Thursday, October 12, 2006

Rib Eye Steak with Pomegranate Glaze

When Mike and I have a nice bottle of red wine, we often pair it with some variation on a steak dinner. The structured body and bold, yet balanced, tannins in a quality cabernet sauvignon absolutely beg for a serious steak. As much as I enjoy this pairing, we do not eat red meat very often, and we almost never go to steak houses. Why pay the wine mark-up at a restaurant just to order a meal that you can easily cook in your own kitchen and enjoy in the intimacy of your home?

Not only is a great steak dinner easy to do yourself, but you’ll have the chance to be more creative than most steakhouses. I love to smother a filet in creamy mushroom sauce or a simple red wine reduction with shallots. Not in the mood for the standard issue baked potato and creamed spinach? Serve your steak with lightly sautéed salad greens and grilled ciabatta bread instead.

Salad and toasty, garlic-rubbed bread were our choices to complement the slightly Mediterranean feel of our Rib Eye Steak with Pomegranate Glaze. The recipe for the glaze, adapted from September’s Gourmet magazine, includes a sprinkling of sumac to season the steak. Sumac has a fruity, sour flavor and deep, blood-red color. It is an essential ingredient in the Middle Eastern spice mixture zaatar which I made for my Goat Cheese-Stuffed Grape Leaves with Tomato Jam. It can be found in gourmet shops or online at Penzey’s. It will not make the steak taste sour or overly acidic, but it does offer an extra layer of flavor to the dish. If you can’t get it, you can leave it out as long as you use pomegranate molasses to give the glaze the acidic punch it needs.

A generous handful of pomegranate seeds sprinkled over each portion is an essential addition for both their snappy texture and jewel-toned color. They are available in grocery stores right now and work beautifully in salads, salsas and grain dishes, like couscous. If you are lucky enough to have some lovely person extract the seeds for you while you make the rest of the meal, even better!

You will be saving so much money by dining in that you may as well splurge on the best meat possible. We found dry-aged rib eye at our Whole Foods Market that replaced our usual choice of filet mignon. The rib eye had a lot of flavor and was incredibly moist and tender even when we cooked it just past our intended medium-rare.

We were not celebrating anything in particular with this steak dinner except that it was the weekend, and we had some tasty wine on hand. As far as I am concerned, just making it to the weekend is cause enough for celebration.

Rib Eye Steak with Pomegranate Glaze
Any cut of steak you like may be substituted. Cook or grill the meat with any method that works for the cut you choose. Lacking a grill, I like the stovetop to oven method for cooking thick cuts of meat because it allows me to get a good sear on the outside without burning from prolonged time on the stove. A one pound rib eye was enough for two, but there will be enough glaze for up to 4 servings of steak.

Serves 2

For Glaze:
2 cups bottled pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1/4 cup red wine
2 tsp. pomegranate molasses (or substitute 1 tsp. lemon juice)

For Steak:
1 tablespoon sumac1 teaspoon black pepper
½ tsp. salt
1 lb. rib eye steak, at room temperature
1 tblsp. olive oil
Fresh pomegranate seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small saucepan, combine the pomegranate juice, sugar and salt. Simmer over medium heat until liquid reduces to about ½ cup, 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Rub the sumac all over the steak and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes. Heat the olive oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the steak on one side for 2 minutes. Flip and sear for 1 minute more. Transfer the pan to the middle of the oven and cook to your desired doneness, about 5-8 minutes for medium rare, depending on the thickness of the steak. Test by pressing the thickest part with your finger. The meat should feel soft and spring back slowly. Look here for more info on testing for doneness. It is best to error on the side of caution, so you may want to make a small cut in the steak to check. When finished, let the steak rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes, then divide among 2 plates.

While the steak is in the oven and resting, finish the glaze. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, add the shallots and saute for 3 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced and slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Add the pomegranate juice reduction and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the pomegranate molasses and simmer for another minute to combine the flavors, stirring all the time. Remove from heat and immediately serve over steak. Garnish each steak with plenty of fresh pomegranate seeds.


Maureen said...

Do you think I could use pomegranate syrup in place of the 2 cups of pom juice? I would imagine it's the same thing. I happen to have pomegranate molasses as well. I love all things pomegranate! I made pomegranate martinis last night that turned out well!

Rachel said...

YUM! I love pomegranate!

Julie said...

Maureen--I think the pom. syrup would work. Just use 1/2 cup; don't start with 2 c. and reduce. As long as it is not too tart, I think it should be fine.
You can taste and adjust the sugar as well. I think what you're going for
is a good pomegranate flavor that is neither too sweet or tart. Let me know how it works.

Tim said...

I am not a big red meat eater either, but have to say that this looks and sounds delicious.