When I was growing up, Saturday night was steak night. Wisconsin was filled with steakhouses, many located on the outskirts of town, some in old farmhouses, others in former roadhouses. The classic meal was a thick, juicy steak with baked potato and sour cream, preceded by an iceberg-lettuce salad and maybe a cheese tray.
My father was well-known in this corner of the world for his steaks. He just knew how to do them. They were brown on the outside, pink on the inside, tender and flavorful. Growing up, I preferred chicken or fish: There was just too much steak around!
During college, I ate little meat, preferring to explore vegan fare. Then I married a man who is a steak lover.
I began to take pride in my own steaks. My standard way of preparing them was with a garlic-and-herb rub. But recently I discovered a recipe for Steak Provençal that I really love. It pairs well with roasted potatoes from Patricia Wells, Wisconsin native and fellow UW-Madison journalism alum.
Steak Provençal for Two
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
4 small green onions, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup dry red wine
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoons lemon zest
Dash herbes de Provence
Freshly ground pepper
Marinate your favorite cuts of meat for 2-4 hours in the refrigerator. If the price is right, I prefer filet mignon. But select tenderloin is fine.
Remove from marinade. Broil until fully cooked, turned steaks frequently to ensure they lie flat and are fully cooked. When finished, add ground pepper and add a dash of sea salt.
1 dozen small new potatoes
Preheat oven to 425. Wash but do not peel the potatoes. Cut them in half and coat with olive oil. Place flat side down in a greased pan and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, until the potatoes have turned a golden brown. Sprinkle with sea salt.
I usually serve this meal with a tomato salad and roasted or sautéed peppers and a not-too-tannic red wine.