Rethinking the traditional steak and potatoes

Grilled steak with a baked potato is fine. But the combination also makes for a fine canvas on which to apply some serious flavor.

Grilled steak with a baked potato is fine. But the combination also makes for a fine canvas on which to apply some serious flavor. Let’s start with the steak. I went with strip, as it stays nice and tender, particularly when it is marinated and only briefly grilled. Rib-eye and tenderloin would be fine choices, too. For flavor, I used an Asian-inspired marinade of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil (regular is fine, though not as flavorful as toasted), seasoned rice vinegar (same principle as the sesame oil), sugar and hot sauce. The marinade, which also has diced shallots in it, then doubles as a sauce after it is brought to a boil and reduced (an essential step since it had raw meat sitting in it). As for the potatoes, roasted new potatoes topped with roasted garlic are perfect. If you prefer, you could take that same combination and rather than simply smash them, go all out and mash them. Admittedly, this recipe involves more steps than I typically tolerate in a weeknight-friendly meal. But none is complicated and the whole thing still can be on the table in about 45 minutes. Asian-marinated steak over roasted garlic smashed potatoes Start to finish: 45 minutes Servings: 4 1 whole head garlic, plus 4 cloves 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided Kosher salt 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce 2 shallots, minced 1 1/4 pounds strip steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 4 servings 1 pound red new potatoes (about 16 potatoes) Ground black pepper Heat the oven to 400 F. Slice off the top (pointed side) of the head of garlic, then set the head on a square of foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap the foil loosely over the garlic, then roast until very tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Leave the oven on. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar, hot sauce and shallots. Mince the remaining 4 cloves of garlic and add those. Add the steak, toss well to coat, then set aside for 15 minutes. While the steak marinates, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 15 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain, then arrange the potatoes in 4 clusters on a baking sheet. Use a potato masher to slightly crush each cluster of potatoes. Drizzle the potatoes with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Unwrap the head of roasted garlic and squeeze the cloves onto the potatoes. Roast until the tops of the potatoes are just lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Heat a grill pan to medium-high. Using tongs, remove the steak from the marinade and sear on the grill pan to desired doneness. Transfer the remaining steak marinade in the bowl to a small saucepan over medium-high. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened. To serve, place a cluster of the roasted potatoes and garlic on each plate, then top with steak and drizzle with the reduced marinade. Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 534 calories; 295 calories from fat; 33 g fat (9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 62 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrate; 28 g protein; 2 g fiber; 1,164 mg sodium.  AP 

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