Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monday Night's Steak Dinner

As planned, Monday night the hubby and I had a delicious steak dinner. I used our dear friend Shawn's recipe, and added sides of garlic sauteed spinach and roasted sweet potatoes.

It was freaking delicious. And so easy! This one's going on the repeat playlist for sure.

When I went to the butcher for steak, I wanted a very tender, flavorful cut but didn't want to spend a fortune. While the cuts of filet mignon were calling to me from the display case, their $26.99 per pound price tag kept me away. I love a good filet, and I cook them up for birthday and holiday meals, but for a regular ol' Monday night...not so much. So I was looking for the next best thing. My eyes landed on something called baseball steak, which looked gorgeous and had a price tag of $12.99 per pound. Definitely do-able, but what the heck is baseball steak?

So I asked and my butcher told me that it's part of the whole sirloin cut. The top 4 cuts of beef are, in descending order: filet mignon (often known as tenderloin), rib eye, new york, and sirloin. And that once the sirloin is deconstructed (his word, not mine! made me laugh), it ends up in 3 pieces -- the baseball steak, sirloin, and sirloin tip, with the baseball steak as the choicest of those 3. So...in other words, the baseball steak is the choicest of the worst of the best. Very clear, no?

Anyway, I went for it and both my husband and I (and the dog, who got a few scraps) were extremely pleased with this new little discovery. Baseball steak is a new favorite. (If you google it, you'll find varying accounts of how it got its name -- some say it puffs up when it's cooked, making it round like a baseball, others say it's a cheap cut that you eat after playing baseball.... I don't care. I just call it delicious.)

To prepare the steak, I salted 60 minutes ahead of time and followed the Steak a la Shawn recipe to the letter, and let the steaks rest for 10 minutes after cooking. The pre-salting really helped it develop a nice crust and stay tender, I think.

For the spinach, so easy: chop 4-5 cloves of garlic, add them to a couple tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, let it get fragrant, and then add washed spinach. Toss and keep an eye on it and when it's cooked but still green, serve.

Roasted sweet potatoes, also very easy: Slice 2 sweet potatoes (I used the Japanese variety because I love their unique flavor) into thin-ish rounds. Toss with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper and spread in one layer on baking sheet. (I always line with aluminum foil for easy clean up.) Pop into pre-heated 425 degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on how well done you like them. Hubby likes them very well done.

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