Last Monday was not your average Monday. My boyfriend started a new job and I thought this was a celebration-worthy occasion. So I told him that he was reserved for dinner and that he couldn’t come over until it was ready. I’m usually awful at planning/executing surprises, but this one seemed to go all right…although he figured mashed potatoes would be on the menu, since he’s been asking for them and I’ve been denying him them because I am still semi-traumatized by the volume of potatoes I ate during my year in Ecuador. But that trauma is of course another story for another time.
So the menu? Broiled marinated flank steak with truffled mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli. Oh you fancy huh? Why yes, yes we are.
We also finally opened up a bottle of wine I’ve had since going wine tasting in March, an ancient vines carignane from Cline up in Sonoma. Like I said, it was a special dinner. Now back to the food.
What you need:
- 1.75-2 lb Flank Steak, trimmed of excess fat and cut into two roughly 1 lb pieces
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp dijon
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp garlic confit oil
- 1/4 c finely chopped parsley
- 1 generous tablespoon finely chopped chives
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste
- Pinch of salt
Truffled Mashed Potatoes:
- 2-3 lbs yukon gold potatoes, quartered and brown spots removed
- 1 1/2 tsp white truffle salt (more to taste)
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 c milk or half & half
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- Pepper, to taste
What to do:
The Night Before (steak marinade + compound butter):
To make the compound butter, whip the softened butter (I had it sitting on the counter all day) with the remaining ingredients until well mixed. You can do this with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer or with a land mixer (sorry, couldn’t help myself with the Dr. Seuss rhyme. I mean fork/spoon). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Spoon onto plastic wrap or wax paper into a line as so:
…and carefully roll in it so that it forms a tube. Roll it up in the paper or plastic and then wrap tightly in foil.
Now pop that in your fridge and forget about it (fuhgettaboutiiiiiit).
Now back to the steak.
Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl, adjusting as you see fit.
Pour the marinate into a gallon-sized ziploc bag and add the meat. [You could use a baking dish, but this method makes it way easier for the meat to swim around and absorb all the goodness of the marinade.] Squish things around to make sure both pieces of meat are covered in marinade.
Place the bag o’ meat on a plate and pop that sucker in the fridge. Fuhgettabout it until the next evening [Note, make sure you marinade the steak at least 4 hours, but overnight is definitely preferable].
Now go chill out and have some wine or bourbon. You’ve put in a lot of work for the evening and now you can take a break!
The night of:
Cooking the meat:
This literally could not be simpler. You’re going to broil these suckers. To do so, line a baking sheet with foil [use a small one if you have a broiler drawer like me, it’s gotta fit!]. Pull the meat out of the bag and scrape off any clingy shallots/garlic (save your marinade!). Place your meat on the baking sheet (make sure there’s at least a little room between them).
Pop those guys under the broiler (make sure they’re about 3 inches from the flames) and cook for about 4 minutes a side (this will get them about medium, medium-rare). Don’t overcook these, they will get tough if you do!
While your meat is cooking, you can reduce your remaining marinade on the stove in a small saucepan. That way you have a little extra flavor on the plate.
Anyway, after your 8 minutes, pull the meat out of the broiler, slap a pat of your compound butter on top of each piece, and cover them with foil. Let them rest for 10-15 minutes–do not skip this, resting lets the juices reintegrate into the meat, and if you cut them right away, well, you’re going to have some dry meat.
After they are rested and ready to be sliced, make sure you cut against the grain, this will ensure that it is not too chewy and it stays juicy as well! Serve it up with some more compound butter on top. Because you can.
Making the truffled mashed ‘taters:
Place your cleaned/quartered ‘taters in a large pot of generously salted water so they are covered by a couple of inches of salty H2O (I seriously use a handful of kosher salt–potatoes hold a looot of seasoning). Bring to a boil and boil boil toil and trouble until those little ones are fork tender. Depending on your pot, this could take anywhere from 15-30 minutes.
While they are boiling, put your milk, butter, and grated garlic into a small saucepan.
Heat on low, just so the butter melts and the gaaahlic infuses the buttery milk mixture with its delicious flavor. You want this to be warm, but make sure to stir regularly so you don’t burn the milk on the bottom of the pan.
Back to the potatoes. When they are fork-tender (meaning a fork goes in easily), drain them and return them to the pot. Mash away! I don’t have a potato masher, so I just used a wooden spatula. Yukon golds are tender, and since you’ve already quartered them, it’s actually not that hard to mash them.
Once you get them good and mashed (read: no large chunks), get ready for awesomeness. Pour your warm garlic-infused milk/butter mixture into your potatoes and (preferably using a hand mixer, but an immersion blender or your buff arm with a whisk will do), mix it all up.
Fancify them: truffle salt. Yes, truffle salt. Because you can be fancy, too.
This stuff is potent, so you only really need probably 1 1/2 tsp for the whole pot. Add it and mix thoroughly. Add pepper and either more truffle salt or regular salt as desired.
A note on timing (because timing is everything, right?):
I recommend pulling the steaks out of the fridge for a little while before you cook them, so they are closer to room temp and in that way will cook more evenly.
I put the meat in the broiler when the potatoes were just tender, and then got to work draining/mashing/mixing the potatoes. When I pulled the meat out of the broiler to rest, I started the broccoli roasting.
And the final product? Please forgive the crappy picture quality. No joke, my camera died right when it was time to serve up. Cell picture it is!
All in all, this turned out to be a pretty easy, but very nice celebratory dinner. All bellies were satisfied.