I really do love a good steak.  To me, a perfectly cooked steak with some sort of potato is a perfect meal. I thought it was about time I showed you one of my favorite steak and taters recipes. Now, a warning before we start.  This is a labor-intensive recipe, and it isn’t quick to make. It is completely worth the effort and time, though.  It is also not very healthy for you. But again, worth it! With that being said, here’s the ingredient list:

1 8-oz strip steak

1 medium russet potato

4 cloves garlic

1 ½ tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp chives, chopped fine

2 tsp parsley, chopped fine

4 scallions, sliced thin

1 tbsp sour cream

1 tbsp butter

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 + 2 tsp grapeseed oil

Pinch of Maldon Sea Salt

Salt and pepper

Our first step is to bake that damn potato.  I, unfortunately, do not have a microwave.  This recipe really made me long or one, because it took forever to bake the tater. If you have a microwave, use it to cook the potato.  It’s the one and only time I will advocate for using one of those infernal machines. If you don’t have one, then set your oven to 375.  Poke a bunch of holes in the potato with a fork.  Wrap the potato with foil. Once the oven has heated up, throw the spud into the oven for at least an hour or until a knife goes into it without much resistance.  Mine took a patience-testing of 1 and a half hours. While this is cooking, you should roast the garlic.  Take four cloves of garlic, but don’t remove the skin.  Drizzle a teaspoon or so of whatever oil you have on hand onto the bulb.  I happen to have grapeseed.  Wrap the bulbs of garlic and roast at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  But wait, the oven’s being used at a different temperature!  Yep, that’s why I use my toaster oven. If you don’t have one, do this step after the first baking of the potato. Just make sure to put the oven back at 375 after roasting the garlic.

I like my steak as simple as possible. This isn’t one of those recipes where I put garlic and rosemary on top and bastes it and all that jazz.  Nope, this will have a one-spice rub, and that spice is fennel.  

Sometimes, I like to do things the hard way because I find it therapeutic.  Sometimes I do this because I need to take some frustration out on something.  Unfortunately for the fennel seeds, this was one of those times. You can very well use a coffee/spice grinder to do this, but I really wanted to teach those seeds a lesson. Place your seeds in a mortar and pestle and grind them down like your corporate job grinds your soul down. (Too much?) Grind the seeds until they are finely ground and almost a powder.  

That should have taken about 15 minutes (it did for me, anyway), so your garlic should be roasted. It should come out golden brown and soft to the touch.  I will admit, this is where I made the one mistake with the recipe. Some of the skin didn’t stay on so the garlic got a wee bit toasty. Had I been thinking I would have ground that into a paste before adding it to the potato mixture. But I did not.  It still turned out fine, I just had bigger chunks of roasted garlic than I wanted in the potatoes. 

While the potato is still baking, this would be a good time to chop your herbs and grate the cheese. I know I’ve said this several times before, but I’ll say it again. DO NOT buy pre-grated cheese.  You pay more for it, and it has anti-caking agents that prevent it from melting properly. It’s gross. Buy a block of your favorite cheddar and use that instead. 

When your potato has finished baking, take it out and let it cool for a few minutes.  Do not turn the oven off, as this bad boy will be going back in there shortly. Cut the potato half the long way. Take a spoon and scoop out the inside of the potato into the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a bowl if using a hand mixer). Do your best not to rip the skins because they are the vessel to which the potato will be going back.  Also in the bowl, put the butter, cheese, sour cream, chives, parsley, roasted garlic, and some salt and pepper.  Mix on medium-high speed with the whisk attachment for a good 4-5 minutes.  Make sure to save a little of the herb mixture for later. 

Take out the steak and let it sit for 15-20 minutes to get to room temperature.  While the steak is sitting out, get the potatoes ready for the oven. Take the whipped potato filling and fill each half of the empty skins. Again, be careful not to rip the potato skins.  Put the filled potatoes back in the oven for another 30 minutes.  About halfway into the cooking time, put a pan on medium-high heat.  Now, a while ago, a tragedy befell my cast iron skillet and I have yet to get it back to cooking shape.  If you have a cast iron skillet, use it.  This kind of cooking is exactly what it’s best for. 

Rub the ground fennel seed on both sides of the steak as well as a generous amount of salt and pepper.  Believe me, you want to put more salt and pepper on than you think you should.  The steak can take it. Once the pan is screaming hot, add 2 teaspoons of grapeseed oil. Put the steak in once the oil is hot.  I prefer my steak rather rare, so I cooked it for only 4 minutes per side.  To be honest, I was shocked by the sear I got with my non-stick skillet. 

Once your steak is cooked to your liking, place it on a cutting board and cover it loosely with foil.  Set aside and let it rest. If you cut into it right away, you will let all of the juices out and will be eating leather rather than steak.  Leather is no good.  Once the steak is rested, the potato should be ready to remove from the oven.  The filling will have started turning golden brown on some of the peaks.  Slice the steak thin, and plate it with the herbs along with the potato.  Finish off the steak with a pinch of Maldon Sea Salt and have a fantastic meal!

I hope you make this and enjoy it as much as I did.  Thank you for reading and see you next month.  Also, happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful moms out there (especially you, Roxie!)!

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, hit me up at tkmnewport@yahoo.com 

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