I could hardly wait to blog about this menu. I was flipping through the February/March issue of food network magazine (actually it is the first time I bought it) and on page 96 is the most fabulous picture of a steakhouse dinner I have ever seen in a magazine. I just knew that I had to make these recipes as soon as possible. I made this for dinner last Saturday (the day before Superbowl Sunday). Tonight, I am blogging and enjoying the leftovers! The menu is London Broil with Herb Butter, Creamed Spinach, and Steakhouse Onion Rings. My husband loved it! I actually followed the recipe EXACTLY. Sometimes that is a hard thing for a foodie to do because we want to tinker right away. I know this to be true. However, lately I've been trying not to do that with first time recipes - so I can learn what I like, what I don't like, and why. Now, I would like to share what I learned with you when it comes to this meal.
London Broil with Herb Butter
For the Steak:
1 beef bouillon cube
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 top round London broil steak (about 2 pounds)
For the Herb Butter:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil or tarragon
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1) Prepare the steak: Dissolve the bouillon cube in 3/4 cup hot water in a bowl; set aside to cool. Whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil, the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place the steak in a large resealable plastic bag , pour in the marinade and seal, squeezing out the air. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.
2)Prepare the herb butter: Mix the butter with the chives, parsley, chervil, a pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the lemon juice in a bowl.
3) About 30 minutes before cooking, remove the meat from the bag (discard the marinade), dry it well and bring to room temperature. Heat a large heavy skillet over high heat, about 2 minutes. Rub the steak with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt over the surface of the pan; add the meat and set a heavy skillet on top to weigh it down. Sear for about 7 minutes; turn the steak, replace the weight and cook until a thermometer inserted into the side reads 110 degrees for medium-rare, about 5 minutes.
4) Transfer the steak to a cutting board; brush with some of the herb butter, tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes. Thinly slice against the grain; top with more her butter and drizzle with the pan juices. Serve with creamed spinach and onion rings.
What I learned: Even after 5 hours of marinading the steak it wasn't as tender as I expected. I would recommend going overnight like the recipe allows. Next time I will probably stab it with a fork several times and use the good old stand by called Adolph's. Frankly, I have yet to meet a homemade marinade that I absolutely love when it comes to red meat. I always end up tasting the tanginess of the marinade when all I really want to taste is the flavor of the meat itself. So I will probably play with the marinade in the future. Also, I have to confess I really am not fond of tarragon. Whenever I see it in a recipe I'm skeptical as to whether or not I'll like it. For the folks that like tarragon you will love the herb butter. However, next time I am going increase the chives and parsley or add something else. Oh, and I will leave out the lemon juice in the herb butter as well. I think it added to the tanginess of the steak that I personally didn't like. All of this blather makes it sound like I didn't like the steak, I know, but that is not true. I did like very much but these are the things I will do differently next time.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 pounds spinach, tough stems removed
1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks
Freshly ground pepper
1) Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth; cook, stirring, until the mixture lightens, about 1 minutes. Remove from the heat; whisk in the milk, 2 teaspoons salt and the nutmeg. Return to medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking. Remove from the heat again; stir to cool slightly.
2) Heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach and 1 teaspoon salt; cover and cook about 3 minutes. Toss with tongs, then continue to wilt, uncovered, about 2 more minutes. Drain and cool slightly, then squeeze the spinach until dry. Coarsely chop.
3) Gently reheat the sauce, then whisk in the whole egg and yolks; cook stirring, until the sauce thickens. Stir in the spinach; heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
What I learned: I wouldn't change a thing about this recipe. Although here is a word of caution, this will not keep on the burner - even on low. I made this recipe first hoping that I could keep it on low. Nice try but doesn't work - the egg and the sauce broke down to the point where it seemed non-existent. Also, this is definitely a special occasion dish....I certainly could not make this on a monthly basis and still fit into my cloths. In order to hang on to what figure I have left I need wilt my greens in olive oil with garlic on a regular basis.
Steakhouse Onion Rings
2 large red onions, cut into 1 inch rings
2 cups milk whisked with 1 large egg in a shallow bowl
1 cup flour mixed with 1 cup cornstarch and 1 teaspoon salt
Deep fryer, electric skillet, or heavy-bottomed pot filled with 4 inches of vegetable oil heated to 365 degrees
1) Soak the onion rings in the milk mixture for 30 minutes
2) Toss each ring in the flour milk and flour again
3) Fry in the hot oil until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels; season with salt
What I Learned: I wouldn't change a thing. These were amazing. Obviously only meant for a special treat. I saved the end pieces and smaller middle pieces of the onion for another use and used a 1/2 of a third onion that I happened to have in the fridge to make up the difference. If I prepare this menu in its entirety again - I will start these first and keep them on a cookie sheet in the oven on a warm setting. I cooked 4 batches in an electric fry pan to finish.
Final Thoughts: I will definitely make this again. I think of this menu as a success and would rate it as follows: London Boil 4 out of 5 stars, Creamed Spinach 5 out of 5 stars, and Onion Rings 5 out of 5 stars. I hope I don't sound too critical. I just want to share with you and remember what I will do differently next time. Lastly, the Feb/Mar issue of food network magazine is filled with so many things I want to try - I highly recommend this issue.