Wednesday, May 11, 2016

T-Bone Steak with Ancho Chile Onion Marmalade

     Western Steakhouse Cuisine!
     T-Bone Steak is the most popular steak cut that there is.  By connoisseur standards, a T-Bone is just as good as a Porterhouse Steak, because the Strip Steak section on a T-Bone is big and meaty.  True T-Bone Steak fans really do not care much about Tenderloin Steak side of the bone.
     A T-Bone Steak has a smaller percentage of tenderloin attached to the bone than a Porterhouse Steak.  A Porterhouse is usually cut at least 1" thick and the Tenderloin section must be attached to at least 2 1/2" of the bone.  Often a T-Bone Steak will meet or exceed the Porterhouse standards and the Tenderloin section will be quite large.  A T-Bone that has a large Tenderloin section attached to the bone is an added bonus, but how thick the steak is cut is what will determine whether the steak should be labeled as a Porterhouse.  As long as the Tenderloin size requirement is met, labeling the steak as a T-Bone or Porterhouse is up to the butcher.      
     As with any steak, some fat marbling should be present for a tender and flavorful steak.  USDA Prime Grade Beef is guaranteed to have a substantial percentage of fat marbling.  USDA Prime Grade Beef is usually only sold at butcher shops.  USDA Choice Grade Beef is usually sold at grocery stores.  USDA Choice Grade Beef can be hit or miss.  Sometimes a USDA Choice Grade T-Bone will look just as good as a Prime Grade T-Bone, so it pays to take a look at a few Choice Grade steaks before committing to a purchase at the market.

     Onion Marmalade is perfect for roasted or chilled meats.  Onion Marmalade is not really a true marmalade.  Because the onions are julienne sliced, it does kind of resemble a marmalade, so the name sticks.
     Admittedly, Onion Marmalade does taste much more robust when Ancho Chile is added.  Ancho Chile is a Dried Poblano Chile.  Ancho chile has a deep, fruity, mild spicy flavor.  Ancho Chile Onion Marmalade really adds a nice gentle flavor to a Southwestern style steak!  

     Ancho Chile Onion Marmalade:  
     This recipe yields a little more than 1/2 cup.  (Enough for 2 steaks.)  
     The pectin in the onions will naturally combine with the sugar to gel a small batch of marmalade.  For large batches of this marmalade, add a liquid or dried pectin product and use the proportion needed for making fruit preserves.
     The marmalade can be made like a medium thick glaze sauce or the marmalade can be made so the thick jelly coats the chile and onions.  It is up to the cook to decide on the texture.    
     Step 1:  Cut 1 medium to large dried ancho chile open.
     Remove the seeds and stem.
     Cut the ancho chile into thin strips.
     Step 2:  Heat 2 cups of water in a sauce pot over low heat.
     Add the ancho chile strips.
     Simmer till the ancho chile starts to become soft and reconstituted.
     Step 3:  Add 1 1/4 cups of julienne sliced onion.  (1/8"x1/8"x 2 1/2")
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce.
     Add 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar.
     Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1/3 cup of sugar.
     *Taste the liquid.  The balance of sweet and sour should be slightly on the sweet side.  Adjust the flavor if necessary.
     Step 4:  Raise the temperature to medium heat.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Simmer and reduce the marmalade, till it starts to become thick.
     Step 6:  Add 1 cup of water.
     Simmer and reduce the marmalade a second time.
     When most of the liquid has evaporated, the marmalade should have the rusty brown color of the ancho chile and the onions should be suspended in the jelly.
     Step 7:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Set the marmalade aside and let it cool to room temperature.
     Place the marmalade in a container and chill for at least 12 hours in a refrigerator.
     *Fresh marmalade can be kept refrigerated for 7 days.

     Southwestern Steak Seasoning:
     This basic recipe yields enough to season 2 large steaks.   
     Place 1 tablespoon of sea salt in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 3/4 tablespoon of table grind black pepper.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground chile ancho (or cayenne pepper).
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.
     Mix the ingredients together.

     T-Bone Steak with Ancho Chile Marmalade:
     This recipe yields 1 T-Bone Steak entrée.
     Step 1:  Select a 16 to 18 ounce T-Bone Steak.  (The bone will weigh 3 or 4 ounces.)
     Season the steak with a few pinches of the Southwestern Steak Seasoning.
     Allow the seasonings to flavor the steak for 10 minutes.
     Step 2:  Heat a chargrill or a cast iron ribbed griddle over medium/medium high heat.  (A broiler in an oven is okay too.  I used a broiler for the steak in the pictures.)
     Step 3:  Grill or broil the steak on both sides, till it is cooked to the desired finish temperature.
     Set the steak on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan and let it rest for 1 to 2 minutes.
     Step 4:  Place the T-Bone Steak on the front half of a large serving plate.
     Place about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the Ancho Chile Onion Marmalade on the bone of the steak. (Serve with a ramekin of extra marmalade on the side, because guests will nearly always ask for more!)
     Place a potato and vegetable of your choice on the plate.
     Garnish the plate with Italian Parsley sprigs.
     Garnish the marmalade with a Pickled Yellow Chile Guero.

     The sweet tangy rich flavor of Ancho Chile Onion Marmalade tastes nice with a T-Bone steak!

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