Day 7: Simple Steak and Potatoes

September 27, 2011 | By | Comments (1)

Today’s recipe, Steak with Cognac Sauce and Salad, was prepared by Maggie Shi, deputy editor for RealSimple.com. 

Ingredients for Steak with Cognac Sauce

I chose this Steak with Cognac Sauce and Salad recipe because I had an open bottle of cognac that’s been sitting around in my apartment forever—leftovers from some other long-ago-attempted recipe, no doubt. I also don’t make steak very often—and almost never cook skirt steak—so I thought it would be fun to experiment with something new.

I decided to make my own “fries” instead of buying frozen waffle fries from the supermarket, so I picked up some German Butterball potatoes from the farmers’ market. I sliced them about ¼-inch thick, tossed with some olive oil and salt, then placed them on a baking sheet in a single layer and roasted for about 20 minutes at 420 degrees fahrenheit.

Salad

Next, I focused on my veggies. The salad was a cinch to throw together; with only three main ingredients, it took just a couple of minutes to prep and then toss with the basic dressing. The steak was also super-easy to prepare; because skirt steak is so thin, it literally cooks in 4 minutes (2 per side) to a lovely medium-rare. I set it aside to rest (so it stays nice and juicy), then added my leftover cognac to the pan. (Make sure to do this off the stove—you don’t want to start a fire in your kitchen!)

After the cognac had simmered for a minute, I added the cream and let it cook down, stirring to incorporate any browned bits and juices left over from the steak. Once it had thickened a bit, I sliced up the steak and plated my meal.

Steak with Cognac Sauce

The fries came out perfectly—crisp on the outside, tender on the inside. Although it was seasoned with just salt and pepper, the steak itself was incredibly flavorful, and the cognac-cream sauce added a luxurious touch. The salad was nicely refreshing, with the sliced onions and the vinegar in the dressing offsetting the beefiness of the steak. (I love adding thinly sliced red onions or shallots to any salad—it really gives it an extra bite. And crumbled blue cheese lends a layer of nutty/sweet/tangy complexity and richness.) Everything was so simple, yet completely delicious. I think skirt steak may be my new favorite cut of meat.

Join in on our Month of Easy Dinners by sharing your delicious photos on RealSimple.com, and of course check back tomorrow for the next recipe from our editors. 

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