Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ancho-Cumin Rubbed Ribeye with Roasted Pepper and Potato Salad

Kurt Vonnegut once remarked, "being American is to eat a lot of steak, and boy, we've got a lot more beef steak than any other country."  He added, "and people have started looking at these big hunks of bloody meat on their plates, you know, and wondering what on earth they think they're doing.  Well, every week I have a big hunk of meat and I know exactly what I am doing.  I am having Steak Night.

For this particular occasion, I decided to make a dish with a focus on Mexican flavors.  I focused my attention upon two such flavors ... ancho chile and cumin.  The ancho chile is basically a dried version of the poblano pepper.  The ancho chile (or poblano peppers) were first cultivated in the Puebla state of Mexico.  It is a relatively mild chile, with only about 1,000 to 2,000 Scoville Heat Units.  As for cumin, it is a relative of the parsley family, with its seeds being dried and used to provide a spicy, tangy flavor to dishes.  Whereas the ancho chile is native to the Americas, cumin is definitely an old world spice, dating back to Ancient Egypt and Syria.  The spice made its way to the New World aboard the vessels of Spanish and Portuguese explorers.  It took firm root in the cuisine of Central America, especially in Mexico.

The rub combines the slight heat of the ancho with the spice of cumin, both of which work very well together.  To complement the ribeye, I made an impromptu roasted potato and pepper salad, using some of the same Mexican flavors.  Not only did I use some ancho chile powder, but I also added some oregano, which is used often in Mexican cuisine. 

A Chef Bolek Original
Serves 2

Ingredients (for the Ribeyes):
2 grass-fed ribeye steaks
1 teaspoon of ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme

Ingredients (for the Salad):
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1 red bell pepper
1/2 red onion, diced
1 orange bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon of ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/8 cup of vegetable or canola oil

1.  Prepare the peppers and potatoes.  If you have a gas stove, turn two elements on high and roast one pepper on each element until the skin turns black.  Rotate the pepper until all sides are black.  Turn off elements and allow the peppers to cool.  While peppers are roasting, cube the potatoes.  In a bowl, combine the vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon of ancho chile powder and dried oregano.  Stir the ingredients.  Add the potatoes and onions.  Toss the ingredients until the potatoes and onions are covered by the oil.

2.  Prepare the steak.  Combine the powders and dried thyme and mix well.  Rub the spice mixture on all sides of the steaks.  Preheat the broiler.

3.  Broil the steak and the potato/onion mixture.  Place the steak on one shelf and the potatoes/onions on another shelf in the oven.  The cooking times will vary depending upon the thickness of the steak, but the potato/onions will cook in about 1/2 hour.  About half way through the cooking of the potatoes, add the roasted bell peppers and mix them with the potatoes.  The steak should finish before the potatoes (about eight to ten minutes for each side).  


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