Monday, January 23, 2012

Balsamic Skirt Steak with Creamy Polenta

This recipe has been adapted from an Everyday Food recipe.

Skirt steak might be my new favorite. Last night was my first night cooking it and it was so easy. It literally only takes 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare. This is not a steak that works cooked well done, but what steak really does work at well done? Anyway, I wasn't expecting it to be so tender and flavorful, but it was. And another positive is that skirt steak is very economical. I definitely like it better than a flank steak. This cut of meat would be great for fajitas.

Reducing balsamic vinegar down, thickens it and turns it into a great sauce. Place the steak on a bed of creamy polenta and drizzled with the vinegar glaze is an absolute pefect combination of flavors. I completed the meal with sauteed mushrooms and a side salad. (The mushrooms complemented the steak and polenta wonderfully.)

If you're making this for two people, consider cutting the polenta serving in half because it does make quite a bit.

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak (cut into 2 or more pieces, if necessary, to fit in skillet)
1 cup balsamic vinegar

Bring milk and chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt; reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in cornmeal. Simmer very gently over low heat, whisking occasionally, until polenta is thickened and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Whisk in butter and Parmesan, and keep warm over very low heat (whisk in some more broth or milk just before serving if polenta becomes too thick).

Meanwhile heat oil in a large skillet over high. (I used my cast-iron skillet.) Season steak with salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook, turning once, 6 to 8 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest, 5 to 10 minutes (reserve skillet).

While steak is resting, add vinegar to skillet, and boil over high until reduced to 1/2 cup, 5 to 7 minutes; stir in any juices from resting steak. Slice steak, and serve with vinegar sauce and polenta.

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