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Dry-Aged Steaks with Smashed Yukon Potatoes and Buttered Leeks

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of Frankie Frankeny

A good chef knows that less can be more. Treating a good ingredient simply is sometimes the key to unlocking great flavor. Here, I showcase the meat and vegetables by preparing each simply and combining them in a classic French bistro dish. The steak is front and center with the side dishes in a supporting role. Bone-in, dry-aged New York strip loin steaks are the favorite of many chefs because of the extra flavor the bone gives to this already flavorful cut. The cut is made tender by fat marbling, and even more so by the aging process. I love them for this recipe. Dry aging–leaving the meat to hang in a temperature-and humidity-controlled environment with good air circulation–gives the meat’s natural enzymes time to break down its tough connective tissue. The controlled evaporation concentrates the meat’s flavor while retaining enough moisture to keep it juicy. Chefs love to cook meat on the bone as it gives an extra flavor boost. Dry-aged steak is all the rage at steakhouses these days. The extra time, effort, and evaporation lead to higher costs, but chefs–and their customers–say it’s worth it. Another personal favorite? Try this recipe with rib eye, or even bison steaks! Bison has become popular as it is lower in fat, incredibly tender, and flavorful. The Balsamic-Roasted Mushrooms are a perfect additional accompaniment to this rustic, wintry dish. Yukon Gold potatoes are small, golden, and buttery even before you add butter (which makes them even better!). You can substitute other thin-skinned varieties such as German Butterball or Yellow Finn. What to drink: This dish is for that special bottle of earthy cabernet. A Bordeaux blend, aglianico, Barolo, or Burgundy will also work.

Makes4 servings

Cooking Methodbroiling, grilling, sauteeing

CostSplurge

Moderate

Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free

Mealdinner

Moodfestive

Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, juicy, light, meaty, rich, savory

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut in 2 or 3 pieces each if large
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ to ½ cup whole milk, warmed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound leeks, roots and dark green tops trimmed
  • Two 10- to 12-ounce bone-in dry-aged strip loin steaks, about 1 inch thick
  • Balsamic-Roasted Mushrooms

Instructions

Boil the potatoes in abundant salted water until they are soft, about 20 minutes (depending on the size). Drain and put them into a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of the butter, the olive oil, sour cream, and 1/4 cup warm milk. Smash with a fork or potato masher until the potatoes are creamy but still have some texture, adding more milk if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

While the potatoes are boiling, cut the white part of the leeks in half lengthwise, then slice into thin half-moons. Rinse well in a colander under running water. Cook the leeks with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over low heat until they are very tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Grill, broil, or sauté to your preferred doneness, 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to a plate and let stand for 5 minutes while you prepare the plates.

On each of four plates, mound the leeks in the center, using the back of a large spoon to form them into a ring. Mound the potatoes in the center. Cut the steaks crosswise into slices and arrange them over the top of the potatoes and leeks. Drape the mushrooms over the steak, if using.

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This would have been a great opportunity to teach beef aging techniques available to the home chef.

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