Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo


Flat iron steak for a successful dinner

Plans do not always come together; that is the way of it.  Eventually things always seem to get done.  Whether it’s getting the kids off to school or trying to knock out schoolwork, there’s always that one phone call.  That one friendly stop in the supermarket where you end up talking to an old friend for half an hour.
Then the deadlines creep up on you.
Sensing that this was going to be a busy year, I have tried to stay organized and well managed, but then I end up reverting to the ‘good lord, I need more time in my day’ routine.
At the end of such a day, we need to sit down, take a breather, and enjoy a hearty and filling meal.  With my myriad projects, the aforementioned hearty meal end up being a fast food meal, truly a disgraceful meal when compared with what could be had at home.
Luckily, I asked to be on the selection committee for the new club’s management hiring team.  As such, I get to sit in on the selection process, AKA tastings.  The first tasting was by a chef whom I know from D.C. and I am flat-out stealing his flat iron steak offered up for the tasting.
It was the perfect end to an absolutely insane day.  Between working, visiting Mom in the hospital, a chef’s meeting and this, I felt like I was being pulled in every direction.  Dinner brought it all back together for me.  It was an intelligent dish and one that prefaced the final instruction of the meal: “it’s 2 a.m., chef.  What can you cook for me?”
After a plate of buffalo shrimp that far surpassed my rendition, everyone sat back and agreed that if this was the first, it will be interesting to see what happens in the latter tastings.
The plan came together after all.  Now that this is done, I can get ready for the next thing on my docket.  Bring it on plan disrupters.  Bring it on.

Flat Iron Steak

Serves 4
4  6 oz. flat iron steaks
salt and pepper, as needed
clarified butter, as needed
2 c. bacon preserves (recipe follows)
1 # potato-parsnip puree (recipe follows)
1 # roasted brussel sprouts (recipe follows)

Trim flat iron so the majority of gristle has been removed.
You can marinate this steak for better flavor but you certainly do not need to.  If you do decide to marinate it, just use a quick marinade and allow to sit, refrigerated, for at least two hours.
Season steak and set on a plate for about 20 minutes to allow it to come up in temperature, a process we like to call slacking.
Heat a pan with until it is very hot but just below smoking (meaning that when butter is added it won’t scorch and smoke).
Add clarified butter and add the steak.  For a small pan, add one steak.  If the pan is large, thick and can retain heat well, you can add more.  You just need to ensure that adding the steaks won’t bring down the temperature of the pan too drastically.
Sear steaks for about four minutes or until they have a nice crust.  In the meantime, spoon the sizzling butter on top of the steak.
Turn steaks over and repeat the process until the meat is at 135F for medium rare.
Remove and allow to rest for at least five minutes while ingredients are assembled.
Place the sprouts on a warmed plate, top with steak and bacon preserves, and serve with root vegetable puree.

Bacon Preserves

for 2 cups
1/2 # bacon
1/2 ea. medium white onion
Brown sugar, as needed
Good sherry vinegar, as needed

Lay out bacon on a sheet pan and bake at 350 until crispy.
Place bacon drippings in a frying pan and heat, adding the onion once the heat is at a medium range.
Cook for approximately one hour or until the onions are well-caramelized and a touch past golden.
Chop bacon and set aside until the very end.
To the fat/onion mixture, add sugar and vinegar to taste, but when tasting it , be careful.  
Once your flavors have melded add the chopped bacon and do one more seasoning to finish.
Keep warm until service.

Potato-Parsnip Puree

makes 1 pound
8 oz. russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 oz. parsnips, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. chicken stock (optional)
Salt and pepper as needed

Combine everything except salt and pepper in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Cook until very tender but do not allow to scorch.
Once tender, puree with a stick blender until smooth.
Adjust seasoning and keep hot until service.

Brussel Sprouts

makes about 1 pound
1 # brussel sprouts, halved and cored
Olive oil, as needed
Salt and pepper, as needed

Bring a pan of water to a boil and add salt.
Add the sprouts and cook for a few minutes or until tender.
Pull out of the water and heat a sauté pan, adding oil when hot.
Sauté the sprouts until done and keep hot until service.