Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lou's Most Excellent Steaked Salad

I'm trying to watch it with not just how much I'm eating, but what it is that's actually going down my gullet. Two chins are enough.

Change gears here. I love red meat. Steak, BBQ, burgers, anyway that you cook a cow I'm likely to like. The problem with red meat is this little thing called saturated fats, which leads to a host of problems later on in life as I'm oh so slowly (and sometimes quickly) finding out.

Come the Italians to the rescue, and it's not olive oil or anything Mediterranean mind you. God I love my ancestral country. They've got an answer for everything. Piedmontese Beef. I'm telling you, the first time that Pam The Butcher at Wagshal's told me about it I didn't believe it. Pointing to an ink jet print out on the display case I figured it was fraudlent. How can beef - prime beef at that - be lower in saturated fats, cholesterol, etc. The way it's told is that it's better for you than skinless chicken breasts. The cows are bred to be leaner, and the way they're fed, managed, etc. leads to a leaner cut...even when that cut is considered prime by USDA standards.

None of this makes sense. But I'm buying it because a) it tastes great and b) we'll know soon enough as soon as I get my cholesterol tested again.

And yes, the shit ain't cheap. Sorry. NY strips run around $25/pound (which is what prime usually goes for) while sirloin is around $18/lb. But how much is your health worth? [You obviously don't have to use Piedmontese beef here - any good quality NY strip will work.]

Steak Salad - a good, healthy, and satisfying one at that. Serves two.

1 one pound trimmed, Piedmontese NY strip
2 TBS Montreal steak seasoning*
1 TBS canola oil
6oz of your favorite bagged/packaged salad mix (spinach/frisee/arugula/mache)
1 good tomato, cut into eighths.
1 small shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TSP high quality balsamic vinegar
1 TBS really stinky blue cheese, finely crumbled
Salt & pepper

*You can usually buy this prepackaged in the spice aisle. If you don't have any, as I didn't, mix your own using 2 TBS of sea salt, 1 TBS coarse ground black pepper, 2 TSP crushed red pepper flakes, 1 TSP cracked fennel seed, 1 TSP dried garlic, 1 TSP hot paprika, 1 TSP dried rosemary and 1 TSP dried thyme.

Two hours before serving, take the steak out, rinse and pat dry, and then generously coat with the steak seasoning. Set the steak on a wire rack and let sit at room temperature, uncovered and undisturbed, for two hours.

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

Rinse and dry your lettuce mix. Set in fridge to keep cool.

Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for about 5 - 7 minutes. You want this searingly hot. Meanwhile....

In a large bowl add the olive oil, balsamic, shallot, garlic, a generous pinch of salt and more-than-a-few cranks of fresh black pepper. Vigorously mix with a whisk.

Add the canola oil to the pan, wait till it shimmers, then add the steak. It should immediately sizzle to the point where you feel slightly uncomfortable being near it and/or questioning my judgement. Cook about 2 minutes on the first side, flip, then place the pan in the oven. Cook in the oven for about 4 minutes. This will give you a rare steak, which is what you (should) want. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside, steak still in the pan.

Add the salad to the dressing and lightly toss to coat. Add the tomato and blue cheese crumbles and fold in. Set the salad into large bowls.

Slice the steak to your desired thinness (thin works better than than thick). Place on top and enjoy.

Goes good with a nice crusty bread; you could even make a sub out of the whole mix. A wrap too.


  1. Yumm. Adega makes a solid steak salad, and Walter's marinade on the steak is amazing. Can't wait to try your marinade ... after the snow melts, sometime in July.

  2. 20+ years I've been a Vegetarian.
    Still, this sounds darn good.
    I wish I lived at your house.

  3. Thanks guys - it's super easy and if I can slightly turn a vegetarian's head I'm doing something right.

    I think what adds to it is not only a lot of shallot, but the seasoning from the beef being turned into the salad. GIves it a nice oomph.

  4. This was one of the best salad / steak combos I ever had...Lou thought it was the seasoning that the steak gave to the salad. I dunno what it was, but I wish I was having it for lunch!

  5. That steak looks like it is cooked PERFECTLY. I personally would go with less time on the steak, but I love my steak blue rare (as long as it is a good cut.)