Denver steak, savory; tomato; Brussels sprouts, balsamic

The Denver steak is a fairly-recent innovation, and this was probably the first time we had ever had it. I know it’s the first time I’ve cooked it, but it won’t be the last. The flavor is as good as beef gets; it’s surprisingly tender, especially for a piece cut from the chuck; it can be cooked as easily as more familiar steaks; it doesn’t have to be sliced before serving; and it’s relatively inexpensive.

In the picture above the steak pieces look well done, but they were actually medium rare, with a very slight emphasis on the medium, because I had read that this cut could be a little chewy if cooked any less.

  • *a 17-ounce Denver steak from Greg and Mike of Sun Fed Beef (Maple Avenue Farms) in the Union Square Greenmarket, brought to room temperature, cut into 4 pieces (because of the slightly irregular shape, I wasn’t otherwise going to be able to divide it into 2 portions), dried very well, seasoned with a generous amount of freshly roughly-ground black pepper, placed on a very hot cast iron pan grill for just under 10 minutes, turning twice and salting each side after it had been seared, removed and arranged on the plates, a little juice from an organic Whole Food Market lemon squeezed on top, sprinkled with some chopped winter savory from Stokes Farm, drizzled with a little olive oil and garnished with purple micro radish from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • two Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods Market, halved and placed inside a small tin-lined copper pan, turning once, until they had softened, arranged on the plates next to the steaks, seasoned with salt and pepper and garnished with chopped lovage from Stokes Farm
  • *more than three quarters of a pound of Brussels sprouts from Phillips Farms, washed, trimmed, dried, tossed with olive oil, sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, roasted in a 400º oven on a large unglazed Pampered Chef oven pan until they were browned and crisp on the outside, or for about 15 minutes, and finished with a small amount of balsamic vinegar flicked on them with a small brush
  • the wine was an excellent California (Lodi) red, Karen Birmingham Reserve Zinfandel Lodi 2015, from Naked Wines
  • the music was Mozart’s 1781 opera, ‘Idomeneo’, John Eliot Gardner conducting the  English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir, with Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Anne Sofie von Otter, Jonathan Peter Kenny, Sylvia McNair, Hillevi Martinpelto, Glenn Winslade, Cornelius Hauptmann, Peter Salmon, Stephen Charlesworth, Ruth Holton (Soprano), Carol Hall (Soprano), Angela Kazmimierczuk, Nicola Jenkin, and Nigel Robson