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Cook the Book: Steak with Anchovy Butter

20091102newclassicfamilydinners.jpgI cannot remember the last time that I cooked a steak at home. It's one of those things that I think about doing all of the time, but once I make my way up to the front of the line at the butcher, I experience something similar to stage fright. Let's call it meat fright. Looking at all of the marbled dry-aged steaks makes me nervous. What if I drop the big bucks for a nice piece of meat and ruin it? My fear is not unfounded; there have been several steak massacres in my past.

But this week I decided to give steaks another go, thanks to this recipe for Steaks with Anchovy Butter from Mark Peel's New Classic Family Dinners. I had my butcher wrap up the biggest porterhouse in the case and took it home. I brought the steak to room temperature and applied a salt and pepper crust. Steaks can take a lot of salt, and they aren't happy until they are virtually encrusted with the stuff, so don't be shy.

To alleviate some of my meat fright, I consulted one of my more steak-savvy friends for advice. This is the advice that he gave me: "Two minutes on each side for one inch of thickness, render the fat side (if any) by holding with tongs for 1 minute, finish for three minutes in 400° F oven, let rest for 7 minutes."

I followed his advice and my monster of a steak turned out perfectly. Once it was on the cutting board, with plenty of anchovy butter melting on top, I realized that the steak I had purchased was almost comical in its proportions. Were we really going to be able to eat the whole thing? Rest assured, we did. The steak was awesome, and made even better by the buttery anchovy, garlic and parsley butter that basted it. The anchovies lent just the right kick of umami to set of the juicy minerality of the steak.

I paired the steak with two other recipes from New Classic Sunday Dinners, Green Bean Salad with Walnuts and Mashed Potatoes, Finally Revealed, but more on those later in the week.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of New Classic Family Dinners to give away this week.

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