Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Steak Salad: How to Sear a London Broil

Perfectly cooked medium rare steak on salad with feta and dijon mustard
A well cooked steak is a thing of great beauty!

When I was pregnant with Kenny, I walked down the baby food aisle of Target exactly one time and determined that I was going to have to make my own baby food.  Not that you care to know why, but it is because the thought of pureed meat made me want to vomit, and paying someone to puree fruits and vegetables struck me as stupid.  As a result, I Googled exactly one baby food recipe and determined that I was pretty much an expert in baby food preparation.

Surprising as it may seem, I was not an expert, and Littlest refused almost all solids from six to seven months.  Other than the guts of a clementine around Christmas, Kenny ate almost no solids until another kid gave him a pretzel which he sucked to little bits in a ritual akin to eating (differing mainly in that no nutrients actually entered his body).

After the pretzel episode, Littlest warmed up to food fast.  The advice on the interwebs is to proceed with caution, but in all my excitement that my Littlest was finally eating, I gave him everything except meat.  I cannot abide by the thought of pureed meat.

In all my extensive Googling of baby eating habits (read not extensive at all), I never stumbled across what to do when your baby decides he wants to eat steak, so I was caught off guard when the Littlest would not stop reaching for my plate the night that we made this delicious steak salad.  He would not be sated by a shred of lettuce or even an animal cracker.  It was clear to both me and the Mad Scientist that Littlest wanted steak.

The Mad Scientist looked at me and said, "Well, are you going to share with him?" 

But this steak was so tender and so delicious that I really didn't want to share with Littlest.  I responded, "I don't think babies are supposed to eat meat until they have teeth.  It probably says so on the internet."

"Okay, but he's very insistent, and the steak is really tender.  Maybe you could give him just the littlest bite."

"Why don't you share your steak with him," I asked.

Immediately, the infamous Mom guilt started.  How could I withhold steak from my own baby because of my selfishness. The Mad Scientist had already started meticulously cutting extremely tiny slivers of steak, and I said, "Its okay, I'll share with Kenny."

Then I cut several tiny slivers of my own steak, and I began to feed them to Littlest one by one.  If you have ever seen a seal show or a whale show at the zoo, you will be able to picture this seen very clearly.  Just replace the whale with a baby, the tricks with the cutest smile ever, and the whale trainer with me.  Over and over again, Littlest would smile and open his mouth, and I would insert the meat, and he would gum and drool and swallow, shake his head and repeat.

What can I say, the Littlest has good taste.

Do you want to make this Steak that is so delicious, and the salad which is a perfect complement?  I hope that you do because you're about to get the recipe.

The first section is a tutorial which I have modified very slightly from this one on Smitten Kitchen where she incidentally also discuss feeding her baby steak, which makes me feel guilty only for not wanting to share my meat, and not for potentially feeding my child steak before he was ready.

How to Sear a London Broil

If you are lacking a grill (or perhaps you live in Minnesota, so there's a 75% chance that there is snow on the ground), this is a great method for cooking a perfect medium rare steak in a frying pan.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: One Pound (about 3-4 servings)

  • One Pound London Broil
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1. Slice steak crosswise. Crosswise means that you will have two pieces of steak that cover equal surface area, but are half as thick as the piece as a whole was. 2. Generously cover both sides of both pieces of steak in salt and pepper. 3. Allow London Broil to come to room temperature. Based on research that is readily available on the internet, most chefs do this to ensure an even cook. 4. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan with a lid. Your burner should be between 6 and 7 on a scale of ten. 5. Add one piece (or both pieces if you have a large burner) of steak to the frying pan, cover with the lid, and allow it to sit on the heat for 5 minutes without touching it. 6. Flip steak over, cover with the lid again, and cook for another 4 minutes. 7. Remove steak from heat, and place onto a cutting board. Allow the steak to "rest" for several minutes before slicing it. This will allow the steak marinate in its own juices, and make it even more delicious.

Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vineager
  • 1-2 Teaspoons (to taste) Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • To taste (I used none, Rob used about 1/4 Teaspoon) Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly using a fork or a very small whisk.

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