Grilled Shell Steak

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There were nine of us this week.  We all learned a lot this week on Sunday after a quick google search, grilled steaks, and a trip to the hospital.  Firstly, one of the kids was inspired by a recent course on ancient Egypt and found out that any modern person can go out in the style of the Pharaohs of old by being mummified for a small fee of $67,000.  I’ll leave it to you and your financial advisor to determine if this move makes sense for your estate.  

Second, It was either Harrison Ford (The Fugitive) or Jim Carey (The Mask) that said: “It wasn’t me, it was the one-armed man!” Either way, another one of the kids perfected it- breaking his arm, doing a backflip, in the snow.  After much trial and tribulation, everyone is fine… well enough, in fact, to sneak seconds and thirds from a Tupperware full of cookies that had been set aside for Christmas.  In all the cookie-stealers’  defense, however, there were enough cookies to feed the French Army…  which depending who you ask, may or may not be a large number.   If there was a theme this week, it was something like “Don’t you open that Tupperware if you know what’s good for you!”  I think she meant it.  

I decided to prepare an Italian steakhouse meal, very simple and fulfilling.  I thought I made a huge quantity of food, but almost all of it was eaten.  That is always a good sign!

Today’s meal included grilled grass fed shell steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, peas, Brussel sprouts and a tomatoes salad.

Grilled Shell Steak:

Remove the steaks, place in a large bowl and salt both sides of the meat with kosher or sea salt.  Then do the same with oregano, but you can use any spice you desire (or none).  Let sit for 30 – 60 minutes while you prepare everything else.  10-15 minutes before you are ready to eat, put the steak on a preheated grill and cook on high heat for 10 – 15 mins.  Only turning the steak once, try to cook to medium rare, it’s the most flavorful.

Green Beans:

Boil the green beans in salted water until just barely crunchy, removed and drain water.  30 minutes before ready to eat, saute garlic and olive oil until color turns then place green beans in a pan and cook until just crunchy on the outside.  Use add’l salt as needed and squeeze a lemon over the beans just before serving.

Smashed Potatoes:

Very simple – boil potatoes in salted water with skin on until soft.  Remove water from pot and add a generous amount of butter, at least a stick.  Also add some coconut milk, not too much but a cup for every 3 pounds should work.  They use a hand masher and smash the potatoes to a rough mash with skins.  Salt to taste.  If you have leftovers you can cook the next morning in a cast iron pan until very crispy on each side, great with eggs!

Brussel Sprouts:

Cut the Brussel sprouts in half while heating a pan with garlic and oil.  When garlic is ready, saute sprouts until they get crispy.

“Midway through, add a small amount of finely diced turkey bacon.  When all contents are crispy, they are done.  Drizzle a small amount of balsamic vinegar over sprouts so it steams up and coats the sprouts.”  

Use a cast iron pan, they work the best for this.


Peas with Bacon: (my favorite)

Dice an onion, saute in a pan with olive oil and diced bacon.  You can use any kind you desire.  In Italy, it is always pork and could come from many parts of the animal.  In the US only bacon is readily available.  Once bacon begins to cook and just start to crisp, add the peas and butter.  Serve when all are hot.

Tomato Salad:

Heirloom tomatoes work best, but I could not find any so I used Campari.  Any tomatoes will work well, though.  Slice them in half then each half into thirds.  Place in large bowl.  Next thinly slice a red onion, make sure it is thin.  Add these to the bowl.  Douse with olive oil and vinegar.  Typical is red wine but balsamic works as well.  Add salt and oregano, mix well and move to a serving bowl.  


We drank an amazing pair of wines with this meal.  Both were Cabernet from California.  I know, they are not Italian, but Cabernet tastes incredible with grilled steak.  We had a Robin K Cab and a Cab from a producer named Laely.  The RobinK is very good and is very reasonably priced, but the Laely Napa Cab was simply amazing!  Decant the wine for at least 2 hours before drinking.  You should also taste it a few times from opening bottle until drinking with your meal so you can experience how the wine opens.  The wine truly made the meal and although pricey at $35 bottle, it is actually a great value since it reminds me of a much more expensive California Cabernet, in line with a Paul Hobbs/Stewart Cellars entry.  

We finished off the meal with an espresso, cappuccino and incredible cookies my wife made earlier that day.  The best are the thumbprint cookies filled with jam.

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