Posted by: briellethefirst | November 15, 2010

Friday Night Shank Steaks

OK, it’s Friday, you’ve had a long week, you want something special for dinner but the last thing you want to do is cook! Believe me, it’s not that hard and it’ll be SO worth it! Besides, you don’t have anything pressing tomorrow morning, do you? So, on your way home stop by the grocery store and pick up a couple of shank steaks. OK, maybe you don’t have that cut in your store, or you like something more expensive that doesn’t have a line of gristle through it, but I like the flavour, don’t mind the gristle (I can cut around it and give it to the dogs later) and I use the bone for broth. Whatever cut you get, make sure it comes with a bone. Getting the most for your money is a good thing. So is controlling what you eat, self-sufficiency and even being able to impress the daylights out of your boss, in-laws or anyone else that you really shouldn’t have to worry about impressing but will anyway.

The whole point is to have something lovely now and something else lovely (French Onion Soup) later. Oh, don’t forget to grab something for salad and a nice bread from the bakery section. French, Italian, sourdough or any fresh rustic country bread will do. If you want to grab some fresh vegis that are in season, do, but I often find it easier to heat some frozen vegis in the microwave or on the stove. I can use only what I need and don’t have to worry about the rest going to waste that way. And maybe pick up a nice inexpensive red wine, unless you have a decent ale in mind. We will be cooking with it and yes, you will need to sample some of your ingredients as you use them.

Now that you’re home open the wine (or ale) and pour a glass. Now pull out a bowl, open the steaks and put them in the bowl. Sprinkle with garlic, pepper, paprika, basil and whatever spices you like, then sprinkle with Worcestershire, Soy sauce, beer or wine. Turn the meat so it gets on both sides. They don’t have to be swimming in it, just enough to get both sides wet. Let this marinate while you turn on the grill and start the rest.If you don’t have a grill or the weather’s bad you can use the broiler or just cook hem in a frying pan.

If you’re having vegis put them in a bowl in the microwave or in a pan on the stove to heat, but don’t turn them on just yet. Slice the bread unless the bakery already did it for you. Butter the bread and if you like add some garlic. Now put the meat on the grill (or under the broiler or in a lightly oiled frying pan). You’ll want 5-10 minutes per side depending on how thick they are and how rare or well done you want them. This takes a little practice since everyone’s grill and preferences are different.If you really want to go all out slice up an onion and let it sauté down to caramelized lusciousness to serve on top of the steaks (if they last that long!)…yum!!!

While you’re waiting to turn the meat make the salads. Those bagged things are easy but fresh heads are easy too. The problem with the heads is washing them and getting them dry enough for dinner tonight unless you have a salad spinner. Time to run to the kitchen gadget store? Maybe later. Anyway, I turn the meat every 2-3 minutes or so. If one half of a couple is outside watching the meat with a beer and the other is inside with the rest it is easier.You’ll also want to put the marinade in a saucepan, add a splash of wine or ale and simmer it down into a nice reduction sauce. It doesn’t have to be thick, just boil down so it’s not as thin as it was, about 1/2 or 1/3 of what it was. Don’t add salt!

When the meat is about 1/2 done turn on the vegis, light the candles and set the table. Of course you’ll have candles! When the meat is done it isn’t done. It has to rest for 5 to 10 minutes while it settles all it’s juices. While you’re waiting you can toast the bread on the grill or under the broiler, put the salad dressing on (if you’re having salads) and serve the vegis. Now wash your hands like good children and tuck in. You’ll want to cut the bones out first and put them on the serving plate so you can use them for broth tomorrow. Put them in the fridge right after dinner, along with any leftovers (steak and eggs for breakfast anyone?) Leave the dishes for morning, take a nice shower, turn on some music and curl up with a good book or magazine before some serious snuggle time. Desert? Maybe an apple, some grapes, a couple of cookies or maybe ice cream. Congratulations on a week well done!

Oh, don’t forget to look up my posts on making broth and French Onion Soup.


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