The boy and I have our daily morning rituals during the weekdays when I’m at work. After he wakes up, he gets online, and if I’m not too busy being pulled into meetings or having people come up to my desk and flail their arms wildly in the air while I stare at them sternly, we chat via gtalk about stuff and nothing. Eventually, the conversation turns to food, namely, what we’re having for dinner. Such as the conversation we had yesterday.
the boy: hey whatcha want for dinner
me: dont care, whatever is easy and tasty :)
the boy: i have no idea
me: as long as it isnt a ham sandwich
me: cos that is what i'm about to eat for lunch
me: give me a sec to think about it
(checking Food Network site for inspiration)
me: booby flay is making bbq short ribs right this sec
me: that's not really what i want
the boy: yeah i just turned it on
me: i'm on the bon appetit site looking at mexican barbecue menu
me: pineapple chili margaritas
me: sounds muy excellente
the boy: how bout Grilled Flank Steak with Bacon Balsamic Glaze?
me: bacon ......
okay, so. Before you start getting all uppity about the source of this recipe, let me tell you something that carnivores already know, but I feel the need to review with you all. Bacon is king. Bacon is God. David Lebovitz added bacon to ice cream, and I’m seriously considering making that recipe sometime soon (after the peanut butter with chocolate river and chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups that I promised the boy I’d make soon). And let me tell you another thing: just because I don’t personally care for most of the hosts and/or chefs on Food Network doesn’t mean that they don’t have a good idea every once in a while. After all, a recipe is a guideline; you can use it as-is or run amok with it.
And frankly, it’s quite hard to screw up a grilled flank steak.
A couple of things to note:
As Nigella Lawson once said, “Meat without salt is vile”. Truer words were never spoken. Especially if you’re going to be slapping that steak down on a grill, you’ve got to season it liberally. We use kosher salt in this household, and keep it in one of those swivel-topped bamboo containers by the stove for easy access. I like the feel of kosher salt between my fingers. I can control how much or how little I add to food. Douse your meat (heh) liberally with salt before cooking, and you’ll have great flavor.
Other things to note:
We weren’t quite sure what to make as sides, so the boy threw some asparagus on the outdoor grill (again, liberally salt and pepper first), and I asked him to grill up some sweet onion slices. When the onions were done cooking, the boy removed them from the heat onto another cooler area of the grill and topped them with a bit of brown sugar. This melted and added more sweetness to the onions. They were excellent.
If you’re following the recipe, skip the slurry in the glaze. Also, skip the “reducing” of the liquid. Since oil does not reduce, the only thing evaporating is the balsamic vinegar. and although the bacon can get a really nice balsamic-y flavor going on if you reduce it, you’ll end up with no balsamic left. This step should really be a last minute thing. I’d start rendering the bacon bits while the meat is already cooked and resting. If you cut up the bacon rather small, it won’t take long for it to start crisping up and letting off that wonderful aroma. Add the balsamic (and reduce this to about a 1/3 of a cup – ½ cup seems a bit extreme to me, but that’s up to you), give it a stir, and top everything on your plate with it.
You could also take this as-is and toss it with some frisée lettuce in a large bowl, and there you’ll have one of my favorite salads ever. Hot damn, you can’t go wrong with frisée aux lardons.
We ate this while watching a DVRed episode of NCIS from Tuesday night.
Tonight, what’s for dinner? I haven’t a clue. The boy is still sleeping. We haven’t had our conversation yet. I’m still working through my coffee.