Al and Rosemary – Cooking for Dummies

looking great!

That isn’t just a funny title for this blog post – it’s the name of the next cookbook!  Cooking For Dummies by Bryan Miller and Marie Rama is a great reference guide for cooking that includes recipes.

The recipe I had tagged was for Sautéed Peppered Sirloin of Beef.  Al joined me in the kitchen for this one and I am pretty glad I had his help for this one!  To start off with we had to crush peppercorns.  The recipe recommended a mortar and pestle or using the bottom of the skillet crushing on a hard surface.  I tried both of these methods and then let Al try some of his ideas to crush the peppercorns.

He put the peppercorns in a town and tried to roll them with a rolling pin
He put the peppercorns in a town and tried to roll them with a rolling pin
He tried to use my spice grinder (which I realize I need to invest in an electric spice grinder - more on that later!)
He tried to use my spice grinder (which I realize I needed to invest in an electric spice grinder – more on that later!)
He used my mini food processor and processed them like crazy - which eventually finally worked.
He used my mini food processor and processed them like crazy – which eventually finally worked.

We then took the finally crushed peppercorns and coated 2 sirloin steaks about 1 1/4″ thick.

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Then using a cast iron skillet (Al said at this point where would be without cast iron) we heated canola oil until it was very hot over high heat.  Then we added the steak (we could have cooked both at the same time but since I had huge steaks only one at a time would fit).  It cooked for 3 minutes and then I turned it over to cook another 3 minutes.

looking great!
looking great!

Then the heat was lowered to medium and it cooked an additional 3 minutes each side.  The steak was removed from the skillet and set aside to rest (under tented aluminum foil).  We repeated these steps for the second steak.

Then we went onto making the sauce.  With the skillet still on medium heat we added minced shallots, onion and butter.  That cooked for 1 minute while we stirred.

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Then we added red wine.  I was suppose to also add brandy but I didn’t have any on hand so I did without the brandy and it still seemed to turn out all right.  The skillet was turned up to high heat until the liquid reduced by half.  Then beef broth and tomato paste was added.  This cooked until the sauce reduced.

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Heat was lowered to medium and more butter was stirred in.  Then the sauce was ready to serve.

saucy!
saucy!
Sauce on steak
Sauce on steak

The Verdict:  The peppercorns created a nice spicy crust – if you don’t like spicy this isn’t a recipe for you!  The meat was tender but ended up a bit more done than I would have preferred – next time I will cook it less!  But this is a super fast and easy recipe (minus the time trying to figure out how to crush those peppercorns!)  I have since invested in an electric spice grinder.  I chose the grinder below because I liked the design and it has great reviews (and a good price).

And if you have noticed lately I have all kind of Amazon links on my page now.  I have enrolled in Amazon’s Associate Affiliate program so I can share with you the books and products I use which link directly for you to be able to purchase them.  Also, it is an opportunity for me to monetize my blog a bit!  So one last product – cast iron skillet.  I think everyone should have one – very handy and they can be used for a whole array of cooking.  This is the brand I have – the link offers several sizes so if you are in the market for a cast iron skillet get the size that will fit your needs best – I have a 12″ one.

 

 

 

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