Recipe of the week
Steak with anchovy butter: A Chicago chef’s umami blast
“Your average person doesn’t think of meat and anchovies going together, but anchovies’ code name is umami,” said Paul Kahan in Cooking for Good Times (Lorena Jones Books). When I make a steak, I prefer it panfried, not grilled, and I sometimes deepen the savoriness by ladling on an anchovy butter. Here, I add roasted leeks too.
Recipe of the week
Steak with leeks and anchovy butter
Kosher salt and black pepper
Two 1-lb steaks or one 2-lb steak (such as flank, hanger, strip, or rib eye)
¼ cup oil-packed salted anchovies
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 small shallots, minced
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 6 tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup chopped Italian parsley leaves
3 lbs leeks, trimmed, rinsed, and split lengthwise
½ cup dry white wine
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup grapeseed or pure olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed in their peels
1 small bunch thyme
Combine 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Season steak on all sides and let sit 1 hour at room temperature.
In a saucepan, combine anchovies, vinegar, and shallots. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until vinegar has completely reduced and shallots are soft. In a medium bowl, combine shallot mixture, 1 cup softened butter, and parsley. Stir to combine and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350. Place leeks, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with 1 tsp salt and add wine, 2 tbsp butter, and extra-virgin olive oil to pan. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Raise oven temperature to 375.
Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Heat grapeseed or olive oil until it shimmers. Turn heat down a tick, then carefully add steak to pan. Let steak sear undisturbed for 4 minutes if cooking two small steaks, 7 minutes for one large steak. Using tongs, lift corner of steak to see if a golden-brown crust has formed. If steak lifts easily from pan and has good color, flip it. Sear second side 4 to 7 minutes.
Add garlic, thyme, and 4 tbsp butter to pan. As butter melts, use a large spoon to ladle butter over steak, basting repeatedly for about 30 seconds. Transfer pan to oven. If cooking two small steaks, cook for 4 minutes. If cooking one large steak, cook for 8. Remove steak from oven. Flip it in pan and baste it a few times. Using a meat thermometer, check steak’s temperature. You want it to be about 130. If it’s not quite there, baste again before returning it to oven for a couple of minutes more. Transfer steak to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Let rest at least 10 minutes (15 to 20 minutes is better).
Slice steak and arrange on a platter. Smear half the anchovy butter on sliced steak. Cut leeks in half and scatter on platter. Serve remaining anchovy butter on the side. Serves 6. ■