NEW YORK CITY — Just because it's cold outside, it doesn't mean you have to abandon the great taste of grilled steak.
A cast iron grill pan or stovetop grill, which are easy to get at restaurant supply stores around the city, is all you need to bring a hint of summer to the gloom of the winter months in the city.
This recipe takes advantage of the lean and relatively flat Santa Fe cut steak, which comes from the round.
It's similar to flank steak (which can be used as an alternative, as can hanger steak for that matter) and grills up really nicely.
And while it's a relatively inexpensive cut (3/4 pound at Dickson's Meats in Chelsea Market cost $11), an overnight soak in a spicy, salty and smoky marinade takes it to the next level.
The marinade of soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil, chili-garlic paste and ginger infuses the steak with flavor and keeps it moist while tenderizing it.
The succulent steak, which is sliced after grilling, is paired with baby bok choy — seared and then braised with a splash of sherry — roasted shitake mushrooms and caramelized shallots.
A spicy honey mustard serves as a dipping sauce with bite for the steak...and whatever else is on the plate.
Because the steak can be marinated the night before, this meal can be put together relatively quickly.
And the depth of flavors turns transforms the simple ingredients from everyday to extraordinary.
1 lb. of flat steak (Santa Fe, flank, hanger)
Toasted sesame oil
1 cup sherry (you can use cooking sherry)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbs. ginger, minced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. chili-garlic paste
2 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
2 handfuls shitake mushrooms (left whole)
4 cloves garlic
3 large shallots, sliced thin
1 Tbs. honey
2 Tbs. mustard
Salt and pepper
2 Tbs. oil
1. Start by marinating the steak (best to do it the night before).
2. Place the steak in a bowl or plastic bag and add half of the sherry, soy sauce, 1 Tbs. of the chili-garlic paste, ginger, two cloves of garlic and a twist of fresh black pepper.
3. Mix all of the ingredients and make sure that the steak is entirely submerged in the liquid, adding more of the soy and sherry in equal parts if need be.
4. Seal the bag or container and place in the fridge.
5. When you're ready to make the meal, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
6. Place the mushrooms in a mixing bowl and drizzle the them with sesame oil, season with salt and pepper and mix with one clove of chopped garlic.
7. Put the mushrooms in a baking pan and roast until slightly crispy and cooked through, about 25 minutes.
8. After you put the mushrooms in the oven, caramelize the shallots. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and add some oil.
9. Sautee the shallots until they are pretty well-browned, about 10-15 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper about 5 minutes in.
10. Remove the shallots from the pan and add some more oil. At the same time, heat the grill on medium high heat.
11. Season the bok choy with salt and pepper and sear cut-side down until well browned (5 minutes).
12. Add half a cup of sherry and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and cook covered until a sharp knife passes easily through the thickest part of the bok choy, which should still be bright green at the end of the cooking process.
13. When the grill is hot (water should boil away instantly), spray with oil and sear the steak about 3 minutes. Turn 90 degrees and sear 3 minutes more to get nice grill marks (check out this video for a tutorial).
14. Then flip the steak and do the same on the other side.
15. Take the steak the off the grill and allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes.
16. While the steak is resting, mix the mustard, 1 Tbs. of the chili garlic paste and honey.
17. Slice the steak against the grain into pieces about half an inch wide (slices that are too thin will get cold right away).
18. Dig in.