Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Spicy Grilled Steak with Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Steak and potatoes. Always classic and delicious, but this time, it was even better because the beef came as a gift from a friend. SOOO delicious!

The Story of the Beef:
The steak is top round, and comes to me from friends Luke and Tabitha who earlier this year purchased a cow from a nearby ranch. Imagine, a full-size freezer, filled with neat white packages, some edged with dried blood, labeled neatly in blue pen, of every cut of beef imaginable. This is their freezer.

Tab is a great cook and has been quite impressively cooking her way through this gorgeous cow, but a few cuts stumped her and she asked for help, which is how I lucked out and got a piece of the action. Top round, eye-of-round and bottom round were the cuts stopping her up. Specifically, she wants to know how to cook it to make it not too tough, flavorful and easy (she teaches and is a new mom!)

So, here is what I found out after some research and here is a recipe just for you Tab (and Luke & Mason.) Thank you for sharing your cow!

The Verdict:
Round steaks come from the cow's hind area which are used most, so they are the toughest. Top round is the portion of the muscle used the least, so is slightly more tender than bottom round, but they all can be tender and delicious if cooked correctly, or not so much if cooked incorrectly.

Here is my recommendation; either marinate in a tenderizing marinade and grill quickly and serve medium rare and sliced thin. Or, if rare meat isn't your thing, braise (slow cook in the liquid plus a bit of water or beef broth) for the best results. For a roast, any normal pot roast method should work well.

Spicy Grilled Top Round Steak with Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
(serves 2 hearty eaters, 3-4 lighter eaters)

1.5 to 2 lb top round steak, thawed if frozen
1/3 c red wine
1-2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs brown sugar
Salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (except steak). Pour over steak and marinate for 2-4 hours, up to 8 hours. The acids in the marinade will help tenderize the meat.

Remove from marinade, grill about 3 minutes per side. For this cut of meat, you want medium rare at the most done or it will be tough.

Meanwhile, boil remaining marinade rapidly until reduced and thickened for a sauce.

Remove steak from grill, let rest on a plastic cutting board (so you can wash it) for 5-10 minutes. Slice thin across the grain and serve with reduced marinade drizzled over top.

Mashed Potatoes:
6 medium red potatoes, washed and partially peeled and cut into chunks
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
1/4-1/2 c milk (as needed for texture)
1 tbs butter
1-2 tbs grated Parmesan
1/4 c sour cream (can use light)
Salt and pepper

Place potatoes and garlic cloves in a stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until fork-tender. Drain well (leave garlic in). Add butter, milk, sour cream, Parmesan and salt and pepper and mash potatoes and garlic with a fork (they will be chunky potatoes) until incorporated. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve with steak and sauce. Garnish with additional parsley if desired.


Patricia Scarpin said...

If my husband were here he'd be drooling, Kirsten!
He absolutely loves beef and this recipe looks fantastic!

Carrie said...

I am so drooling over that steak. I have got to try that receipe!

Terry B said...

Okay, I'm adding to the prolific drooling you've got going on here.

You're exactly right about marinating this cut. That and slicing it thin, as you suggest, should make it delicious and reasonably tender.

When I make garlic mashed potatoes, I chop the garlic roughly before adding it to the potatoes and water. I find this releases more garlic oils and therefore, more flavor. And since you're roughly mashing yours with a fork, it helps prevent sudden concentrated bites of unmashed garlic.

Peabody said...

Wow...some one bought a whole cow. Of course all I can think of when I read that was my grandmother saying "why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?" I guess the answer to that is so that you can chop up the cow and eat it! Looks good Kristen.

christine said...

i love peabody's blog but this is more up my alley.

looks delicious!

Kristen said...

Oh yummy...what a delicious looking steak.

Kirsten said...

Thanks Patricia! I recall you posting that your husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy

Thanks Carrie!

Terry - good idea re: the garlic. I just am lazy and sort of like random chunks of garlic. :)

Peabody...too funny re: the cow. I just wish I had the freezer space to have 1/4 of a cow!

Thanks Christine and Kristen!!