steak, lemon peppercress; sweet peppers, basil, balsamic

The Culotte.

We’ve been enjoying this cut for many years [the history]; it’s become one of my favorite beef steaks.

I stopped in at Dixon’s in the Chelsea Market a week or so back, looking for two small steaks I might grill on top of the range to accompany a good vegetable. I was very happy to spot a culotte cut inside the shop which had been my source many times in the past. It weighed just under a pound; if I were to cut it in half, it would be exactly the size I had in mind.

Cut into two pieces, and vacuum packaged, I brought it home and froze it, and I’ve been on the lookout ever since for a good opportunity to enjoy these steaks – and also that good vegetable.

The vegetable.

  • one 15-ounce sirloin culotte (Picanha), purchased from Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, cut into two pieces, brought to room temperature, seasoned with freshly-ground tellicherry pepper (and sea salt on each side in succession, once they had been sealed), seared briefly on the top, or fat surface, then turned and sautéed for about 4 minutes on each of the 2 sides, then the bottom surface seared briefly, the steaks (now incrementally beyond medium rare, which I would recommend for this cut, as does Dickson’s Adam Tiberio: “As with other intensely beefy cuts, you lose both flavor and tenderness if you serve culotte too bloody;”), removed from the pan and arranged on the plates, juice from an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market and some olive oil drizzled over the top, a bit of lemon peppercress from Two Guys from Woodbridge scattered on and around each
  • a dozen or so ‘lunchbox peppers’ from Norwich Meadows Farm, halved, quartered, or divided further, depending on their size, the seeds and membranes removed, sautéed over a high flame until slightly caramelized, one sliced spring red onion and a pinch of crushed dark dried habanada pepper added near the end, sea salt and a bit of Gotham Greens Rooftop packaged basil from Whole Foods Market tossed in and stirred, the vegetables arranged on the plates, sprinkled with more basil and drizzled with a bit of balsamic vinegar
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) red, David Akiyoshi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, from Naked Wines
  • the music was the late composer’s later chamber music, from the album, ‘Peter Maxwell Davies: The Last Island