'I'm ready to feel the concrete under my feet again!' sighed Jonathan Lindenauer after a snowy four-day culinary extravaganza in Beaver Creek, Colorado. This urban chef had just completed an arduous, though enviable, 'working weekend' in the Rockies and was ready to get back to his day job as a food and wine consultant and Chef de Cuisine for Bon Appetit magazine. As we shared a car to the airport, the topic went from being snowed in (yeah, I know, there are worse places to be stranded than Beaver Creek) to food and wine. When asked what he was going to cook when returned to snowy New York, without hesitation Lindenauer said, "Steak. Steak with this amazing sauce that I just invented." Lindenauer's spicy, tangy, rich sauce--spiked with gingerroot, soy sauce and sherry vinegar--marries beautifully with an assertive Argentinean Malbec or a full-flavored Côte Rôtie from the northern Rhône.
Lindenauer majored in economics at the University of Maryland, but after attending the Culinary Institute of America, he knew that food--not finance--was his calling. Lindenauer has worked with some of the best in the business, including Christian Delouvrier, Charlie Palmer, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. His love for food is infectious, his searing blue eyes captivating, and his knowledge of wine and food pairings seems like part of his DNA. Enjoy this chef's version of meat and potatoes with a big glass of red, a roaring fire, and good friends or family.
Serves 4 to 6
Caramelized Ginger Jus (recipe follows)
Two 2-inch-thick rib-eye steaks, USDA Prime if possible (about 3 pounds total)
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed, stems trimmed, cut in half
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sugar
1 pound fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 sprigs fresh thyme
• Make the Caramelized Ginger Jus and set aside.
• Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Liberally season the steaks with salt and pepper. Let sit for 30 minutes to marinate and come to room temperature before cooking.
• Toss the Brussels sprouts in a bowl with ¼ cup of the olive oil, a pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Place in a roasting pan in one layer. Toss the potatoes in the bowl with the remaining ¼ cup olive oil, thyme sprigs, and
• Place both pans of vegetables in the oven and roast season with salt and pepper. Place potatoes in a roasting pan in one layer. uncovered until tender and golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes for the potatoes, and about 20 to 25 minutes for the Brussels sprouts. Cover potatoes and Brussels sprouts loosely with foil to keep warm while you cook the steaks.
• Heat the vegetable oil in a very large, heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add steaks and cook until browned on the outside and cooked desired doneness, about 10 minutes per side for medium-rare.
• Transfer steaks to platter, cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Finish off the Caramelized Ginger Jus, then cut steak into ½-inch-thick slices and serve hot with the Jus and the potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
Makes about 1 ½ cups; 6 to 8 servings
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
3 shallots sliced thinly
One 3-inch piece gingerroot, sliced thinly
Pinch of sugar
3 cloves garlic, sliced
8 whole black peppercorns
¼ cup honey
½ cup soy sauce
5 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar, or more to taste
• Place 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until light golden brown.
• Add the shallots, ginger and sugar, lower heat to medium, and cook 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown and lightly caramelized. Add garlic and cook just until it releases its fragrance but does not burn, about 1 to 2 minutes.
• Add peppercorns, honey, soy sauce and vinegar and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm, and let stand for 30 minutes to infuse flavors. Strain, and discard solids. Can be made several hours in advance up to this point.
• When ready to serve, bring the strained sauce to a simmer. Cut the remaining 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter into ½-inch cubes. Add the butter pieces while whisking constantly until all the butter has been added and the sauce has emulsified. Taste for seasoning, adding more vinegar or honey, to taste. Serve hot with steak and vegetables.