Thursday, February 17, 2011

Seared Top Sirloin with Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Steak makes rare appearances on my table, and I'm not talking about how cooked the meat is. Steaks have always been something that's intimidating for me to cook as I always seem to manage to over cook the meat so that it's dry and tough. When I found Ina Garten's recipe for Steakhouse Steaks, I decided that I would give it a try for my special Valentine's Day dinner. Her instructions are specific, making the process of cooking the steak very simple.

It never fails to amaze me how a simple seasoning of salt and pepper is all you need to make a flavorful steak. It's so simple yet the meat comes out very tasty. In Ina's recipe, she uses filet mignon but I substituted that with a very large cut of top sirloin. I reduced the cooking time by a few minutes since my steak was thinner than Ina's steak.

For the potatoes, I wanted to do something different than the usual garlicky mashed potatoes I do, so I used a recipe that Ann Burrell's team on Worst Cooks in America made a couple weeks ago. These Crispy Smashed Potatoes taste wonderful and are very simple to make. I added onion and omitted the red pepper flakes because I'm not a fan of heat. 

Finally, I finished up our steak and potato meal with some frozen baby carrots and green beans that I steamed and seasoned with paprika and salt.

Seared Top Sirloin
Adapted from Ina Garten

1.5 lb sirloin steak
1 T Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub your steak with salt and pepper to taste while you heat a pan with the olive oil. Once the pan is very hot, sear both sides so that each side is browned, about 2 minutes each side. Only flip your steak 1 time and don't press down on it with your fork/tongs/spatula. Place your steak on a sheet pan and bake in the oven for about 6 minutes or until the juices from the steak come our clear and not red. Once finished, remove from the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes. 

NOTE: I've learned that the resting period is very important in composition of the finished product. If you cut the steak or flip it around a bunch of times, you'll end up with dry steak that's hard to chew. So please, do yourself a favor and resist the urge to poke and prod your steak until it's rested for atleast 10 minutes. 

Crispy Smashed Potatoes
Adapted from Ann Burrell

3 Red potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
3T Olive oil
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1 Small onion, sliced

Place the potatoes in a pot of salted cold water and boil until the potatoes are soft. Drain the potatoes and heat the olive oil, garlic, and onions in a pan with high sides. Once the pan is hot, add the potatoes and smash them with the  back of a large cooking spoon. Allow the potatoes to get crispy then flip sort of like you would a pan cake to crisp the other side. Be sure to watch the potatoes, they can go from crispy to burnt quickly because you're using a very hot pan. 

I sliced the steak into thin strips and served on top of the smashed potatoes on a large serving platter then rimmed the plate with my steamed vegetables.


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