Steak with Strawberry, Cherry Tomato, Black Pepper & Balsamic Salsa

Début de l'été 2019
food and drink

BY: Signe Langford

Grilled or pan-seared, either way you slice it, the rich savoury quality of beef is enhanced and given a fresh new flavour with this peppery, sweet-and-sour strawberry salsa. The flavours are best if the steak has 24 hours to rest in the rub; and making the salsa a few hours before eating allows the flavours to blend beautifully. For the salsa, pick a decent but not exorbitantly expensive balsamic vinegar. The steak rub calls for porcini powder, which can be purchased at gourmet shops or from online retailers.

1½ tsp (7 mL) very coarsely ground black pepper, divided
½ tsp (2 mL) dark cocoa powder
1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) coffee grinds
1 tbsp (15 mL) porcini powder
4 strip-loin steaks, each 4 to 6 oz (115 to 170 g)
2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups (500 mL) strawberries, greens removed, coarsely chopped
1 cup (250 mL) red or multicoloured cherry tomatoes, the smaller the better, halved or quartered, depending on size
½ red onion, finely diced, about ¾ cup (175 mL)
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
½ tsp (2 mL) fine sea salt
¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped or chiffonade fresh basil leaves

1 Make the steak rub by adding 1 tsp (5 mL) of the pepper, cocoa powder, brown sugar, coffee grinds and porcini powder to a small bowl and combine.

2 Rub the steaks all over with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the olive oil, then coat all over with the rub. Use it all up on the 4 steaks; cover and set aside to marinate overnight in the fridge. A full 24 hours is best, but 3 hours will do. Always allow meat to come up to room temperature before cooking.

3 To make the salsa, into a medium, nonreactive bowl (glass is nice since the salsa is so pretty) add the strawberries, cherry tomatoes, red onion, garlic, remaining olive oil, balsamic, salt, remaining pepper, and basil; stir gently to combine and coat. Cover and set aside in the fridge for a maximum of 3 hours before serving.

4 Preheat grill or get a cast-iron skillet smoking hot over high heat. Add the steaks, cook for 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, then turn and cook for a further 3 to 5 minutes on the other side; that will produce rare to mediumrare doneness. A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part should read between 120° and 140°F (50° to 60°C).

5 Serve right away if whole, but if slicing the steaks, allow the meat to rest for about 15 minutes first, otherwise all the tasty juices will be lost. Top each steak with about . cup (80 mL) of the salsa but offer more at the table. (Any leftover salsa will only be good for about 2 days in the fridge. It’s amazing on burgers, too!)

Serves 4; makes 3 cups (750 mL) salsa and ¼ cup (60 mL) rub

What to Serve