Margaux says . . . . .

Suzy recommended this recipe to me a while ago, when she posted the recipe for salmon with mango salsa.  I thought mango salsa on steak sounded really interesting, and of course I’ll take any excuse to make steak!  This recipe is really delicious, and we will definitely be making it again.  I also think it would be fun to make both the salmon and the steak sometime when we have company…a little of both with the salsa sounds really good to me. I served it with one of my favorite side dishes, green rice (see recipe below).

The recipe for the steak rub said that it can be made with toasted dried ancho, pasilla or guajillo peppers, but that regular chili powder would work, too. I used regular chili powder because I thought it would be less spicy for my little guy, and it was what I had on hand. It was very tasty…probably not as tasty as the other, but if it’s what you have on hand, I say go for it.


For the steak:

Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill on high.  You can also make this indoors in your oven’s broiler.  If broiling, position the pan 4-5 inches from the heating element.

2 tablespoons ground dried red chili peppers

2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt

1 beef flank steak, about 1 1/2 pounds

Combine the spices in a small bowl and blend thoroughly.  Pat the spice mixture onto the entire surface of the steak.  Grill or broil for 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare.  Make a small incision to check the center.  The interior should be slightly less done than desired as it will continue to cook off the heat.  When cooked to desired doneness, remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Note that this steak should not be cooked more than medium. Thinly slide the steak across the grain and serve immediately topped with mango salsa.

For the salsa:

1 small red onion, chopped, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 fresh jalapeno or other small chili pepper, finely chopped
salt and cracked black peppercorns to taste

Mix together the onion and lime juice in a large bowl and set aside. Prepare the remaining ingredients, setting them aside, then add them all together to the onion mixture. Stir together well. Will keep, covered and refrigerated, for one day.

Green Rice

Cook 1 cup Basmati rice according to directions – you can use white or brown rice. When rice is done and resting, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a Dutch oven. Add 1-2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced, and sauté 2 minutes, until fragrant. Stir in and cook over medium high heat a total of 5 cups coarsely chopped greens – arugula, spinach, beet tops, watercress, parsley, etc. Cook until just wilted. Stir the rice into the greens and blend well. We usually make double the recipe!

Dad’s Pot Roast

November 3, 2011

Margaux says…

For the most part, I tend to cook a new recipe every night.  But there are a few things that I make on a regular basis (meaning, 2-3 times a year), and this is one of them.  I am a meat-and-potatoes kind of gal…have been since the beginning.  Pot roast is one of my favorite things, next to steak and mashed potatoes, and my dad gave me this recipe for it when I was in middle school.  I’m pretty sure it’s my Granny’s recipe, although she may not have put in the garlic or herbs. Anyway, it’s been a standard for me ever since!

You have to get a nice, marble-y piece of meat…that’s what makes it good.  You can add as many potatoes and carrots as your pot will allow…it seems I can never cook enough carrots!  Just add a little more water if you need to when adding the veg.  The water doesn’t have to completely cover, because the tight-fitting lid will create a steam bath in there, but it should almost cover the ingredients.

The best part about pot roast (well, second best, next to the taste!), is that it is super easy to make!  I like to make it on days where I have a lot of other things going on…it only has a few ingredients, and prep time is only about 10-15 minutes.  If you’re making gravy (which is totally necessary, in my book), that will take another few minutes at the end, but it’s worth the trouble.

Dad’s Pot Roast

2- 2 1/2 lb. Boston or chuck roast
1 medium onion, quartered
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp oregano
2-4 potatoes, quartered
2-4 carrots, cut into 3″ pieces
2-3 cups water (or more, if needed)

You need a dutch oven, cast iron is best-it adds flavor! Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Salt and pepper both sides of the meat. On top of the stove, over medium-high heat, heat oil, and brown meat on both sides. Add water to the top of the meat and add onion, herbs, garlic and 1/2 tsp salt. Place a tight-fitting lid on top and cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and add potatoes and carrots (and a little more water if needed), and cook one more hour. Mmm-mmm-good.

Pan Gravy

I like to use Wondra flour for my gravy–it makes it super easy. First thing you need to do is remove the meat and vegetables from the pan, and strain the juices. I usually reserve 2 cups of the juices for gravy, because my family likes gravy…it makes a lot of gravy. Put the 2 cups of strained juices back in the pan, and turn the heat on medium. Whisk together 4 tbsp Wondra flour and 1/2 cup water. Whisking constantly, add flour/water mixture to the pan, and continue stirring until boiling. Boil a few more minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Sometimes I like to get fancy and make red-wine gravy. In this case, just substitute 1/2 cup red wine for 1/2 cup of the juices. It gives the gravy a lot of yummy flavor!