Chef Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama, notices a marked difference between strip steaks cooked with the bone and those cooked without it: "There is this added flavor that the bone lends to the beef, and it keeps the meat around the bone especially tender," he says. Stitt pairs these steaks with smoky sweet potato hash browns: "Sweet potatoes have so much personality for such an inexpensive, humble ingredient."
More Steak Recipes
4 sweet potatoes (1 3/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces lean slab bacon, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound Vidalia or other sweet onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Four 12-ounce bone-in strip or shell steaks (see Note)
How to Make It
Light a grill. In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the sweet potatoes for 3 minutes; drain well.
In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Add the onions to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until browned, about 12 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 15 minutes. Increase the heat to high and cook without stirring until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Stir in the bacon, parsley, chives and thyme; season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, season the steaks generously with salt and pepper and grill over high heat until nicely browned outside and medium-rare within, about 4 minutes per side. Let rest for 5 minutes, then serve with the sweet potato hash browns.
The hash browns can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead.
If you want to cook 2-inch-thick steaks like the one pictured, grill the meat over medium-high heat, turning every 5 minutes, until browned outside and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 130° for medium-rare, about 25 minutes total.
These luscious steaks demand a concentrated wine with ample tannins, like a Cabernet Sauvignon.
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