Satisfying the hunger for meat doesn’t always require a heavy meal of meat and potatoes. Seared skirt steak served atop a bed of baby spinach and fresh mushrooms makes this salad a great main dish. The homemade vinaigrette is, as always, far better than store-bought, and makes this dish a lovely meal. I just purchased this book, Avec Eric by Eric Ripert with a birthday gift card yesterday, and cannot wait to try out lots of his recipes. Aside from being a lovely cookbook, this book is a great read, also. Full of great travel and food photos, and lots of insight into his various travels and cultures he has visited. The only thing that would make it better would be if Eric Ripert would read it out loud to me. I adore his French accent. I had the privilege to go see him and Anthony Bourdain speak last year, and I think those two are so incredibly interesting, funny, and down-to-earth for being such high profile celebrities in the food world.
Seared Skirt Steak and Spinach Salad with Red Wine-Shallot Vinaigrette
Credit: Avec Eric by Eric Ripert
2 cups dry red wine
2 shallots, finely diced
2 Italian parsley sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed to four 6-inch steaks
3 cups fresh baby spinach
4 large white button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
~Combine the red wine, shallots, thyme, and parsley in a nonreactive saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 cup. Remove the saucepan from the heat and discard the parsley and thyme sprigs. Add the cracked pepper, season to taste with salt, and whisk in the red wine vinegar and olive oil. Leave in pan and set aside.
~Heat the canola oil in a large heavy stainless steel or cast-iron skillet over high heat. Generously season the skirt steaks with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Carefully add the seasoned steaks to the pan, making sure not to crowd the pan, and sear until evenly crusted, 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the cooked steaks to a cutting board, wipe out the pan, and repeat, if necessary , with the remaining steaks. Let the steaks rest for at least 5 minutes. Gently warm the red wine vinaigrette in the same pan over low heat.
~While the steaks are resting, combine the spinach and mushrooms in a bowl season to taste with salt and pepper, and lightly dress with the warm vinaigrette. Divide the salad on to 4 plates. Slice the steaks against the grain and place the slices on top of each salad. Spoon more of the vinaigrette over and around the salad and serve immediately.