Considering how much I love steak, it’s surprising, looking around the archives, that I don’t already have a steak recipe there. In my list of foods I could not live without for the rest of my life, steak is on up there, along with peanut butter, chocolate, and my breakfast bars that are now helping me get through the mornings without a growling stomach and a blood sugar low. I have always requested steaks for special life occasions, and just last month (oh wait, it’s April, so two months ago) I had two quite expensive steaks over the span of a weekend all in the name of my birthday.
But perhaps it is because I am so particular about my steaks that I don’t have a previous steak recipe on my site. I have had many many steaks in many many restaurants, and while I have had some spectacular ones, often I have thought that I (or my dad) could do better at home.
At home I like my steaks simple. In the winter, when it is dark at 5:00, I just season our steaks with salt and pepper and cook them in a pan (flipping only once!) with butter and olive oil until they are just a perfect medium-rare. In the summer, we break out the charcoal, and I marinate our steaks with Dale’s steak seasoning cut with a bit of red wine and we grill them.
I don’t do much beyond that, because I have never felt the need for it. When I eat steak I want the flavor and juiciness of the meat to shine through and I don’t want to be distracted by sauces or garnishes or cooking techniques that take away from the whole point of eating a steak.
But I was intrigued by this recipe for some reason, and with a package of leftover blackberries from a pitcher of sangria last weekend, and a pair of steaks in the freezer leftover from Gerrit’s birthday weekend in which we decided we had had too much food and didn’t need the steaks also, it seemed the perfect time to try it.
The best thing about this blackberry sauce is that doesn’t take away from the rich flavor of the steak. In fact, I would argue that somehow the sauce makes the steak taste more like a steak. Now, some of you might disagree with me, just like I disagree with Ina Garten’s claim that coffee makes chocolate taste more like chocolate (really, I can only ever taste the coffee), but it is a sauce worth making, simple enough and with an unexpected initial sweetness that then turns into a rich savory addition to a perfectly cooked steak.
Steak with Blackberry Red Wine Sauce
adapted from from Jamie Deen
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
2 (6 oz.) steaks*
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 shallot, diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup fruity red wine (pinot noir)
2/3 cup low-sodium beef stock
1/4 cup fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons blackberry preserves
1. To prepare the steaks for cooking, pat them dry with a paper towel. Season them on both sides with the chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper.
2. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil along with a tablespoon or two of butter. When the butter is melted and sizzling just a bit, add the steaks. Cook until brown on each side and cooked to your desired done-ness inside (this will depend on your type of steak and how your prefer it–I used New York strip steaks and cooked them for about 3-4 minutes on each side for a nice medium-rare). Remove the steaks from the pan and set them aside on a plate, covering them loosely with tinfoil.
3. Lower the heat to medium and add the shallots and the thyme, seasoning them with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until the shallots are tender and slightly brown, 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the wine, turning the heat back up to medium-high, and use a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits up from the bottom of the pan. Cook the wine until it is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Then stir in the beef stock, the blackberries, and the blackberry preserves. Use the back of a spoon to mash some of the fresh blackberries into the sauce (but it is nice to also leave a couple of them whole).
5. Simmer the sauce until it is slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in 1 tablespoon of butter.
6. Serve the steaks warm with the warm sauce spooned over the top.
*Use whatever kind you most like and know how to cook. My go to is always New York strip steaks.