Rod Dreher

I want to assure y’all that on the new blog, you’ll see fewer celebrity-snark posts, but I won’t abandon posts about food and wine, and some of the personal stuff (e.g., updates about my sister). You’ll still get Ruthie, and farmer’s markets, but probably a lot less Charles Nelson Reilly and Lindsay Lohan. Somehow, I’m going to have to stay out of the Prytania (that’s a “Confederacy of Dunces” joke, to the uninitiated).
Look, because I love you, I have to share something hugely important with you right this very second. We have a dear friend visiting us from Texas today, and I cooked dinner tonight for us. I made pan-fried New York strip steak in a marchand de vin sauce. I’d never made that sauce before, but the fact that it made us all levitate four inches above our seats guarantees that I’m going to make it again. You could serve me roast haunch of squeezil, and I’d devour it as long as marchand de vin sauce was on it. Man! This sauce was very simple, but unbelievably delicious. Seriously, this is one of those things you can make that offers rewards far in excess of the effort required to prepare it. You can do a much more complicated version of the sauce (for example), but the recipe I’m giving you below is super-simple and completely delicious.
Read below the jump for the recipe.

Choose your steaks, and salt and pepper them well. I told the butcher that I hated how I usually set the smoke detector off when I pan-fried steak at home. He suggested buying New York strips, and getting them cut length-wise. So you get two steaks out of one — and because they’re half as thick, they cook in much less time, with much less smoke. Sounded good to me; I struggle to eat a whole NY strip most nights anyway. As it turned out, this thickness of steak worked out very well, not only in terms of ease of preparation, but in that it was just enough for all of us.
Anyway, before you cook the steaks, start the sauce. Here’s what you’ll need to make enough sauce for a pound, pound and a half of steak.
1 cup dry red wine
1 minced shallot
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper

In a saucepan, combine the wine and the shallots (N.B., I added chopped mushrooms to mine). Simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes, until the wine is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Remove from flame, let cool. Meantime, mix butter, lemon juice and parsley in a bowl. Combine the cooled wine-shallot mixture, along with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Put it to the side.
Now, in a black iron skillet or whichever pan you use to pan-fry meat, heat two teaspoons of olive oil until it’s close to smoking. Put the steaks in the pan and let them cook. The length of time depends on how rare you want your meat to be, and how thin the steaks are. I let the half-thick New York strips go for two, two and a half minutes on each side, and they came out medium. When done, remove steaks from pan, put on a dish. Pour off the fat from the pan, then pour in another 1/2 cup of dry red wine, and two tablespoons of water. Cook this over high heat, stirring to make sure the yummy bits from the bottom and sides of the pan are scraped up. Let this go until the wine has been reduced down to one tablespoon. Take it off the fire, let it cool slightly, then whisk in the marchand de vin butter. You’ll want to whisk this for a minute or so until the sauce emulsifies and get a bit thicker.
Put the steaks on a serving platter, or on individual plates, spoon the sauce over them, and settle down for bliss. Trust me on this. Single males seeking to impress dates, pay attention!

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