It's been a busy time at work for me, so cooking elaborate (or even not-so-elaborate) meals for myself has definitely not been a possibility. That's why I'm here to tell you about one of my favorite "quick" meals, which can be prepared in about 30 minutes. I know, I know, Jamie Oliver can prepare a 4-course meal in that amount of time, but I'm no Jamie Oliver. I do, however, take advantage of his trick with quick-roasted potatoes to make this meal!
First, I want to share my favorite way of preparing great steak in your oven. It's actually my dad's method, and if grilling's out, this is the next-best thing, especially because it's not fussy at all. First, marinate your steak. I basically rub sugar, seasoned salt, pepper, and soy sauce over both sides, then let it sit in a baggie or on a plate. When you're ready, stick the steak on a pan -- I used cast iron this time -- and place it directly under your broiler. Turn it up to about 450°F, or "high." You do not need to preheat (I know, isn't it awesome?). For a steak about an inch thick, cook for about 8 minutes. Flip the steak over, then cook for another 6 minutes for medium rare steak, or until the meat is how you'd like it. Note that cooking times will also vary depending on the thickness of your steak and if you use cast iron. If you do use cast iron, it may cook a lot faster, so you'll want to adjust times accordingly. Once the steak is out of the oven, transfer it to a plate and let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle.
While the steak is marinating, make the quick-roasted potatoes a la Jamie Oliver. Quarter 6-8 red potatoes. If the potatoes are large, cut them into sixths or even eighths. Place them in a deep pan and cover with water. Turn the heat up to high and get the water boiling. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender enough for a fork to pierce them easily. Drain the water. Return the potatoes in the pan back to the stove over medium heat. Add some canola or olive oil, salt to taste, and about a tablespoon of butter. Cook for 2 minutes. Use a metal turner and stir up the potatoes without breaking them. They may stick a bit; that's good, it means they'll be turning nice and brown. Turn them every 2 minutes. Depending on your heat, this will take 20-25 minutes. If you've timed things right, they should be done about the same time as the steak.
You can also fancy things up a bit, if you like ... for instance, I had some homemade herb butter, so I placed a dab of that on top of the steak when it was having its rest. I also had some cherry tomatoes I needed to use up and some caramelized onions I'd made the other day, so I threw those in with the potatoes in the last 5 minutes or so.
And don't let those steak drippings go to waste; that would be a crime! Transfer them to a small pan (or if you used a cast-iron pan, just use that) and set over medium heat. Add a tablespoon or two of flour and cook for a minute or two, stirring. Gradually add about a cup and a half of beef stock (in my case, made in 30 seconds with Better than Bouillon beef base), stirring constantly, for a wonderfully rich brown gravy. Serve with steak and potatoes or reserve for another use!
A very quick, delicious, and satisfying meal.