Whenever I think of having steak for dinner, it's usually with gluttonous intentions in mind. But steak and salad? Well, that's a totally different story. Though I could be eating the exact same amount of steak as before, now there are vegetables involved, and everything starts sounding far more reasonable.
Add Eric Ripert to the equation, and the meal becomes about as wholesome as can be. This recipe from Avec Eric manages to tie the two elements together thanks to a warm vinaigrette, which wilts the greens while also coating each slice of steak.
Why I Picked This Recipe: There aren't many Eric Ripert recipes that can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes. This one is not only quick, but still has enough going on that it doesn't taste like it came together so easily.
What Worked: The warm vinaigrette is the glue that ties this whole dish together. Obviously, the reduced wine sauce works well with the steak, but it completely changes the spinach and raw mushrooms. The greens wilt slightly, so they retain a little of their structure, while softening somewhat.
What Didn't: Everything on the plate worked. I can't think of anything off here.
Suggested Tweaks: I'm a little confused why the recipe had me make so much of the vinaigrette. The recipe says to "lightly dress" the greens, leaving behind 50% or of it. You could easily make half of the suggested amount, and you'd still have some leftover.
Adapted from Eric Ripert's Avec Eric
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 2 sprigs Italian parsley
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- Sea salt
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed to four 6-inch wide steaks
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- 4 large white button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
In a small saucepan, combine red wine, shallots, parsley, and thyme. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and cook until reduced by half. Turn off the heat and discard parsley and thyme sprigs. Add cracked pepper and season with salt to taste. Whisk in red wine vinegar and olive oil, and set aside.
Pour canola oil into a large cast-iron skillet set over high heat. Season steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. When oil starts to smoke, add steaks. For medium-rare, cook for two to three minutes a side. When done, set steaks aside on a cutting board and let them rest for at least five minutes.
While steaks are resting, warm vinaigrette back up in the saucepan over low heat. Combine spinach and mushrooms in a large bowl, and then stir in just enough of warm vinaigrette to lightly dress the greens. Start with a few tablespoons and go from there. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide salad mixture between four plates. Slice steaks against the grain into 1/4-inch pieces, and then divide the slices up between the plates. Drizzle a little more of the vinaigrette on top of the slices. Serve immediately.