My third installment of the recipe series brings us my very favorite steak: the ribeye! Beautifully marbled, this particular cut of meat sits on the upper section of the cow’s ribs, protected from over use and allowed to remain healthfully fat.
As always, a little pre-prep will go a long way and make any cooking experience that much more enjoyable. That said, we are going to start with our ‘sauce’ for this recipe. This rich, complex and deeply sweet sauce contains only one ingredient: balsamic vinegar. A simple reduction, this thickened, enriched version of balsamic adds the perfect acidic note to the meal, complementing both the creamy purée of sunchokes and cutting straight through the fat of the ribeye.
Pour one cup of balsamic vinegar into a small pot and set over medium high flame. Bring to a boil and drop the heat to medium-low. Let the balsamic simmer for 35-45 minutes until reduced by three-fourths. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. This balsamic reduction will last for several months and is a delicious addition to salads, potatoes, steaks, etc. You will be thrilled to have it on hand.
While the balsamic is reducing, go ahead and preheat the oven to 400 degrees and take your steak out of the refrigerator so it may come to room temperature while you clean, peel and chop the sunchokes. You will want to have a pot of water on hand to place the peeled and chopped sunchokes in as they will begin to brown almost instantly once peeled. There are lots of knobby edges to the sunchoke and it can be a bit challenging to peel every last bit of the skin away. Don’t fret over it and just get the majority of the skin removed before giving it a quick chop and adding it to the water.
You will need approximately three cups of chopped sunchokes to make enough purée to serve four. Place a top on the pot and set aside.
It’s time for the main event! Before cooking, take a moment to appreciate the rich, deep-red color of the grass fed beef. It is most certainly more appealing to the eye than what you will find from conventional sources. I believe that one of the secrets to preparing the perfect steak is a healthy dose of salt and pepper. Sprinkle a nice, even coating of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper over both sides of the ribeye.
Once seared, the salt and pepper will combine to create a wonderfully flavorful crust. Set a pan over medium-high heat and warm for one minute, adding one tbs of unsalted butter and one tbs of olive oil. Once the butter has melted and the oil is hot but not smoking, add the steaks and sear on one side for three minutes. Flip and add one tsp of unsalted butter to the top of each steak. Move the pan to the oven and cook for seven to eight minutes for medium-rare. Once cooked, remove to a plate and tent with foil, allowing the meat to rest for 10 minutes while you finish the remaining elements of the meal.
As soon as you place the steak in the oven, drain off the water from the sunchokes, leaving just enough to cover the tops. Add a tbs of kosher salt to the pot and place over high heat. Boil for seven to eight minutes until tender, a fork piercing through the center of each piece easily. Once cooked through, drain off any remaining water and pour the sunchokes into the bowl of a food process or blender. Add one quarter cup of cream, one tsp honey, one tsp unsalted butter, one quarter tsp kosher salt and one eighth of a tsp of freshly ground black pepper. Purée until smooth and taste for seasoning. Add additional salt and pepper as necessary. Keep the top on the food processor to retain the heat while you finish off the remainder of the dish.
When I first tested this recipe I only worked with the sunchokes and the ribeye. A fine meal in and of itself, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing, that the meal wasn’t quite complete. A heaping pile of wilted spinach and kale did the trick, especially once I spiked the greens with red pepper flakes. While the steak is in the oven and the sunchokes are boiling, clean and roughly chop four cups of a mix of fresh, local, spinach and kale (stems removed).
Slice the ribeye thinly, against the grain, trying not to steal too many bites of this irresistible steak. To serve, add three to four spoonfuls of the sunchoke purée down the center of a plate. Drizzle the balsamic overtop of the purée, moving from side-to-side. You don’t want to overdo this as the balsamic reduction is quite rich. Use a deft hand and bring the remaining balsamic to the table for anyone who may want a little extra on the side. Top the reduction and sunchoke purée with the spinach and kale mixture and then the thinly sliced ribeye. Serve immediately and enjoy!
For the Steaks
- two grass fed ribeye steaks
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- one tbs unsalted butter
- one tbs olive oil
- one cup balsamic vinegar
- three cups peeled and chopped sunchokes
- one tbs kosher salt
- one quarter cup of cream
- one tsp honey
- one tsp unsalted butter
- one quarter tsp kosher salt
- one eighth of a tsp freshly ground black pepper
- two cups fresh spinach, chopped
- two cups fresh kale, stems removed and chopped
- one tsp olive oil
- one pinch red pepper flakes
- one tsp freshly minced garlic
- juice from one half of a lemon
- pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper