In case my post on Valentine's Day didn't make it clear, I spent Saturday showering myself with love instead of hugging my pillow to my chest and crying because I don't have anyone to do the showering for me. While I do occasionally tend toward the dramatic, I most certainly do not do lonely and pathetic. When life throws me a flaming ball of calamity (or a miserable excuse for a date), I do what any aspiring domestic goddess with good taste would do -- I cook, eat and drink wine.
As I was doing my usual blog/cooking site surveillance this past Friday, I came across the recipe for a hangar steak with shallots on Simply Recipes. The caption under the mouth-moistening photo read, "Looking for a quick, easy, yet special meal for Valentine's? Try this hanger steak, just cut the recipe in half if you are making it for two. ~Elise"
I bristled at the mention of "making it for two."
Why are couples the only ones who get to eat well on Valentine's Day, I thought. I like steak. And shallots are one of my all-time favorite ingredients to cook with! Don't I deserve a delicious steak dinner too?
That's when it occurred to me. Just because I'm single doesn't mean I have to eat frozen pizza or TJ's meatless meatballs on Valentine's Day. Screw convention (I'm not really a fan of following the norm anyway) -- I was going to chow down on a big fat slab of beef and enjoy every minute of it!
While my dinner was inspired by the recipe for the hangar steak on Simply Recipes, I ended up going in a completely different direction. Instead of hangar steak (my Whole Foods didn't have it), I used top sirloin, and instead of a shallot sauce made with a red wine and red wine vinegar reduction, I made my sauce with port and beef broth. Paired with a glass of Menage a Trois Zinfandel from K&L Wine Merchants, roasted fingerling potatoes and some lightly steamed broccolini, it was the perfect dinner to woo myself.
Pan-seared Steak with Shallot Port Wine Sauce for One
6-oz piece of Top Sirloin (or steak of choice)
1/4 cup port wine
1/4 cup water, mixed with Better than Bouillon Beef Base (or 1/4 cup beef broth)
2 large shallots, sliced
Olive oil, butter
1. Toss sliced shallots with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and pinch of time. Roast in oven at 350 degrees until tender. Meanwhile, begin cooking port wine/beef broth together in a small saucepan on the stove over low heat. Add shallots when they are done so the flavors have time to blend.
2. Season both sides of steak with a generous amount of ground pepper, salt and thyme. Heat heavy pan over medium heat -- coat the bottom with butter (or olive oil if proffered). When pan is hot, begin cooking steak -- approximately 3-4 minutes per side depending on thickness.
3. Reduce heat, and add port wine sauce to pan. Let the steak cook with the sauce until reaches preferred doneness and sauce has reduced. Serve immediately with fingerling potatoes and something green (because it makes the plate look prettier).
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Fingerling potatoes, sliced long-ways
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sliced fingerlings with drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake until slightly crispy/tender -- approximately 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally while baking so they cook evenly and don't burn onto the sheet.