I’m fairly certain there’s not an omnivore out there who doesn’t enjoy a nice meal of meat & potatoes. An American staple, it’s the type of meal that satisfies the even the pickiest of eaters. I’m definitely a fan, but a lot of times I don’t have the standard steak & starch for dinner because it bores me a little, both visually and taste-wise. I’d scored a great deal on a thick, lean steak and had half of it marinating in the fridge, intending to use it as easy protein to take to work and add to some greens for lunch. But with some beautiful new potatoes I picked up at last week’s farmers market eyeing me the past few days, I was tempted to have the great American meal. But I felt like having it all tossed together like a salad, with a light but flavorful dressing… perhaps wine based…… and veggies…… a summer version of an old stand-by, if you will. The idea forming in my head seemed like a good one, so I got to work.
There are a couple of keys to making this dish work well, the first being tender, well-marinated steak. My thick slab of London Broil had been marinating overnight, so I knew it would be extra-tender and tasty. The second key to making this right is to have lightly roasted potatoes, seasoned with just the smallest pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Roasting the potatoes helped them maintain their structure during the final tossing with the steak and dressing, rather than have them turn to mush. Since my gas oven heats up my place very quickly I wanted to cook these nice & fast, so I decided to use a higher heat than is normally use for roasting, cranking up the heat to about 450. The end result was perfect: they were golden & crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.
The veggies are totally up to you. I had originally hoped to toss in some fresh baby spinach into the dish so the warmth of the meat & potatoes would just barely wilt them. Unfortunately, I realized I had already used it all in some past salads so I decided to lightly sauté some fresh vegetables and use those as a side (I just can’t do meat & starch only… my meals feel naked without vegetables!). Next time I fully plan on trying it with the baby spinach with a side of sliced beefsteak tomatoes. If you try it that way, let me know how it works out.
A final note: I was using an old standby marinade for the steak. However, the end result of the dressing turned out very nicely, and it can definitely be used to marinate the steak by doubling the dressing recipe if you prefer to do that.
Warm Roasted Potato and Seared Steak Salad (Serves 2)
½ c bottled Italian salad dressing (I like to use Wish Bone’s classic, but I guess Kraft will do in a pinch. Don’t use Best Foods or any kind that has cheese in it; ruins the flavor)
¼ c soy sauce
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ T garlic salt
½ c olive oil
¼ c red table wine
¼ c red wine vinegar
2 T finely chopped fresh garlic
½ shallot, minced
½ T sea salt
1 t freshly ground pepper
1 t Herbes de Provence
6 oz. London Broil (or other thick cut steak)
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
3 T olive oil
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper
Your choice of salad greens or sautéed vegetables
Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add steak, cover and refrigerate overnight (or 2-3 hours, if you can’t wait a day), turning the steak once to ensure the whole thing gets marinated.
Preheat oven to 450. Line a broiling tray or cookie sheet with foil paper (easy clean up!) and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Cover and set aside. Wash and quarter the potatoes (cut quarters in half if the pieces are too big). Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, a pinch of salt, and lots of freshly ground black pepper, making sure they are completely covered on all sides. Arrange the potatoes on your foil-lined tray in a single layer and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden & crispy on the outside, tender on the inside (test w/a toothpick or fork).
While potatoes are roasting, melt the butter in a skillet or fry pan over high heat. Since this is a thicker steak, sear for 3 – 3 ½ minutes on each side (you’re looking for rare meat, not steak tartare. NOTE: For those who are squeamish about meat that isn’t well-done, don’t worry: steak will usually continue cooking for a bit on its own after it’s removed from the heat). Remove from heat and set aside on a plate to cool for just a couple of minutes. Cut the steak into bite sized chunks, about the same size or smaller than your potatoes.
Combine the steak and potatoes in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing and toss everything together lightly until the dressing has coated both the meat and taters. If you’re using fresh baby spinach, throw this in with everything else; if using sautéed veggies, serve on the side. Serve with a nice glass of red wine (I had a random Carinena sitting around and it worked out nicely). Enjoy!