I profiled Brykill Farm on Monday. Today, I’m sharing an incredible recipe I made with their grass-fed beef.
It’s not that the meat from Brykill needs a sauce. It really doesn’t. It’s just that this vodka cream sauce is so good, I think you need to know about it. Have it in your repertoire…you know what I mean?
The sauce is adapted from Pioneer Woman’s Whiskey Cream Sauce. When I first saw that recipe in her cookbook, I figured I would try it once and then move on. But that’s not what happened. In fact, my relationship with this sauce has developed into nothing short of addiction. I make it pretty much every time I make steak.
One night when I was making the sauce, I realized I was out of whiskey. So I tried it with vodka. And you know what? It’s just as good. Jaden posted her fantastic version and says you could do it with bourbon or beer, too. And I bet brandy with be great. You just gotta love a recipe that’s adaptable like that.
A note about the cream: in my house, we drink raw milk. As in straight from the cow. I buy it in 1/2 gallon glass jars and the cream rises to the top. So to make this recipe I use raw cream spooned off the top of the milk, but you are welcome to use commercial half-and-half or cream (preferably organic).
A note about grilling meat: HCA (heterocyclic amines) and PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are potentially carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals that are associated with grilled foods. You know how the fat from your burger (yes, even a grass-fed one) or your salmon drips down into the fire, and then there’s that little flare-up that sends smoke shooting back up? And you know how you get those portions of meat/fish that end up kind of charred? Well, that is how these compounds are created, and it’s not a good thing.
Studies show that marinating fatty cuts of meat and fish for at least 10 minutes (and as long as overnight) before you cook them helps to form a barrier and cuts down on the carcinogenic chemicals. A good choice for a marinade appears to be one that includes an acidic ingredient, such as vinegar or a citrus juice, berries, cherries, herbs and/or spices, and some oil. Using soy sauce or tamari in your marinade is also recommended. So while I kind of spaced out and did not marinate the steak this time around, you can bet I will from now on.
Rib eye steaks can really vary when it comes to thickness. For grilling, it’s best to choose those that are approximately two inches thick, and one of these will generally feed two people.
If your steaks are thinner, you might need two rib-eyes to feed two people.
Recipe for Grilled Rib Eye Steak with Vodka Cream Sauce
adapted from the recipe for Rib Eye Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce which appears in The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond
*1 (2 inch-thick/approx. 24 oz.) rib-eye steak, preferably grass-fed (for more info about why grass-fed beef is healthier, please see this post; to order beef from Brykill Farm, download their order form here)
*coarse sea salt
Preheat gas grill to medium-high (or prepare charcoal grill for cooking over moderate direct heat).
Pat steak dry. Rub with olive oil and then season both sides with course salt.
Grill steak for approximately 4-6 minutes on each side, until thermometer registers about 120°F for rare (fyi I never check the temperature).
Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 5-10 minutes, tented with foil, before slicing (the internal temperature will rise a few degrees while steak stands).
Slice across the grain and serve with vodka cream sauce.
Vodka Cream Sauce:
*3 tablespoons organic butter, divided
*1 small onion, peeled and chopped
*1 cup clean organic button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
*1/2 cup organic chicken stock, preferably homemade
*course sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
*1/4 cup vodka
*1/4 cup raw or organic cream
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, 3-4 minutes.
Add mushrooms and cook for another minute or two.
Remove pan from heat and pour in the vodka.
Return pan to heat and allow flame to burn off the alcohol, if desired.
Add stock to pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn heat to low and whisk in the remaining one tablespoon of butter and the cream.
Keep at a simmer until ready to serve, adding a little additional stock or cream to thin it out or thicken it, if necessary.