2.26.11: dinner (steak with horseradish yogurt sauce and valdeón)

Flank Steak with Horseradish Yogurt Sauce and Valdeón

[Editor’s Note. – this is a continuation of our surf and turf night.]

Usually when I go for beef (braises excluded), I go for flank or skirt steak, which are not exactly the… steak-iest of steaks. I have my reasons; traditional steaks (sirloin, porterhouse, ribeye, etc) are expensive, difficult to cook properly without a nice grill and the admittedly somewhat misguided food guilt that comes from eating steak (steak is bad for me). I blame my parents. Also, E isn’t a huge steak fan, so I must have some real impetus to get my steak on at home, even occasionally.

Enter Ron Swanson.

Ron Swanson in "Indianapolis" (season 3 of Parks and Recreation)

(awesome screencap via Spirit of Pawnee)

The return of Parks and Recreation to NBC a few weeks prior, plus having received the Season 2 DVDs for Christmas, we have been on quite Parks and Rec kick lately. Without turning this into some kind of fanpage synopsis, Ron (played by Nick Offerman) is the boss of the parks department and he loves steak (and breakfast food).[Ed.–He also loves pretty brunette women.] He loves it so much that several episodes have included his love for steak to the point where it’s a recurring theme. After a recent episode involving the closure of his favorite steak house, I decided to celebrate the show with an full-on run at a nice steak.

I remembered the Good Eats episode “Raising the Steaks” and recalled that a nice sirloin cooks well in the conventional oven, or as well as can be managed. I have a gas set-up which means a superior range but my oven leaves something to be desired (burning natural gas means lots of water vapor as a by-product which gets in the way of dry, crispy well-browned food). Still, I resolved to use Alton’s method of low heat int he beginning to reach the correct internal temp (medium rare, please) then crank it at the end to make a crust. My finished crust wasn’t as good as the blistering hot-top of a steakhouse or even an outdoor grill, but the result was still passable, especially for New York City in the dead of winter.

To top, I was excited to extend my obsession with my homemade horseradish to a topping, although I eschewed sour cream for Greek yogurt (I always do–I don’t know why) even though the genuine article would have been slightly better. I also remembered that E had purchased a Spanish blue cheese called Valdeón the previous week that we never managed to crack into to, so… bonus on top.

I guess the take-home message this week is don’t fight your desires, no matter how perverse… at least from a culinary standpoint. February is a short, mean month and anything you can do get through the bleak times that should be sanctioned in the name of the retention of sanity. So, until next time friends, cook on!

  1. Peggy said:

    I actually prefer skirt and flank steak over the other cuts, myself! You always end up with so much more steak for your money, and I love the taste of the cut too. Alton’s method sure is a winner, I’ve employed it many a times =)

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