Dinner for the holidays

Murphy’s Irish Stout Top Blade Steak;
Maredsous Blond, Bacon and Caramelized Onion Risotto;
Truffled Mashed Potatoes
I marinated some top blade steaks overnight in half a 500ml can of Murphy’s Irish Stout (they didn’t have Guinness at the grocery, and I didn’t want to “waste” one of my Imperial Russians), some garlic, thyme, rosemary, cracked black peppercorns and brown sugar.
For the risotto, I followed the concept from Food and Wine.com for bacon and caramelized onions, but with some modifications. First, bacon was fried until crisp and removed. The onions were caramelized with the bacon grease and a pat of butter and removed as well. I cooked the celery and garlic in olive oil, added the rice and cooked it a bit longer, then poured in a cup of Maredsous Blond. I poured in chicken stock after the beer was absorbed by the rice, then proceeded to work on the truffled mashed potatoes in the meantime.
For the mashed potatoes, you can’t go wrong with Mark Bittman’s recipe in How to Cook Everything. Just pop some garlic cloves into the water while the potatoes are cooking and drizzle some white truffle oil to finish for a unique flavor. After the mashed potatoes were done, the risotto was ready for the finishing touches as well – fold in some butter, Parmesan cheese, the caramelized onions and the chopped bacon.
The steak was then seasoned some more with salt and pepper, seared, then finished in the turbo broiler. In the meantime, I reduced the marinade and the rest of the stout with some honey, salt and pepper to make a glaze/sauce.
All in all, a very satisfying meal. The steak came out flavorful and tender – the stout marinade really worked wonders for the less-than-premium cut of beef. The risotto also tasted great with a lot of depth provided by the Maredsous that I don’t usually get with white wine. This risotto also wasn’t as butter and cheese-heavy as how I usually make it, but the different flavors from the beer, bacon and onions made it quite interesting, if not rich. The bacon grease used to caramelize the onions probably helped as well. My sister also baked blueberry cheesecake for dessert, which was glorious, as it usually is. I love experimenting with steak, risotto, and cooking with beer and this was a fun way to celebrate the holidays with the family.Happy holidays as well to everyone reading this!

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