Saturday, February 11, 2012

Shot-and-a-Beer Steak

Shot-and-a-Beer Steak

Want to make that beer loving man - or woman - in your life smile from ear to ear?  Want to see him - or her - near giddy with hops-inspired delight?  You might just want to give this a "shot." 

This recipe is a true nod of respect to the old days of hard working, blue collar Pittsburgh.  And not just Pittsburgh, mind you, but all the gritty, REAL cities whose workers celebrated the end of a hard, sweaty day with a cool one and just a wee (?) bit of the hard stuff for fortification.  I'm talking about you Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis...ANY and all of the good old blue-collar towns we love.  Some of our teams may be rivals, we may all talk some smack sometimes, but down deep we are so very much alike.  Scary, isn't it?

So what about the steak?  I've been doing this one for years.  Experimenting along the way with types of beers (I use gluten-free now, of course), herbs and no herbs, onions/no onions, kicking up the spice or toning it down...this version is the culmination of all the trials and errors...this iteration stands heads (no pun intended) above the rest! 

The flavors are rich, caramel-y, beefy - sweet with onion and garlic accented with thyme; sharp with Coleman's mustard and vinegar; smooth with butter that helps make a silken, luscious gravy; and, more than a little bit boozy with the beer and applejack brandy!  Oh, speaking of the sure to serve mashed potatoes to ladle the gravy over!   

Shot-and-a-Beer Steak

  • 2 pounds round steaks, 1" thick
  • 1/2 cup flour (gluten-free to make this GF - you know I prefer Jules brand)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 12 ounce can beer (gluten-free beer to make this GF)
  • 1/4 cup applejack (more if you want!), I use Laird's - bourbon is wonderful, too!  Experiment.
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dry Coleman's mustard
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, dried
  • 10 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 large onion, diced

Cut all fat off the steaks, cut into serving pieces, dust with flour, salt and pepper - LOTS of pepper - and pound into steaks using a mallet.  Melt butter and oil in large electric skillet and brown steaks well on both sides.  Flip and season the other side with salt and pepper to taste..
Scatter the onion and garlic over the top of the steaks, nestling them down between the pieces of steak.
Combine the beer, applejack, vinegar, mustard and thyme in a small bowl or glass measuring cup.  Pour over steak, cover and simmer for 2 hours or until fork tender.  Turn the steaks over halfway through cooking and stir the liquid to keep is smooth.  Check occasionally.  If necessary, add a little water or beef stock.  Serve with the gravy and mashed potatoes!

NOTE:  If you're watching the calories, cut out the flour, cut down on the butter and oil - it's just as good!  The gravy?  Call it sauce instead! 
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