I have written here before about how great it is to broil a yummy cheap steak, and late summer is the best time of year to do it--with so many wonderful vegetables around, the sides make themselves. Sliced tomatoes are good all on their own or with just a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of salt, and I cook corn by throwing it unhusked into a hot oven (450) for about 20 minutes. It doesn't even need butter. With so little to do I decided I'd better make biscuits, but even that is not much trouble when you have a good recipe.
A few notes on accounting: The pound of potatoes that appears in the shopping list but not the picture is to make a vinaigrette-dressed potato salad to eat with your leftover steak (or to stretch the meal to feed four, if you plan to eat the entire thing at once). I don't usually marinate this type of steak but was inspired to do so by this month's Martha Stewart Living. You can skip it if you don't want to use up so much vinegar and oil; just lightly oil and season the steak before broiling. If you use organic butter and King Arthur flour then the total cost of making biscuits will pull about $2.75 from your pantry, pushing the cost-per-meal-for-two just above eight dollars. I'd rather have hot biscuits than cable television and professionally manicured nails, but everyone must spend her extra pennies as she sees fit!
About the author: Robin Bellinger is a freelance editor and shameless cookie addict. She lives in San Francisco and blogs about what she feeds her husband and her daughter at home*economics.
- Shopping list: hanger steak, $6.79; 1 pound of tomatoes, $3; 4 ears of corn, $1.56; 1 pound of potatoes, $1.49; 1 quart of buttermilk, $3
- Pantry items: olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, flour, baking powder, baking soda, butter
- Total cost (per meal serving 2): $7.92
- 1 hanger steak, tendon removed; should weigh 1 to 1 1/2 pounds
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Up to one day but at least 4 hours in advance, marinate the steak in the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Lots of people like to do this in a resealable plastic bag, but I am stingy with bags and so use a dish instead. Leave the marinating steak in the refrigerator and turn it over every once in a while.
Preheat the broiler and prepare a rack just a few inches away from the heat source. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Hold the steak up over the marinating dish and wipe excess marinade off with your hand; you just don't want it to be swimming in oil, so you don't need to dry it off completely. Lay the steak on the lined baking sheet and broil 4 minutes per side. Allow the steak to rest while you prepare the rest of dinner and then slice very thin across the grain.