* We posted this recipe over at Hunger and Thirst for Life This is a great blog on traditional foods and foraging. *
Today I decided it was time for some primal cuisine. Beefy grass fed porterhouse steaks, brazenly seared over open flame then slow roasted in the smoke of a downed pecan limb, served with charred, smashed beets and greens and a robust malbec wine. It was delicious. Here's what to do:
Smashed Beet Salad (adapted from Seven Fires -- great cookbook):
- 8 medium organic beets
- 1/2 C. red wine vinegar
- 5 peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp organic unfiltered olive oil
- Spring greens
- 1/4 C crispy garlic chips (see below)
- Good gorgonzola cheese
- Red chile vinaigrette (see below)
Put the first five ingredients in a sauce pan, cover with water, and boil gently for about 40 minutes, until very tender. Discard the juices. Heat a cast iron griddle very hot, and put some oil on it. Use a paper towel to hold the beets while you take each one and smash it flat between your hands (be careful if they are still hot!). When the are flat, put them on the griddle to blacken.
When they have blackened on one side (3-5 minutes for me), flip them over and press them against the griddle to blacken the other side. Remove from heat when they are well charred.
These beets are easily the best beets I've ever had. The vinegar boiling and the charring unleashed the sweetness to an extent that I've never tasted before. I very highly recommend trying this, even if you don't like beets (I'm not their number one fan, but I couldn't get enough of this).
While the beets are boiling, start making the garlic chips:
Crispy Garlic Chips (adapted from Seven Fires):
- 1 head organic garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
- 2 tbsp rendered pastured chicken fat (or olive oil)
Heat the chicken fat or olive oil in a cast iron griddle (you can use the same one for the beets, because this will be done before the beets are done boiling). Add the garlic slices when it's hot:
The garlic chips will be golden brown when they are done:
Red Chile Vinaigrette:
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 Tbsp organic unfiltered extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red chile powder
Start your charcoal when you are done making the garlic chips:
Season the steaks with salt and fresh cracked black pepper:
Grill the steaks according to these instructions to reach your desired level of doneness, starting when you start putting the beets on the griddle:
Cut off serving sized chunks of the steaks (the porterhouse cut is HUGE -- one of the two that I grilled served me, my wife, and my daughter, and had another serving left to spare). Layer the beets with the spring greens, the crumbled gorgonzola, and the garlic chips, then drizzle with red chile vinaigrette. Delicious!