Only one more day until I leave for Wisconsin. Not permanently mind you, but an extended stay for me none-the-less. I just finished packing and I thought I’d write a quick ditty to you before I disappear. I do have access to the internet out there but my mom seems very offended whenever I log on. So this may be farewell for a couple of weeks!
As always, I look forward to seeing my family and friends while I am out there. However, this visit is not entirely for leisure. My mom is updating her condo and needs an extra pair of hands. She is putting me to work out there! How dare she. I am unemployed and have better things to do, like watch tv and sit on my butt all day. Honestly…
Anywho, you’re probably asking me what Wisconsin has to do with this steak sandwich. Not much, unless you relate steak to Wisconsin cows… and the blue cheese to … well, Wisconsin cheese. Then yes, Wisconsin and this sandwich has everything to do with one another!
I was inspired to make this sandwich when I came across Pioneer Woman’s Blue-Cheese Sauce recipe. I really wanted to incorporate some greens on my plate too so we settled on making a steak sandwich instead of her original recipe which was steak and sauce. Boy am I glad we did it this way! The sauce and steak are very heavy, so the peppery arugula really was a nice, lighter accompaniment. A fantastic combination.
I will definitely make this sauce again with future steak recipes. It’s sinful and delightful and everything your mother warned you about (i.e. it’s really frickin’ good).
1 (12-ounce) 1-inch thick New York strip boneless steak, trimmed *See Note
salt and pepper
2 cups arugula
2 sandwich rolls, split and buttered
For the sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
salt and pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saute or grill pan over high heat until it's almost smoking. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook the steak for 7 to 10 minutes, turning once, until medium rare in the middle. Remove to a plate, cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steak into very thin strips.
While the steak rests, saute onions in 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until dark and caramelized. Add more butter if the onions begin to look dry. Reduce heat and pour in cream. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until reduced by half and thickened. Stir in blue cheese until melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble, toast the buttered sandwich rolls in a pan over medium heat. Place a layer of onion-blue cheese sauce on the bottom of the roll, top with steak strips and a pile of arugula.
You can use any cut of steak you fancy really. Just make sure you slice your cooked steak very thin for your sandwich.
Recently I’ve become a bit of a wine snob. I blame the manfriend (and all the weekends before we even met… where a bottle of wine and a manicure kit were my idea of “ringing in the weekend”). We had a $200 bottle of wine that was screaming for an awesome steak to accompany it. That’s right, in my world the steak compliments the wine, not the other way around.
My adventure started at the local butcher shop. I had never been to a butcher before. I’ve always been too intimidated to pass through the doors of one. I don’t know anything about cuts of meat really and felt like my butcher virginity would be ridiculed immediately. I decided to suck it up. This would be as good as a time as any to try one out. I was on a mission! I garbed up for the cold weather and drove across town to the only butcher I remembered seeing in town.
Fizzle fizzle… I STILL haven’t been to a butcher because they were closed when I got there (at 4:00pm?!…come on guys!). I’d love to support the mom and pop shops… if they stayed open later. I’m an 8 to 4 working girl, throw me a bone! I hear they’re open all days on Saturdays. Guess I’ll have to try again then!
Off to the grocery store to buy their best cut of beef I could find. I used these as my guide:
The grade of the meat: The age of the animal and the marbling of the meat determine the grade. From best to worst: Prime, choice and select. Typically, you can only find Prime grades at a butcher. *shakes fist at the butcher*
The cut of the meat: There’s a lot that can be said about the anatomy of a meaty animal. To simplify things, these are the sections of the animal in order of most tender to least tender:
Short Loin Cuts: Tenderloin, Porterhouse, T-bone (New York), Top Loin Steak
Sirloin Cuts: Sirloin Steak, Top Sirloin
Rib cuts: Rib Roast, Rib-eye Steak, and back ribs
If I can find a good price for it, I’ll usually opt for the tenderloin. It’s great for marinating or rubs, and broils nicely. A charcoal grill remains on my Christmas list.
This thing is so awesome and versatile but the result is a steak fit for a rockstar. I’ve really just guestimated the measurements in the ingredients list. You can mix and match seasonings here and there to whatever is sitting around in your pantry. Remember that there is already a lot of salt in the balsamic, so I would leave it out all together. Roasting your garlic tastes bomb too, but usually takes more time than I’m willing to dedicate.
2 almighty beef steaks, about 1-inch or so in thickness
Seasonings of your choice (onion powder, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, etc.)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Pour into a large zip-lock bag. Add the steaks and marinate for 30-60 minutes at room temperature.
Rinse meat under cool running water and pat dry on both sides with paper towels.
Place the broiler pan under the broiler. Make sure your oven rack is sitting about 5 or 6 inches away from the top of your oven. Pre-heat the broiler on the high setting for 10 minutes.
In the mean time, add a pat of butter a stove-top pan. Sear the steaks undisturbed for 60 to 90 seconds on each side. This will seal in all of the juices and give your steaks a really nice color.
Remove the hot broiler pan from the oven. Place the prepared steaks side by side in the center of the pan. Broil the steaks until the desired doneness is reached. Cook thick steaks for 3 to 4 minutes on each side for rare, 5 to 6 minutes for medium rare, and so forth. Check out my guide on how to tell if your steak is cooked.
Remove from heat, cover with aluminum foil to keep warm, and let your finished steaks rest for 10-15 minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute. Serve and enjoy.
Grilling a steak is always a great way to go if you love that charred taste. Follow the same rules as broiling a steak but over a medium-high heat on a grill.
One of the biggest no-no’s in cooking is cutting into a piece of steak (or hamburger or any red meat) to see if it is cooked to your liking. Doing so releases all of the delicious juices you just worked so hard to seer into the darn thing!
There are different tricks to use to determine how your steak is cooked. I use this method:
Poke the steak gently with your tongs (or if you’re cooking for people you know, I don’t mind using my little finger!)
If it feels like your chin, then it’s rare
If it feels like your nose, then it’s medium
If it feels like your forehead, then it’s well done
Try feeling your face right now and trying it out. Don’t worry, it takes a long time to master the “steak touch.” Just keep practicing. Feel your steak with your finger, take a guess and then read your steak with a meat thermometer to see how you did.