Thursday, January 27, 2011

Meat and Potatoes

I made a mustard encrusted ribeye with brown sugar sweet potato fries. It was fantastic. 

Apparently the sweet potato is up there with the healthiest vegetable in the whole universe. This is straight from the Center for Science in the Public Interest over there in Washington, DC. These orange roots are full of complex carbohydrates, natural sugars, vitamins and nutrients. More importantly, they're an awesome winter comfort food.

Peel and cut sweet potatoes into desired shape and size. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil, a couple cranks of pepper, a sprinkle of salt and two or three teaspoons of brown sugar. Spread the future french fries on a pan and throw in a few sprigs of thyme. Put the lovely potatoes in a 450 oven for half an hour. Every 10 minutes give the it a big flip so all sides get caramelized, crispy and browned .

And now: the MEAT. Preparing this meal made me realize I need to find a good butcher. While I'm happy with my thin cut boneless ribeye, its not what I had in mind. The ribeye is great for pan frying at home, it's tremendously tender, and it has delicious fat that melts in your mouth when you bite into it. A couple of beef tricks: let meat get to room temperature so the flesh doesn't freak out when it sears on the sizzling hot pan. Tenderize the bologna out of your beef. I stabbed my ribeye with a fork about fifty times on either side. Let it rest after cooking; this will make a world of difference.

While the beef is getting to room temperature rub a teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of course ground mustard as well as salt and pepper on either side and let everyone get to know each other. In a caste iron pan, start to heat up some olive oil and a few sprigs of thyme. While the oil is heating up, you might as well infuse it with left over herbs from a side dish. Take the empty thyme branches out the the hot, hot, hot pan and throw in that beautiful piece of meat. Don't really throw it though. In fact, be careful of the hot olive oil jumping on your arm. This was a particularly thin cut, so I only had to sear it for 3 minutes on either side. Remove seared steak from the pan, plate and cover in tin foil for 5-10 minutes before you enjoy.

I repeat: this was fantastic. 

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