For as long as I can remember I have hated touching raw meat. It smells funny, it looks funny, it’s a chopped up dead animal that I probably could have loved deeply, and it has blood all over it. The summer after my sophomore year in college I lived with 5 guys, and I wanted to still eat healthy home-cooked meals. I made them a deal: I buy the meat, you cook it, and we can all eat it. Of course they were on board and absolutley loved the idea, and I also bought really nice cuts of meat since I was so weird about meat.
Being in Korea has changed me. In my first year I touched ground beef in order to make some things. I don’t think I’ve touched anything since. I have almost a similar deal struck with a good friend who owns a foreigner bar right across the street who also cooks a lot (and has a huge oven I’m going to use for bread and other things). If he touches the chicken—the grosses of them all—then I’ll cook the rest and he can have some. He’s quite happy.
Since my mother bought me a years subscription to the online version of cooks illustrated, I decided I better straighten up and fly right. There are a lot of delicious recipes that require me touching meat and I’m 26 and I need to grow the eff up.
The first recipe that I saw was for the pan-seared steak with red wine pan sauce for two, and I really wanted to try it. Only problem: I had to buy meat, touch the meat, and cook the meat. Now that all of those tasks are finished, I feel quite satisfied with myself.
I was able to find everything except for thyme; I even got the last bottle of Dijon Mustard at Lotte Mart. The hardest part would be finding decent meat. To do so I would have had to have gone into Seoul which was something I didn’t want to do just for steaks. Instead I stopped by the butcher I pass on my way to and from school that is family owned and has an adorable baby that offered me his half-eaten apple and even bowed to me on my way out. They win for cuteness. The steaks were not the size called for but I wasn’t in a position to be picky.
I had planned on also making curried couscous and a salad or steamed vegetables when I set out on the adventure at 7:00 pm tonight after the gym, but a friend came over and I didn’t have the time nor the energy.
With normal sized steaks I would never have been able to eat all of it, but I at all of it tonight.
If you like cooking and want some delicious and healthy recipes, I would recommend getting a membership.
The recipe is extremely easy and straight forward. Because it’s membership only, I’ll try to put it here. Even with the bad cut of meat it turned out absolutely amazing! I’ll definitely be making this one again.
Pan sauces cook quickly, so prepare the ingredients before you begin cooking the steaks. Use a heavy skillet with a nonreactive cooking surface.
- 2boneless 8-ounce rib-eye steaks or top loin steaks, 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick, thoroughly dried with paper towels
- 1small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/4cup dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1/4cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1bay leaf
- 1 1/2teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
- 1/2teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1. Heat heavy-bottomed, 10-inch skillet over high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, season both sides of steaks with salt and pepper.
2. Lay steaks in pan, leaving 1/4-inch of space between each; reduce heat to medium-high, and cook without moving until well browned, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip steaks; cook 4 minutes more for rare, 5 minutes more for medium-rare, and 6 minutes more for medium. Transfer steaks to large plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
Off heat, add shallot and sugar to empty skillet; using pan’s residual heat, cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are slightly softened and browned and sugar is melted, about 45 seconds. Return skillet to high heat, add wine, broth, and bay leaf; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits on pan bottom with wooden spoon. Boil until liquid is reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 4 minutes. Stir in vinegar and mustard; cook at medium heat to blend flavors, about 1 minute longer. Off heat, whisk in butter until melted and sauce is thickened and glossy. Add thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf, spoon sauce over steaks and serve immediately.