In which the world of culinary hedonism is explored with a cup and a half of curiosity, a heaping tablespoon of passion and a dash of clumsiness.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Seventy-ninth Post ~ Caramelized sirloin with port-stilton reduction

Tonight's meal was a complete experiment.  Well, most meals are; let's be honest.  But tonight's was just a fly-by-night, see-what-happens, try-it-out-and-see type of experiment.

It started with my mama.  Over dinner the other night, she reminded me that she still has some ground lamb in the freezer, which we traditionally cook in an orange-caramel sauce (more on that later - MUCH more...) which of course, set me to craving it.

I haven't any ground lamb in MY freezer (and it just wouldn't seem right to make it without her!) so I started a steak thawing and figured I'd try out some brown-sugar recipes on my own.

: : PAUSE : :

Now might be a time to remind you that one should always have a fire extinguisher handy in one's kitchen.  Not that I do.  And not that I needed one tonight.  But there was a moment there when I was afraid my petite sirloin was going to spontaneously combust, and during that moment, I rued the fact that I was not in possession of a fire extinguisher.  Especially since my house is about one hundred years old and made of wood.

: : UNPAUSE : :

Suffice it to say, my steak did not combust and my house did not burn down, AND the meal turned out to be quite yummy.  Hence the blog post.

So here's what you'll need to make tonight's meal.

For the steak:
~ Sirloin steak
~ Brown sugar
~ Fresh thyme
~ Coarse ground sea salt

For the reduction:
~ Stilton (just a little bit)
~ Dash of port
~ Dash of heavy cream
~ Dash of EVOO
~ Scallions - three bulbs, one stalk or so

For the side:
~ Frozen bean medley
~ Wegman's basil pesto

Mix some brown sugar in a bowl with some sea salt and thyme.


Here's where I went wrong.  I treated the mix like a rub, much like I did here, but unfortunately, steak in a broiler behaves much differently than salmon in a pan.  I put the steak in the toaster oven set on broil and walked away for a few minutes, and when I came back, the brown sugar had bubbled up and caramelized such that it looked like some modern installation at the Corning Glass Museum.  So I would recommend perhaps starting the steak cooking and spooning some of the brown sugar mix over it just as it's finishing cooking.  Perhaps.  I think this recipe might need some tweaking.


So I coated the steak in the rub and broiled it; as you can see above, alternate measures might behoove you, dear reader.  But in any case, the steak was beautiful in the end (after switching it to a different parchment lining and delicately spooning some of the glass-art off of it.

While you're dealing with your steak, here's the recipe for the reduction.

In a stick-free pan, slice in some scallion bulbs and one stalk with kitchen scissors.  Pour in a dash of port and a dash of EVOO.  Start it sizzling and add the stilton, crumble by crumble.  Rapidly stir in a dash of heavy cream.  Turn off the heat and let it sit until the steak is done (or blows up, whichever comes first).

The veggie is easy - in another stick-free pan, toss some frozen beans and a frozen chunk of pesto.  Toss around, salt, and heat again right before you're ready to eat.

The steak, as I said, came out great.  The stilton reduction complimented the sweetness of the brown sugar rub exactly the way I had hoped it would.  The scallions gave it a wonderful onion burst which added to the savory sweetness of it all.  I had a glass of a red called Cosmo (no relation to the cocktail) from Laurello Vineyards in Ohio (another fabulous find with Meg!) and it served to refresh my palate and compliment the steak!  The beans in pesto were surprisingly easy AND yummy.  I will definitely add them to my mental list of quick and simple sides!

All in all, a successful (albeit adventurous) meal!

Yours in the love of good food and wine,

The blogger is not an experienced chef. She takes no responsibility for the quality of the meals prepared while following her advice. Use your own judgment regarding cooking times and proper food handling.