Grocery shopping has become a sport and pantry cooking has become an art form. Three out of seven ingredients I wanted were gone from the shelves yesterday, and, along with every protein, the price of steak has gone through the roof. For those who have a family to feed, these costs are cause to take many things off the table. It's disheartening. That said, by purchasing steak and serving it portioned and sliced atop a simple, uncomplicated, well-dressed salad (alongside a side of simple, uncomplicated, well-seasoned steak fries), it turns out to be kinda economical.
Joe bought a two-pack of 1" thick steaks (one is a T-bone and one is a Porterhouse) at Sam's club. At $12.59 a pound these two steaks weighed in at 2 1/2 pounds and cost him $31.48. That said, when sliced and served atop my tossed salad and fries they'd easily feed six people, which comes to roughly $5.25 per person, which isn't a bad deal. It's twice as much as we two need, but, as two card-carrying carnivores, we'll be happy to eat steak salad two nights in a row.
Note: T-Bone, Porterhouse, Delmonico, Ribeye and NY strip steaks, as long as they are 1" thick all work nicely without compromise, so, choose your favorite, or, what's available to you.
~Step 1. Place the steaks on an 11 3/4" x 8 1/2" x 1 1/4" disposable aluminum broiler pan (the type that has a corrugated bottom). Season the tops of steaks with freshly-round sea salt and peppercorn blend. Place the pan of steaks 5 1/2"-6" underneath preheated broiler to cook 8-9 minutes per side, turning only once for a total of 16-18 minutes. Time the steaks carefully: 16 total minutes = medium-rare, 18 total minutes = medium. Remove steaks from oven, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
Would you like steak fries with your steak salad?
Of course, and these couldn't be easier. All you need: two pounds of your favorite potatoes (gold, red or Russet, your choice), some olive oil and one packet of the onion soup mix you forgot you had in your pantry. Yes my friends, a packet of onion soup mix is a souper seasoning for oven-roasted steak fries. Because steak fries are best served hot out of the oven, if you only have one oven, you do want to broil the steaks first, to give the steaks ample time to rest prior to slicing them slightly-warm or at room temperature. When the steaks come out, reset the oven to bake at 350°. While the fries are roasting, prepare your tossed salad and slice the steaks.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 packet from one box of onion soup mix, your favorite brand
no-stick cooking spray, for preparing casserole
all steak (from above recipe), and your favorite tossed salad and salad dressing
~Step 1. Spray a 13" x 9" x 2" casserole with no-stick. Slice the potatoes into large, "meaty" wedges, 6-8 per potato depending on the type and size of potato, placing the potatoes in a 1-gallon food storage bag as you work. Add the olive oil and the onion soup mix to the bag. Seal bag and toss until the potatoes are evenly coated in the oil and onion seasoning.
~ Step 2. Transfer potatoes to prepared casserole. Oven-roast the potatoes on center rack of preheated 350º oven for 1 hour, 15 minutes, stopping to toss the potatoes with a large spoon or spatula every 15 minutes throughout the process. Remove the golden steak fries from oven and serve immediately.
~ Step 3. While fries are roasting, prepare the salad, then slice the steak, by removing the meat from the bones and slicing it into 1/4"-thick strips. The salad in the photo: torn iceberg lettuce, diced sweet onion, sliced cucumber and Campari tomato wedges tossed with store-bought Wishbone Lite Italian dressing.
Assemble the salads & serve -- Presentation is everything!
Special Equipment List: 11 3/4" x 8 1/2" x 1 1/4" disposable aluminum broiler pan w/corrugated bottom; aluminum foil; cutting board; chef's knife; 1-gallon food storage bag
Cook's Note: Perhaps you'd like your steak salad with a fillet of beef. If that's the case, I do not recommend the dry heat of the broiler. ~ The Perfect 12-13-Minute 2"-Thick, Grill-Pan Fillet ~ is made on the stovetop. Perhaps it's a flank steak you've got on hand. My ~ Perfectly-Cooked 18-Minute Flank Steak ~ is made in the broiler the same way as the bone-in steaks.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)