Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cuban Flat Iron Steak with Wine Pairing

Last night I hosted the Puget Sound Chapter of the USPCA for a wine pairing event at my house. Each chef created a dish and then George from George's Wine Shoppe paired each dish with an appropriate wine.

I decided to make a beef dish because A) in the three years we have held this event no one has ever made a beef dish, B) I know that George like beef, and C) I like beef.

I decided to grill a flat iron steak (probably my favorite cut of beef) but I wanted to find an interesting marinade (that would also provide a challenge for George). With a little searching I found a recipe for Cuban-Style Flat Iron Steak on the Whole Foods Web site. It sounded tasty enough and I had almost all the ingredients on hand, all I had to buy was the steak and limes.

Here's the ingredients (but you'll need to go to the whole foods Web site for the recipe).

Here's the lime and orange zests along with the minced garlic and onion.

I followed the recipe exactly and found that it made a lot of marinade. I decided to split it and freeze half of it to marinade a steak sometime in the future.

Oftentimes you'll see a recipe call for boiling the leftover marinade to create a sauce, but this one calls for reserving some of the marinade for drizzling after the meat is cooked, so that's what I did.

I started the steak marinading Tuesday night. I wanted to give it a nice long time in the drink.

I decided to set up a little fancy for the wine pairing. Since I started my chef business I find that I don't entertain at home as much as I used to so when I get the chance to be fancy, I often do.

Here's my table set up (I like to put out a lot of plates for this event since over the course of the evening there are many different flavors that may not meld well).


I made some lovely little menus that listed each dish and the wine to be paired with it (too bad two of the attendees dropped out at the last minute).

Course number three was these cute little stuffed tomatoes.


I ended up as course number five (second to last). Here's the finished steak (with the reserved marinade drizzled on top).

I (and everyone else) really liked the steak. I was glad that let it marinate overnight. It probably would have been even better if I had cooked it over charcoal, but sometimes gas is just easier.

The wine with my dish was lovely. All-in-all, George did a great job with the pairings. It can't be easy to pair wine having never tried the food and using only a written description of the flavor profile (but somehow George always manages). One of the bottles was corked (the Viognier) but we used one of the wines that was supposed to have been paired with one of the canceled dishes, fairly successfully.


Here are some pictures.

This is the aforementioned George from George's Wine Shoppe

My good friend (and fellow chef) Wendy

The rest of the group (except for me of course, I'm taking the picture).


Here's the whole list of what we ate and drank (prepare to be jealous, all the food was great).

Antipasto Relish-Canadian Style, with Pickles, Olives, Peppers, Cauliflower And Tuna
Ch√Ęteau Moulin De Ferrand, 2008 Entre-deux-mers, Sauvignon/Semillon $7.99
Bordeaux , France

Brie En Croute with Hot Tomato Chutney
Mosel River Riesling 2007 $9.99
Mosel, Germany

Smoky Mozzarella Stuffed Cherry Tomato with Garlic-Roasted Asparagus
Zolo Sauvignon Blanc 2008 $10.99
Mendoza, Argentina

Corn Cups with Smoked Salmon and Mango Salsa
Terra Blanca 2005 Viognier $14.99 (this is the one that was corked)
Yakima Valley, Washington
Replaced with C.R. Sandidge 2006 Great Gams Rose $14.99
Columbia Valley, Washington

Grilled Cuban-Style Flat Iron Steak
Sobon Estate Old Vines Zinfandel 2007 $12.99
Amador County, California

Truffle Brownies
Porto Rocha Fine Ruby Port $13.99

And finally, the end of the night.

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