Once the polenta is made (which, for convenience, can be done a day or two ahead of time) this dish is a snap to put together. Simply sauté the polenta pieces, grill the flank steak, place them on the plate, and spoon on the luscious roasted shallot vinaigrette and you have a quick and very satisfying plate of food. A mound of sautéed mushrooms, or for something lighter, asparagus or haricots verts, is a perfect accompaniment. Crispy potatoes are a splendid substitute for the polenta.
- add salt and pepper
- add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- add 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- add 4 shallots, peeled
- add 1/4 cup butter
- add 1 cup olive oil
- add 4 4-ounce pieces flank steak
- add 2 cups cooked polenta, hot
- add 10 springs thyme
- add 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- To prepare the vinaigrette: Place the shallots and 3/4 cup of the
- olive oil in a small ovenproof pan and cover tightly. Bake at 350 degrees for
- 50 to 60 minutes, or until the shallots are soft. Let the shallots cool in
- the olive oil, and then remove, reserving the oil. Julienne the shallots and
- put them in a bowl. Add the balsamic vinegar and slowly whisk in the reserved
- olive oil. Add the chopped chives and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To prepare the polenta: Cook the garlic in 3 tablespoons of butter for 1
- minute. Fold into the polenta and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spread the polenta into a 1/2-inch thick layer on a small sheet pan. Cover
- with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut the polenta into four
- 3-inch discs and sauté in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a hot,
- nonstick pan for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and
- crispy. Blot on paper towels.
- To prepare the steak: Season the steak with salt and pepper and rub with 1/4
- cup olive oil. Remove the thyme leaves from the stems and rub them onto the
- beef. Grill for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until medium-rare.
- Place a piece of the polenta in the center of each plate and top
- with a piece of the steak. Spoon the Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette over the
- steak and around the plates and top with freshly ground black pepper.
- Wine Notes
- The warm garlic flavors in the polenta mesh beautifully with
- Italian varietals. The rich fruit of Barbera d'Alba from a producer like
- Giacomo Conterno beautifully balances the garlic, and has the full acidity
- needed for the shallot vinaigrette.