September 30, 2007

Fall is coming!

Yes, folks, it's about time for the weather to cool off a bit (as much as it really does around here) and for those of us who cook to start craving stews and roasts and the like. One of our favorite riffs on the theme is Alton Brown's Country Style Steak. Thin slices of beef cooked in a gravy sauce to melt in your mouth goodness. Yum...tonight's dinner is decided! The only catch is you really do need to plan ahead for this as it needs a couple of hours in the oven. I serve it with smashed potatoes to mop up some more of the gravy and whatever vegetable looks good in the market. Tonight will probably be roasted broccoli and a small green salad. So, pick an evening when you'll be home early or a weekend and enjoy comfort food!

Alton Brown's Country Style Steak (with a little variation)

2 pounds beef bottom round, trimmed of excess fat
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
(I add in a dash of onion and garlic power too)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil or bacon drippings (bacon drippings really do make this dish, and it gives you an excuse to cook bacon for something else first.)
2 cups chicken broth (I use a combo of beef and chicken)
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Cut the meat with the grain into 1/2-inch thick slices and season on both sides with salt and pepper (this is where I add in the onion and garlic powder.) Place the flour into a pie pan. Dredge the pieces of meat on both sides in the flour. Tenderize the meat, using a needling device, until each slice is 1/4-inch thick. Dredge in the flour again and set aside.

Add enough of the vegetable oil or bacon fat to just cover the bottom of a 4 to 5-quart Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the steaks to the pan, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook until golden brown on both sides, approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove the steaks to a plate and repeat until all of the steaks have been browned.

Remove the last steaks from the pot and add the chicken broth (or combo broth if you want extra beefy goodness) and thyme and whisk until the liquid just comes to a boil. Return the steaks to the pot and make sure they are all submerged in the liquid. Cover the pot and place it in the oven on the middle rack. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender and falling apart.

2 comments:

oakmonster said...

Wonder if you can throw this in a crock pot...

BrenJ said...

Not so much. Part of the magic of this dish is the sauce that is created in the oven from the floured meat. While you can brown somewhat in a crock pot, you just won't get the same results. I'm afraid it would be more mush than yum by the time you're done.