a good steak doesn't need much. a little bit of salt and pepper is usually all a good cut of beef really needs. but if you want the kind of steak where you're left licking every last morsel of meaty flavor off of your lips, then you need that special sauce to turn that steak into a steak if you know what i mean. a few entries ago, you all met the pomegranate; now meet the pomegranate steak sauce.
combining the tartness of balsamic vinegar with the rich sweetness of the pomegranate, this pomegranate-balsamic reduction sauce adds a whole other range of flavors to the typically savory steak. and don't be scared by that fancy food word, reduction. all it means is we'll be thickening the sauce by evaporating some of the liquid out of it, which also helps intensify the flavors of the balsamic vinegar and pomegranate juice. mmmmm . . .
new york strip with pomegranate-balsamic reduction sauce
serves 2 (for a very romantic meal)
1 tbs. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
16 oz. new york strip
1 tbs. olive oil
the juice of one pomegranate (learn how to dejuice a pomegranate)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
the night before:
i'm a big believer in seasoning red meat the night before. it makes a huge difference in the flavor, so the night before, mix up the first four ingredients and season liberally over both sides of the steak. refrigerate overnight, leaving plenty of time for the seasonings to seep into the steak.
the day of:
take the steak out of the fridge about an hour before cooking to give it plenty of time to rise to room temperature. for thicker steaks, cook's illustrated has found a great trick for ensuring the perfect medium-rare center. before searing, place the steak on a wired rack and heat to 95 degrees in a 275 degree oven.
in a stainless steel pan (anything non-stick will prevent searing), heat the pan over medium-high heat. add olive oil and place steak into center of the pan. once the steak touches the pan, leave it alone and just let the heat do its job and create a juicy crust. after about 1 and a half minutes, flip and do the same to the other side. remove from pan and cover with two layers of foil to let the residual heat cook the meat some more.
take the pan off the heat and add pomegranate juice and balsamic vinegar. lower the heat to medium and place pan back onto heat. the liquids will deglaze the pans of all the brown bits that have formed from the searing process. these bits are packed with intense meaty flavor, so make sure to scrape them all up, incorporating them into your sauce. the sauce will reach an active boil and as some of the liquids evaporate away, you'll see the sauce start to thicken. once it's reduce by a third (meaning about a third of the liquid has evaporated), add the red onions. cook for about 2 minutes, which is just enough time to soften the onions a bit and infuse them with the flavor of the sauce while still leaving some crunch.
serve the sauce over your rested steak and garnish with reserve pomegranate seeds. dish up with some sauteed carrots and spinach, and you have yourself a meal. (also great over pork)
thyme & brown sugar sauteed carrots
4 organic carrots (or 2 regular carrots), sliced on the bias
1/2 tbs. butter
1/2 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. thyme
1 tbs. brown sugar
heat a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high heat. add butter and olive oil to hot pan. once the butter has melted, add thyme. once the thyme begins to sizzle and pop a bit, add carrots. cook for about 5 minutes and add brown sugar. cook for about another minute and add salt to taste.
garlic sauteed spinach
1 bunch spinach, washed and dried
1/2 tbs. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 tsp. salt
heat medium-sized frying pan to medium heat. add olive oil to hot pan. allow olive oil to heat up before adding garlic. once garlic starts to sizzle, add spinach. cook for about 2 minutes or until spinach has wilted. season with salt and serve with the juices left in the pan.