I am rarely charged with buying or cooking red meat in our house and it is even touch and go when I cook pork which is why I was so proud of the Red Pepper Pork … and Chocolate? I made a while back. I was a vegetarian from the time I was 14 until about two years ago and it was during that time that I learned to cook so obviously there is a bit of a gap in my knowledge. I naturally steer towards eggs or tofu and there are many recipes on this blog that feature lentils simply because they are within my comfort zone. Imagine Mr.’s surprise when he came home last night to discover that not only had I cooked a steak but it was also edible (read: ridiculously delicious and tender).
As I was putting together the Spinach and Mashed Potato Pancakes that served as our side dish I lamented on Twitter that I would not be able to serve steak with this side even though it would be the perfect complement. This is where Lara of Food and Soil comes in, she tweeted me with a basic recipe for steak that is anything but basic as far as tenderness and flavour is concerned. It is her technique that I use here but I also added the Pepper Orange Sauce because I’m one of those heathens who likes sauce with her steak; a holdover from those vegetarian days. The sauce is shockingly easy and to playfully test Mr. I asked him to pick out all the flavours and as he started listing off “apple cider, onion powder, pepper…” I had to smile. It’s orange juice and pepper wish a dash of salt to tie it together. It’s simple but it works together beautifully; even more important considering the cold that has been percolating in Bubs struck with full force at 5 pm yesterday and had him crying for 45 minutes straight while I made dinner.
The 10, possibly 12 ounce steak we had last night served our family well. The kiddos ate just a small portion and it is my plate in the photos you see and obviously I only had a few pieces. I filled up on the spinach and potato pancakes and a bowl of yogurt after dinner. Feel free to use more than one sizable steak to feed your family but this suited us just fine and I do believe there may be a few extra pieces stored in the refrigerator. To really benefit from the protein and other nutrients in red meat you really don’t need to eat that much but I probably don’t need to tell you that or preach at you about portion sizes. It was very satisfying to nibble at my dinner, chat with my family and after a short while realize I had eaten much less than what I would have thought I needed. I suppose that is what we call being aware of my body’s needs, no?
10-12 ounce steak
salt and cracked pepper
- Liberally sprinkle the steak with salt and cracked pepper. The pepper should be visible on the steak, be sure to do this to both sides.
- Heat a cast iron pan on medium/high heat for approximately 5 minutes until it is quite hot.
- Add one tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Take care if it splatters. Lay the steak in the pan and sear for 5 minutes on each side. If you prefer your steak a little more rare, knock off a minute on each side.
- Once cooked, remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut into strips and place on a platter. Pour the Pepper Orange Sauce over it and serve.
The 5 minute cook time produces a lovely medium on a ¾ inch thick steak.
Pepper Orange Sauce
1-1 ½ cups orange juice
generous amount cracked pepper
- In a separate pan heat ¾ cup of orange juice on medium high heat. Add 3 to 5 cracks of the pepper mill and about ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Watch closely and stir occasionally. As it turns syrupy add more juice to loosen it and keep it from becoming caramel. It will darken and turn a tad brownish from the pepper.
- At this point, give it a taste and if need be crack a bit more pepper into it. If not, pour over the steak.
Enjoy. Serve with the spinach and Mashed Potato Pancakes.
A note: I cooked the sauce in the same pan I used to cook the bacon for the Pancakes. I highly suggest doing the same because it adds a touch of saltiness and the goodness of bacon. I did, however, drain out the fat so that only the bits of crispy bacon and general flavour were left in the pan.