Martha Stewart Living (February 2009)
Is there any more classic combo than a big, juicy, steakhouse rib eye and crisp hash brown potatoes? We'd say, probably not.
The February issue of Martha Stewart Living has a really great feature called "Meat and Potatoes," which includes several recipes for -- you guessed it -- a meat with a potato side dish. At first blush, that might sound a little...basic. But it's a terrific feature, full of dishes such as Herb-Crusted Pork Roast with New Potatoes and Veal Ragu with Potato Gnocchi.
But it was the thought of a sizzling pepper-crusted steak and hot, crispy homemade hash browns that really struck a chord with us.
Here's the rub, though: Unfortunately, we'd never before been successful making hash browns at home. They always end up mushy or gummy or burnt or gray -- or some combination of all of the above. We love the idea of them, and we've tried cooking them many, many times, for breakfast and as a dinner side. But it never seems to work out right.
Would this be our first hash brown triumph?
In short, no!
This time, our potatoes got too burned (we swear we followed the directions to the letter, including use of a cast-iron pan). Plus, this recipe assumes you're able to flip the entire pan full of potatoes like a giant omelet. That's a nice thought, but our potatoes were mostly stuck to the bottom of the pan -- we had to loosen them with a spatula. A flip was out of the question -- these were more like scrambled eggs than an omelet.
Still, they tasted pretty great. (How could potatoes, onions and bacon not taste great?) And they were actually perfectly done in some parts -- hot and soft inside with a great crunch on the outside. But other bites, frustratingly, reminded us of our established hash brown track record: mushy, gummy, burnt or gray.
The rib eye, on the other hand, was perfection. Peppery and charred on the outside and cooked to a perfect medium-rare on the inside. And though the texture of the potatoes wasn't a 100 percent success, the taste combination with the steak was spot-on and totally classic. (We rounded out the meal with creamed spinach, because, well, obviously.)
If you've got a fail-proof hash brown recipe, we're dying to hear about it. We have a love-hate relationship with them that you just might be able to save.
Crunchy, delectable, diner-style hash browns -- with rib eye? This idyllic rendition makes the duo seem predestined. The potatoes' unmistakable scent of onions and bacon nudge the lightly peppered steak au poivre squarely toward the American palate. You can always call the side rosti if giving it a Swiss accent makes you feel any better.
* 1 bone-in rib eye steak (1 3/4 to 2 inches thick)
* 2 tablespoons crushed black peppercorns, plus more freshly ground
* Coarse salt
* 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
* 1 small onion, finely chopped
* 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
* 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Coat steak with crushed peppercorns, and season with salt. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a bowl. Add onion to drippings in pan, and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add to bowl with bacon.
3. Grate potatoes on the largest holes of a box grater. Rinse under cold water for 2 minutes, then drain. Place potatoes in cheesecloth, and squeeze out excess liquid. Add to onion mixture, season with salt and pepper, and mix until well combined.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium cast-iron skillet over high heat. Spread potato mixture in skillet, pressing down with a spatula. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until golden brown on bottom, about 15 minutes. Flip, and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Transfer skillet to oven, and bake until potatoes are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook steak on each side until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven, and roast until steak registers 125 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board, and let stand for 10 minutes. Slice, and serve immediately with hash browns.