Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beef Un-Kebabs with Sauted Asparagus


I had some leftover thick-cut sirloin from when my friends Venetia, Gary, and their son Aaron came into town. Venetia has been one of my BFFs since I was fourteen -- almost thirty years! -- and it was great to see her. For their dinner, I made beef kebabs marinated in a vinaigrette with thyme and oregano and served it with pan-seared garlicky shrimp, Greek tzaziki sauce (refreshing cucumber sauce), green salad with feta cheese, and white rice.

Tonight, it was just the four of us, so I cut up the remaining sirloin, seasoned it generously with Penzey's Chicago Steak seasoning, salt and pepper, and marinated it for a few hours in a Ziploc bag with a little oil, a sliced onion, a couple cloves of garlic, and a squirt of Amore sundried tomato paste which I always have in my fridge.

Since it was raining outside, I didn't bother to skewer the beef, but cooked it inside on a teflon skillet on high heat. Halfway through, I added the marinated onions and cut asparagus to one side of the pan and finished cooking everything together. If you can't fit everything in the pan, cook the asparagus after the meat is done in the nice brown bits left in the pan from the beef.

These little sirloin cubes, crusty on the outside and juicy pink on the inside, flew off the plate, as did the beefy asparagus. I like to squirt a little lemon juice on my beef after it's done.

1 1/2 lbs. or more of thick-cut sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
Penzey's Chicago Steak Seasoning (or other seasoning; this is optional)
Salt and pepper
Amore sundried tomato paste
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
Olive oil

Bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
Lemon (optional)

Sprinkle sirloin generously with steak seasoning, salt, and pepper. Put the meat in a Ziploc bag with a couple tbs. of oil and a good squirt of Amore sundried tomato paste, onion, and garlic. Squish the marinade around the meat. Refrigerate for a few hours.

Prepare the asparagus by rinsing, snapping of the bottoms, and cutting into 2 in. pieces. Set aside a plate.

When ready to cook the meat, heat a large teflon skillet on medium-high to high heat until it's nice and hot. Take out the meat with tongs and place it on the skillet, leaving the excess marinade and onions in the bag. The meat can be close to each other, but not touching as air flow is needed between the pieces so they can brown properly. Cook for 4 minutes without turning over.

At four minutes, turn the meat over and add the onions and asparagus, so they can cook until tender-crisp (if they fit comfortably; if they don't, don't add them yet). Cook the meat another four-six minutes, depending on whether you want the meat medium rare or medium. When the meat is finished cooking, put it on a plate and let it rest for a few minutes.

With the asparagus and onion, cook them in the brown bits, adding a little more oil if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tender-crisp, which should take about the same time as when you've flipped the meat. Squirt meat and/or asparagus with lemon if desired. Enjoy.

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