Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Steak and Gravy

Barely past Labor Day and we are being treated to an overcast day with just the slightest chill in the air. The kind of day that reminds you winter (even if it is just a SoCal winter) is coming. Jack-o-lanterns and Thanksgiving turkeys are just around the corner. The kind of day that calls for a warm, slow cooked dinners and rich gravies -- or I could be rushing it just a bit.
Another of the meat mysteries from the Hearst Ranch shipment was a small cross rib steak. I've seen cross rib roast -- although not often, so I assumed this was a "steak" cut from the larger roast, a bargain cut from between the shoulder and the rib. It was bound to be a bit tough and probably better suited to pot roast than a turn on the grill. So I dusted off an old recipe for smothered pork chops and set out to make steak and gravy for James' dinner.
First I browned the dredged, seasoned meat in a pan slicked with olive oil. I put the meat aside and added into two chopped strips of bacon, two thinly sliced onions, and two smashed garlic cloves. When the onions were soft I added in one cup of wine and one of chicken broth (after the steak was cooked I did reduce the gravy down a bit -- seemed just a little too thin for noodles), nestled the steak in the pan, and left the covered skillet to simmer over very low heat for about 75 minutes.
The result was a thick oniony gravy and tender steak. Perfect for a not quite winter's night.

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