Grilled Steak with Blueberry Balsamic Reduction and Blue Cheese

Like yesterday’s recipe for icy frozen granitas, todays post is also adapted from the June issue of Food Network Magazine.  This one from Chef Marc Forgione, calls for  rib-eye steaks, red wine and veal stock but I used smaller filet mignon cuts, balsamic vinegar and beef stock.  Forgione’s recipe originally caught my eye because one of my favorite meals ever is the blueberry and balsamic steak at Aqua Al Due, a restaurant I fell in love with when I was studying abroad in Florence, Italy.  It was our favorite place for a special dinner out and I’ll never forget those incredible meals of pumpkin pasta, steak and chianti.

The balsamic and blueberry flavors make for a bitter and subtly sweet sauce—a perfect complement to beef and blue cheese.  We ate our steaks with Grilled Vegetable Kabobs with Firecracker Sauce and I pretended like I was back in Florence for the night.

DSC_0999This recipe is number eleven in my endeavor to cook thirty recipes perfect for your July 4th cookout.  You can find the previous ten recipes here.

What to buy (serves 2):

  • 1-2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 filet mignon steaks (or whatever cut you prefer)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

What to do:

  • make the reduction: add canola oil to a large nonreactive stockpot to cover the bottom and set it over high heat
  • before the oil starts smoking, add the onion and peppercorns and reduce the heat to medium
  • sweat the onion until brown bits form on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes, then add the sugar
  • add the balsamic and deglaze the pan, scraping the brown bits off the bottom
  • simmer the liquid for 10-15 minutes and add the stock and cook until the liquid has reduced again, about 15 more minutes
  • add thyme and bay leaf and allow to infuse for thirty minutes to an hour
  • grill the steaks: heat grill to medium-high heat
  • blot the meat dry and season both sides liberally with salt and pepper
  • add steaks to grill, allowing them to cook for five minutes on each side (give or take depending on how you like your meat and how hot your grill is)
  • meanwhile, warm the reduction sauce until it simmers and stir in the berries
  • remove from the heat and spoon over grilled steaks, sprinkle liberally with crumbled blue cheese

 

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