Pan-Seared Steak with Crispy Hash (Paleo, AIP)
If you cut me, I’m pretty sure I’d bleed hash. I am hash. Not a day goes by that I don’t saute a crispy pan of something wonderful, whatever is in season and in my fridge, fresh or leftover (preferably both). Hash can be the main event, with meat combined with vegetables, or it can be a delectable (and quick) side dish, as in this dish.
Hashes are often based on something starchy – potatoes are common, although sweet potatoes, yuca, carrots, and squash are all fantastic too. I chose yuca this round, given I’ve been experimenting with it all summer and find that it’s particularly marvelous alongside beef. I always add mushrooms to hash, as well as onions and garlic. From there, I start playing with treats from the farmers market (or CSA box). I added kohlrabi and fresh parsley for this version, but other favorites are thinly sliced kale, radishes, cabbage, artichoke hearts, olives, seasoned with fresh or dried rosemary, thyme, or oregano.The trick with hash is to be patient enough for it to get nice and crispy. A good hash can’t be hurried! That said…it doesn’t take very long to make, which makes this a weeknight winner. I am jamming on flatiron steak lately – Linden Hills Co-op carries a Grass Run Farms brand grass-fed version and it’s fantastic. However, feel free to use your favorite cut of steak and adjust time for thickness.
Pan-Seared Steak with Crispy Hash
Note: I salt steaks with kosher salt as soon as I get home from the store and let them rest at least an hour or up to a few days before cooking them. You can substitute red potatoes for the yuca. Feel free to toss in a handful or two of thinly sliced cabbage or kale with the onion, mushrooms, and kohlrabi.
2 1/2 cups peeled and 1/2-inch-diced yuca (if the yuca root is large, trim away the tough core)
1 pound flatiron (or skirt or flank) steak
1/3 cup beef fat, avocado oil, or other frying oil (more as necessary)
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cups torn chanterelle, shitake or oyster mushrooms (or sliced button mushrooms)
1 cup, peeled and 1/2-inch-diced kohlrabi
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Add yuca to a large saucepan and cover by 1 inch with cold water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, turn heat to medium, and simmer until yuca is just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander.
Set a large cast iron (or other heavy) skillet over high heat and let the pan get very hot, about 5 minutes. While the pan heats, rub some of the fat (or oil) onto the steak and if you haven’t salted it previously, season with Kosher salt. Cut the steak in half so it fits into the pan. When the pan is hot, lay the two pieces of steak side-by-side without touching and sear for 2 minutes. Flip steaks and sear for another 2 minutes or until steak is is medium-rare. Remove pan from heat and transfer steak to a cutting board to rest (it will continue to cook while it rests).
Turn heat to medium-high and return pan to the burner. Add the remaining fat/oil and when it’s hot, add the yuca to the pan. Fry yuca, without turning, for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Turn yuca pieces and fry for another 4 minutes. Add a bit more fat to the pan if necessary (don’t skimp on oil or the vegetables won’t brown), then add onion, mushrooms, and kohlrabi with a generous pinch of salt. Fry hash, turning not too frequently so vegetables brown nicely, for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley. Season with salt to taste.
Slice steak in thin strips across the grain and serve with crispy hash. Spoon any juices from the cutting board over the steak.
Nathan is a big fan of hash – and steak – so it was with a heavy heart that I ate that meal without him this week. We took him to Marquette University last week and while it is great fun to see how excited he is, it was no fun at all to return home to last year’s school uniform hanging on hooks in his room. Brutal. On top of it, we dropped a headboard on my foot while setting up his dorm room – OUCH – and I broke my big toe. Can you believe it? I was really upset because I was counting on the CrossFit classes I’ve been going to for the last few weeks to lift my mood upon my return. They’re tough, and humbling, and make me feel pretty damn proud of myself for getting through them. Needless to say, there will be no CF with a broken toe (although my coach very kindly sent me a series of low impact workouts to do at home).Photo by Kate NG Sommers
After a weekend of watching movies – not my favorite thing to do, but I had to admit defeat, prop my foot up, and distract myself – I’m finally up and about again, cooking and writing and working, and feeling much better. There’s a time to grieve, and there’s a time to get busy with the things that make me feel good and energized – healthy food, time with friends and family, fresh flowers, work/planning, clearing away clutter, helping other people, fresh air and sunshine, music. If I can’t go for walks, I can at least do all of those other things and I’m laying ’em on thick. I’ve said this before, but the older I get, the less time I want to spend being nostalgic for days gone by – I used to love reminiscing, and I do enjoy it in the context of getting together with my family and old friends – but for the most part it makes me feel cranky. The past is over and I have too many good things to do right now to get bogged down in events that are long gone. That’s a pretty big transition for me and I’m glad to have made it.For those of you sending children off to college…my heart goes out to you. Let me know if you want to meet for coffee. 🙂 xo Stephanie
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