Valentine's Day: The Meat

Top sirloin steaks are praised for their natural tenderness but are even tastier when marinated before cooking. Ranch-Style Steak with Bourbon Sauce has a marinade made with a simple paste of garlic and black pepper. Be sure to use a quality beef broth in the sauce. Pair this dish with fluffy, buttered baked potatoes.

Ranch-Style Steak with Bourbon Sauce

1 1/2 lb. boneless top sirloin steak, 1 inch thick
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black peppercorns
8 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon butter
2 large shallots, minced
1/2 cup bourbon whiskey
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1. Pat steak dry with paper towels. Brush steak with 2 teaspoons of the oil. In small bowl, stir together peppercorns and garlic; press evenly onto both sides of steak. Place in single layer in shallow dish. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.

2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add shallots; cook 2 minutes or until softened. Add bourbon. Increase heat to medium; bring to a boil. Boil 2 to 3 minutes or until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Whisk in broth; bring to a boil. Add Worcestershire sauce; simmer 7 to 10 minutes or until thickened.

3. Heat large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil; swirl pan to coat bottom. Add steak; cook 10 to 12 minutes for medium-rare or until of desired doneness, turning once. Place on cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Cut across the grain into 1/4-inch slices. Serve with sauce.

4 servings

PER SERVING: 295 calories, 13 g total fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 35.5 g protein, 5.5 g carbohydrate, 100 mg cholesterol, 155 mg sodium, .5 g fiber

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