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Porter Marinated Flank Steak Lettuce Wraps with IPA Chimichuri

Porter Marinated Flank Steak Lettuce Wraps with IPA Chimichuri 2

I spent the better part of the last two weeks throwing myself into my second book. Cooking at 1 am, editing photos at dawn, trying to pull sentences out of my weary brain that would actually be ones that you would want to read.

Monday at 2 am I finally sent it off to my publisher. 100 recipes, all made with beer, all intend for parties. Small bites, appetizers, desserts. The years I’ve spent in the beer world have given me an overwhelming appreciation for the community that exists here. The people who gravitate to craft beer are those who want to share, not just beer but ideas, companionship, trust, knowledge, this is a community of people that thrive together. Of course, a book about beer food to be shared just made sense. I hope you love it as much as I do, I hope you make food to share with other, and I hope that maybe somewhere, the craft beer community is grown a little stronger because of the book I spent so much time creating. It’s the least I can do.

 

 

Porter Marinated Flank Steak Lettuce Wraps with IPA Chimichuri_

 

Porter Marinated Flank Steak Lettuce Wraps with IPA Chimichuri

Ingredients

    For the Steak:
  • 12 ounces porter or stout beer
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 lbs flank steak
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • For the Chimicuhri:
  • 1 cup Italian parsley, loosely packed
  • ½ cup cilantro, loosely packed
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano, loosely packed
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus additional for red pepper
  • 2 tbs rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs IPA beer
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • For the wraps:
  • butter lettuce
  • 1 red bell pepper

Directions

  1. In a shallow bowl or baking dish stir together the beer, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, chili powder, pepper and onion powder. Sprinkle the flank steak on all sides with salt, add to the marinade. Marinate for at least one hour and up to overnight.
  2. In a food processor add the chimichuri ingredients, process until smooth.
  3. Preheat the grill.
  4. Grill the steak until desired degree of doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Rub the bell pepper with olive oil, grill until soften and grill marks appear.
  6. Slice the steak and the bell pepper.
  7. Fill the butter lettuce leaves with steak and bell peppers, spoon on sauce.
https://domesticfits.com/porter-marinated-flank-steak-lettuce-wraps-ipa-chimichuri/

Porter Marinated Flank Steak Lettuce Wraps with IPA Chimichuri 3

 

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter via @TheBeeroness

Falling into the world of craft beer, I lacked a full grasp of the type of people this obsession attracts. Over the years I never cease to be amazed at the warmth and heart that exists in the gatherings of the Craft Beer Enthusiasts, the salt of the earth types that dwell here. It’s hard to explain to people who are outside, how to really articulate how golden the souls, how quickly we connect to one another over a shared fascination. How our celebrities brew beer, and our Mecca lives in various 750 ml bottles.

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter via @TheBeeroness

Over the weekend I was fortunate enough to spend a truly unforgettable weekend in Boston, courtesy of Attune Foods, to marinate in the company of the Craft Beer Crowd. The final night gave me a clear tableau of the heart of this community. In the middle of a large conference space, in the bottom of a Boston hotel, was an impromptu potluck of rare beer, a spontaneous gathering spread out by strangers. People from all over the country packed bottles of beer, rare beer, sacred beer, hard to track down beer, beer that people dream of, in order to share it with strangers. They pulled from their stash of beer that took them months, even years to track down, in order to share it with people they have never met.

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter via @TheBeeroness

I was honored, and so grateful, to be handed beer I’ve only read about, from people I’d never met. "I though you’d like this," or "I brought this to share, do you want some?" It was touching, and even a bit overwhelming, that people who didn’t know me would share, with such enthusiasm, what is often rare and hard to come by. Some bottles weren’t even replaceable, aged for several years. This is craft beer. People who just want to share, in community, what they have come to love.

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter via @TheBeeroness

 

And all I have to offer in return is my gratitude, and some knowledge about food, and a few recipes. Let’s start with steak. A few tips can give you an unforgettable meal, to serve with that rare beer.

First, is the selection process. Have you ever noticed those stickers on the packages of steak in the grocery store? Prime, Choice and Select? While they should put: Great, Pretty Good and Don’t Bother, they leave it a bit ambiguous. If you know what to buy, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Prime is the best, but of course, most expensive. Choice is runner up to prime, not as good as Prime, but it’s often much less expensive. Select should be labeled: Please Don’t Select, it’s poor quality. If a steak isn’t labeled, it probably was so poor, it didn’t even earn a Select designation. If you see an unlabeled piece of meat that has a sticker that says, Inspected by the USDA, don’t fall for it, all meat is inspected by the USDA. Look for a well marbled steak, about an inch in thickness that’s labeled Prime or Choice.

Second: marinate and dry. Beer is a natural meat tenderizer, using it in a marinade gives steak an amazing texture. Drying the meat well, while it feels counter intuitive, is the only way to get a good sear and avoid 50 shades of gray meat.

Third: excessively salt your meat. Don’t be shy with the salt, it’s imperative. Liberally salt the steak on all sides, it’s pretty difficult to over salt a steak and salt is extremely important to the final flavor.

Fourth: buy a meat thermometer. If you cook meat a lot, you get used to the feel test and you can vibe it. But until then, testing with an inexpensive meat thermometer is a foolproof way to get the exact doneness that you want. You really don’t want to spend all that time and money only to over cook your steak because you didn’t want to spring for the $7 meat thermometer.

For this recipe I love a smoked porter, it’s one of my favorite go-to beers when it comes to cooking with beef.

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter

Ingredients

    For the Steak:
  • 1 ½ cups stout or porter
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 New York Steaks or Tri Tip Steaks (choice or prime)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • For The Butter:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup porter
  • ¼ cup crumbled Gorgonzola

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the beer, Worcestershire, onion powder, paprika and salt.
  2. Place the steaks in a baking dish, cover with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours, turning at least once while marinating.
  3. While the steak is marinating, make the butter. In a saucepan over medium high heat, add the ½ cup porter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 2 tbs, 8-10 minutes.
  4. In a food processor add the butter and reduced beer, process until well combined. Add the Gorgonzola and pulse to combine.
  5. Add butter to a sheet of plastic wrap, roll into a log and refrigerate until solid, about 1 hour.
  6. Fifteen minutes before cooking, remove the steaks from the marinade. Place on a stack of paper towels, top with additional paper towels, pressing down firmly. Allow to dry for about ten minutes.
  7. Grill Method:
  8. Preheat the grill to medium high.
  9. Salt and pepper the steak liberally on all sides.
  10. Brush the grill with olive oil.
  11. Place the steaks on the hottest part of the grill until grill marks appear, flip. Once grill marks appear on the other side, flip again. Flip a total of 4 times to create a diamond grill pattern, keeping the grill closed between flipping. Test the temperature and remove when desired doneness is achieved.
  12. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.
  13. Slice the butter into 1 inch pats, add one pat to each steak.
  14. Oven Method:
  15. Preheat oven to 350.
  16. Salt and pepper the steak liberally on all sides.
  17. In a pan over medium high heat add the olive oil, heat until hot but not smoking. Add the steaks (two at a time) and cook on each side until a brown seared crust has formed, about 2 minutes per side. Avoid crowding the pan, cook in batches if necessary. Move steaks to a sheet pan or baking dish.
  18. Cook in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until desired level of doneness. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.
  19. Slice the butter into 1 inch pats, add one pat to each steak.

Notes

Temperatures for doneness:

126°F Rare,

131°F Medium Rare,

145°F Medium,

154°F Medium Well,

https://domesticfits.com/beer-marinated-steak-with-porter-gorgonzola-butter/

Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter via @TheBeeroness

Steak With Stout Beer Mushroom Sauce

Let’s start by talking a little bit about steak, and how to cook it at home. Before you even start your meal, you need to know how to buy steak and what those stickers on the package mean.

If you are lucky enough to be cozy with your local butcher, you can disregard this next bit of trivia. If you buy your steaks at the grocery store, you’ll need to know this in order to get an amazing steak on to your dinner plate.

While I’m the first in line to let everyone know that cheap cuts of meat can turn in to fantastic meals, this is not a dish that will give you memorable results with low quality beef. You must spend on steak.

That being said, the most expensive cuts of meat aren’t always worth the price but knowing how to decipher the labeling will help you balance price vs quality.

Prime, Choice, and Select.

Prime is the best meat for that cut and will, most likely, taste the best once cooked, but it almost always cost the most.

Don’t even bother with Select, it’s the lowest quality of meat. Unless you are a "well-done" steak person, then it doesn’t really matter, an overcooked piece of meat taste the same regardless of quality.

Choice is a great option and a middle ground between price and quality if you are on a budget. It’s far better than Select, but not as expensive as Prime.

Don’t fall for the “Inspected by USDA” sticker, all meat is inspected by the USDA and that sticker just means that quality was so poor, it didn’t even qualify for a "Select" sticker. If there is no indication if the meat is Prime, Choice or Select, the odds are that the meat didn’t meet standards for any of those categories. In other words: don’t buy an unmarked steak.

Another important step in pan-searing a steak at home is removing excess moisture from the outside of the steak. I know that it seems counter-intuitive to remove moisture when the goal is a juicy steak, but this is the only way to get a good sear and avoid gray meat. Pat the steak dry with paper towels before seasoning it.

Salt is another essential component in making steak, regardless of the cooking method. Salt the outside of your meat generously. This will tenderize the steak, brighten, and enhance the natural flavors. Without it, your meat will be slightly tougher and have much more of a "flat" taste to it.

A hot pan and a 350°F degree oven is the combination that you need to achieve a crust on the outside and the perfect amount of pink on the inside of the steak.

For the mushrooms sauce, I used Steelhead Extra Stout by Mad River Brewing. A smooth, creamy stout with a surprisingly light finish. A stout lover’s dream, a great beer to drink with dinner or dessert.

Pan-Seared Steak with Stout Beer Mushroom Sauce

Doneness is a hard thing to explain, but there are several ways to know if your steak is where you want it to be without the dreaded slice through the middle that will compromise your overall results.

First, there is the temperature check, but this does require a stab to your meat which will allow some juices to flow out, but far less than cutting it open. Get out an oven-safe thermometer and push it halfway through the middle of your steak. Keep in mind that your meat will continue to cook an additional 5 degrees once remove from the oven so keep that in mind when your test the temperature, removing the meat about 5 degrees before it reaches the level you want it.

126°F Rare
131°F Medium Rare
145°F Medium
154°F Medium Well

The second way is the feel test. This is what I use, and if you cook enough steak, you will be familiar with how your steaks feel once they are done. Here is an old line cook secret to understanding how a steak should feel once it’s done:

Put your thumb and forefinger together. With your other hand, feel the fleshy part of your palm, just below your thumb. That is what a rare steak will feel like. Then put your thumb and middle finger together. The fleshy part of your palm will now feel medium-rare. Thumb and ring finger: medium-well. This is a way to get the doneness you want without having the unsightly cut marks in your beautiful steak.

Here is a great article about the feel test, with pictures of what I’m talking about.

Allow your steak to rest for five minutes while you finish the sauce.

Top each steak with mushroom sauce, serve with stout beer.

Steak With Stout Beer Mushroom Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

    For The Steak:
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter
  • 4,( 6 oz) Steaks
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • For the Mushroom Sauce:
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbs olive oil  (if necessary)
  • 1 cup Stout Beer
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a pan over medium heat, melt 3 tbs butter. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft and dark brown, about 5 minutes. Add the olive oil if the pan starts to get dry. If you add the beer before the mushrooms are cooked through, they will absorb too much of the beer flavor.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add the beer and broth, allow to cook until reduce by more than half, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. You can cook the steaks while the sauce is reducing (see below).
  4. Once the sauce has reduced, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel, and season all sides generously with salt. Sprinkle liberally with pepper.
  6. In a sperate pan, heat 1 tbs butter until melted and the pan is very hot but not smoking. Add the steaks and cook on each side until a brown seared crust has formed, about 2 minutes per side. Don't crowd the pan or the the cooking temperature will fall below what the steaks need for a good sear. Cook in two batches if necessary. Move steaks to a sheet pan or baking dish.
  7. Cook in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until desired level of doneness. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.
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https://domesticfits.com/steak-with-stout-beer-mushroom-sauce/

 

The Perfect Steak

Really, is there anything better? A beautiful crust, tender, pink in the middle. Cooking a lovely cut of beef at home, on par with your favorite steak house, is completely possible. Years ago, I set out on a journey for the wisdom of the beef that would enable me to cook up a beautiful hunk of meat in a way that would WOW my guests (and by that, I mostly mean my husband). It was much simpler that I had expected.

First, pick the right cut. Of course a $50 steak is going to taste amazing, but you can also get a great meal out of a $5 steak as long as you know what to look for and how to read the label.

USDA Grades

Prime, Choice, Select? What the heck? Here’s the basic rule: stick with only Prime and Choice, don’t select Select and NEVER choose ungraded for this cookin’ method.

Prime is the best and Choice is the second choice. Select is a passable cut, but for only a few dollars more, a Choice cut will taste twice as good. All meat is inspected my the USDA, so don’t let that label fool you. If it just has a “Inspected by USDA” sticker and no grade sticker it just means the meat didn’t meet standards for a grade. If a cut has a grade, the sticker will be on the package. If there isn’t a sticker, it’s not going to be a tasty, tender cut. Although there are a lot of ways to make a cheap ungraded cut of beef taste great, it involves quite a bit of marinatin’ and manipulatin’.

Remove excess moisture. Although it sounds counter-intuitive when you want a juicy steak, patting the outside of the meat with paper towels is important. If you don’t, you’ll end up with gray meat (and that’s no metaphor).

steak-patting-2SALT!!! I’m a huge fan of salt, but even if you would rather pass on this seasoning, ALWAYS SALT YOUR MEAT (also not a metaphor). It’s essential. Not only is salt a tenderizer, it also brightens flavors and aids in a perfect crust. Just sprinkle each side of your meat with salt before you add anything else, and don’t be shy with it. I’ve concocted dozens of steak rubs, but its hard to go wrong with just salt and pepper. You can also add just about any seasoning that you love: onion powder, garlic powder, mustard, even a sprinkle of sugar will add a beautiful caramelization to your crust.

steak-begin-2Hot Pan. Get out the best quality pan that you have, add olive oil and let it get hot, about 4 minutes. You don’t want the oil smoking, but you want it hot enough to let out a loud sizzle as you throw your meat in. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. If your meat sticks to the pan, it’s OK. Don’t frantically pull it in an attempt to rescue it, it will release from the pan when it’s done.

steak-panFinish in the oven. I once took a cooking class from a fancy chef who spent years as a personal chef to celebrities in Beverly Hills. He said that this was his “steak cooking secret.” Not so much a secret, most restaurants do this, but it’s the best way to get a perfect crust and a pink-not-red center. 350 degrees for about 7 minutes for a 1 1/2 to 2 inch thick steak (Medium rare).

steak-ovenThe feel test. This has been a technique of line cooks for a century. Put your thumb and forefinger together. With your other hand, feel the fleshy part of your palm, just below your thumb. That is what a rare steak will feel like. Then put your thumb and middle finger together. The fleshy part of your palm will now feel medium rare. Thumb and ring finger: well done. This is a way to get the doneness you want without having the unsightly cut marks in your beautiful steak.

Here is a great article about that: http://primecutsblog.com/2008/12/01/the-finger-test-to-check-the-doneness-of-steak/

My favorite really-impressive-really-easy steak topping is Gorgonzola Butter. In a food processor put one stick of softened butter, two tbs Gorgonzola cheese, pinch of salt and 1 tsp garlic powder and pulse until well combined. lay out a sheet of plastic wrap and put the Gorgonzola butter in the middle. Roll up the butter in the plastic wrap into a log shape and secure the ends. Place the log in the fridge until firm. Cut off slices of the butter and place a few pats on top of a warm steak. Gorgonzola butter is also really good on asparagus.

gorg-butter steak-done-2