Monday, March 7, 2011

Potato, Caramelized Onion and Steak... Terrible name I know...

My friend Valentina has the most sophisticated pallette I've come across and by the sounds of it, it seems like she has her mom to thank!

The other day, Vally described a childhood dish her mom would make that was comprised of several layers- the bottom were potatoes, above were caramelized onions and the last layer was thinly pounded beef (ideally sirloin). Everything worked harmoniously as the juices from the steak dripped down to the onions and these collective juices coating the potatoes. I went home and had to make it... unfortunately I didn't have sirloin and used skirt steak, it was still delicious but you really want to use a marbled and tender cut of meat. That said, I knew it would taste quite rich so I finished it with a chimichuri sauce... ridiculous.

1 pound sirloin tip (I used skirt steak because I was desperate for it but it's not as good quality)
2 yukon gold potatoes
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken or veal stock
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 tablespoon canola oil

Cut potatoes in 1 inch slices so they remain round. Cook until almost done in boiling salted water. Drain and reserve.

In a saute pan heat olive oil and butter. Add the onions and cook on medium-low heat for about ten minutes. They should shrink and start to brown. Increase heat to medium-high and add one fourth of stock at a time. The stock with boil and reduce and help with the caramelization. Carry on doing so until you've run out of stock. The onions will be done when they've turned a lovely caramel brown and are soft..almost gummy.

Pound the steak to tenderize and thin out. The best cut of meat is one that's marbled like a sirloin tip (a cheaper alternative to sirloin). I didn't have this so I used a skirt steak. It was still delicious but a fattier meat is ideal!

Salt and pepper your steak and heat a saute pan large enough to fit all the contents with canola oil. Fry the steak very quickly (about 45 seconds on each side) - just so it browns on both sides. Drain excess oil and carefully align the potatoes so it makes one layer (they can overlap a bit). Sprinkle thyme over the potatoes. Now layer the onions on top- spreading it out so it makes a thin layer. Place the steak above the onions and cook in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the steak is to your liking.

Chimichurri Ingredients:
2 cups fresh parsley
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sambal (spicy chili sauce)
1-1.5 teaspoon salt

In a food processor blend all the ingredients together until it they're all evenly combined and make lightly chunky sauce.. If it's too thick add more extra virgin olive oil.