Big Fancy Steak Salad
I have to give a big shout-out to the Pioneer Woman for this amazing recipe. In anticipation of my in-law’s coming to visit, I ordered a 1.5 pound free range flank steak from Green Bean Delivery (my local organic grocery delivery service – you can check out how I discovered them here) but I had no idea what I was going to do with it. After an indulgent weekend of bbq pulled pork and two meals out, I knew we needed something on the lighter side, but I wasn’t going to send them back to Philadelphia without one last home-cooked treat. So I went to work looking for a refreshing grilled steak recipe – and true to her awesome form, Pioneer Woman didn’t let me down.
Be warned – this recipe involves several steps – not hard, but definitely a bit time consuming. But that's what the slow food movement is all about, right? Trust me, it is more than worth it in the end. Aside from the marinade, do the steps in the order that makes sense to you. And if you have help in the kitchen, as I did with my mother-in-law, it’s a pretty fun process.
Step 1 – The Marinade
o 3/4 cups Canola Oil
o 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
o 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
o 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
o 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
o 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
o 2 Tablespoons Sugar
o 3 cloves Garlic, Peeled
o 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
o 1/2 teaspoon Hot Chili Oil
o 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
o Lots Of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Mix it all together and reserve about ½ cup for salad dressing. Then put the remainder in a plastic bag or big bowl and completely coat the steak. Marinade for at least 2 hours – I let mine sit for 4.
Step 2 – The Onion Straws
Slice 1-2 onions (depending on how many you want) as thinly as possible into rings. Put them in a bowl and submerge in buttermilk. I didn’t have any buttermilk, so I added some vinegar to regular organic milk. Totally acceptable substitute. Let them rest there for at least an hour.
Heat a couple of inches of canola oil in a large frying pan until very hot. Grab a handful of onions straight out of the buttermilk and dip into a mixture of 2 cups of flour, a Tablespoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. When they’re coated, drop them into the oil and fry until they’re golden brown. Remove to a plate with paper towels.
Step 3 – The Pecans
Melt a cup of sugar and two Tablespoons of water over medium heat in a saucepan on the stove. Stir until the sugar is dark amber in color. Then immediately pour it over ½ cup of pecan pieces and let them cool.
Step 4 – The Salad
Divvy up any salad greens you want onto plates. I used a mixture of locally grown organic romaine and organic baby spinach. I also added cherry tomatoes, but wish I hadn’t. Then put some cheese crumbles on top – no, those aren’t pictured. Sometimes I’m a bit of a flake. I used chopped up soft gouda, but I think you could use anything, especially blue cheese. My husband isn’t a fan though. Add the pecans and then the left-over marinade as dressing.
Step 5 – The Free Range Steak
Grill the steak over medium-high heat. I did it for about 2-3 minutes per side and it was medium-rare. Thinly slice the steak. Place four strips of steak on each salad, then top the steak with a handful of the onion straws.
It was so so good. You won’t regret it.
[Source: Pioneer Woman Cooking]