaks are. I’ve cut into steaks in the past that were still mooing and more than once turned a steak into something more like boot leather than beef. So don’t get discourage if your steak is a little under or over what you like. It happens. The key step after cooking steak is resting it. I rest mine for about 10 minutes. Once the steaks are out of the skillet and resting, turn off the heat and stir in the wilted greens, chopped tomato, and vinegar and cook until the greens are just wilted. The greens should have enough seasoning from the steaks but taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Garnish the steaks with the wilted greens.
Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes
1 large sweet potato, skin mostly removed and cut into pretty equally sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Hot Sauce, optional
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Chili powder
about 1/4 cup milk, or as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium stock pot, boil the sweet potato in salted water until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and to the pot add the remaining ingredients. Mash the potatoes and add more milk if needed to reach your desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.