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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Steak Frites and Steamed Asparagus in Béarnaise SauceSauce

I was craving some pub food, and decided to make some steak frites.  The asparagus was more just cause I needed a green vegetable.  And because I knew they'd go well with the  béarnaise sauce I was going to make anyway for the steak.

Now... I didn't have any frites.  <sniff>  So I used freaking frozen french fries.  Oh well.  I did try to jazz them up a little though... and drizzled some of my herbes de provence flavoured olive oil on them prior to baking.

Not glamourous, I know... and maybe a little trashy... but whatever.

As for the steak... I'm ashamed to admit that these were pretty cheap cuts of meat.  Several weeks ago, we found a really great deal on steaks at the grocery store, and so we bought 3 pairs of steaks and just froze them.  It's handy to have a pair of steaks in the freezer, and they take less time to thaw than other cuts of meat.

Anyway, these are just a couple of very cheap eye of round steaks, on which I put a very simple rub of black pepper and parsley.  There was the very real, and certain, intention of drenching everything with the béarnaise sauce anyway... so I wasn't too worried about diffusing subtle flavours into anything.

Not glamourous, I know... and definitely trashy... but whatever.

The asparagus was good at least.

And plentiful.

I washed those up, and snapped off the ends, then arranged them in my steamer, bouquet-style.

I'm sure anyone who's read this blog to any degree will agree that I'm all about uniform texture and cooking.  Well, with asparagus, I find that the thicker, wider, bases require a bit more cooking than the thinner, tender tips.  Makes sense, right?  So, when steaming, I'll arrange them so that the bottoms will get a bit more heat than the tops.

Anyway, that's the explanation for my "bouquet-style" arrangement.

Once they've cooked like that for a few minutes, I'll shake 'em around a bit, and fit the lid on though, so they get a proper steaming (see below).

I used to broil steaks all the time.  Steak, of course, is BEST barbecued.  No question there.  In fact, most meat dishes are best barbecued.  However, when it's February, you can't really break out the grill every time you have a hankering for steak.  So... like I say, I used to broil them.

Broiling can make them tough though... and there is no real... finesse... in broiling.

Anyway, it has only been recently, but I've started to grill meats on my iron griddle.

Damn this bitch is heavy.

You could easily break something just by dropping it. 

Anyway... it took me a while to get the hang of grilling on a griddle, but now I quite like it.  With a very small cut of meat (like with these thin piddly steaks) it can admittedly be difficult getting it seared but not overcooked.

So, I got it super hot, and then seared both sides for probably only a minute each.  

Total cooking time was easily less than 2 minutes.

Once they were finished, I sprinkled a little bit of salish (smoked salt) on each side, and plated them.

Meanwhile, my asparagus had started to get a little bit of condensation on the stems, enough to "hold" a pinch of salt themselves.  At this point, the bottoms are significantly more malleable, and so I was able to toss them around a bit and then fit the lid on top.

They only really took another couple of minutes after that.  Again, with asparagus, go by colour.  You want a nice shiny, dark green.  If you see yellowing, you've overcooked them!

So, on to the plate those go as well.

The fries I mean frites were easy enough to dump from the baking sheet, and this was my trashy pub fare steak frites with steamed asparagus:

It really didn't look too unhealthy at this point... 
wait for it...


Just looking at this picture makes my arteries whinge.

So... not glamourous, I know... and trashy to be sure, but whatever.  

It was awesome.  

And it satisfied my craving for some pub food.