This past Saturday, we had our “most fun friends” (as we like to call each other) over for a celebratory dinner…they just got engaged! Naturally, we started with a bottle of Dom Perignon, a 2002 that was absolutely delicious! Somehow starting off an evening with bubbles always sets the right mood, don’t you think?
The wife-to-be of the happy couple often says how much she loves “a slab of cow”, so I figured something beef and grilled would be about right. All four of us are big Bobby Flay fans, so I looked to his book, Boy Meets Grill, for inspiration and decided on his recipe for Porterhouse Steaks with Fra Diavolo BBQ sauce and a cherry pepper salad as a topper. For sides, I figured a red potato salad with a light vinaigrette, fresh shallots and chives would be a nice accompaniment, and added grilled asparagus to round out the menu.
I have to say, we were all thrilled with the outcome – everything complimented each other beautifully. The steaks were just phenomenal (thank you Marina Meats on Chestnut St!), and the sauce – which I admit I modified – was nothing short of awesome. Here is my version of the recipe, but 90% of the credit goes to the fabulous Chef Flay.
For the Sauce:
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 1/2 Tbsp chile powder (preferably a mix)
3 cups canned plum tomatoes, pureed
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
salt & pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup cherry peppers from a jar, stemmed, seeded and cut in quarters
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt & pepper
2 bone-in porterhouse steaks, about 2 lb)
freshly ground pepper
Make the sauce first. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the onions. Sauté until soft but do not brown, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, cayenne and chile powder, and cook an additional minute until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Simmer on low heat until darkened and thick, about 45 minutes.
For the salad, simply mix all ingredients together, and set aside at room temperature.
Sprinkle the steaks with course salt, and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Heat the grill on high heat. Season the steak with pepper, then place on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes until lightly charred. Turn the steaks over and brush tops with sauce, lower heat to medium and cook an addition 3 minutes. Brush and turn the steaks for another total 4 minutes or until steaks are cooked to desired doneness.
Allow steaks to rest for 5 minutes, lightly tented with foil. (Grill veggies in the meantime if those are part of your menu.) Cut the steak off the bone, and slice thinly. Place on plates, top with pepper tomato salad, and serve remaining sauce on the side.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!